The transition from chemically straightened to natural hair is a journey. The reasons why some women choose to embark on it differ greatly and range from a spiritual awakening and understanding of the self, to just being too frugal to continue spending money for the application of the “creamy crack.” Just as varied as the reasons for going natural, are the methods of how to do it. Today, we’re focusing on the BIG CHOP and its resulting Teeny Weenie Afro, or TWA.
Within the curly/kinky and always beautiful natural hair community is a sub-group of women who have dared go where many just couldn’t bear- nearly bald. It is a wonderful revelation to experience… being reintroduced to those model-like cheekbones, those piercing eyes, those signature beauty marks, all of which had taken a backseat to your hair. Soon after though, comes the confusion of what to do, as many women who big chop do it on a whim and have never experienced such short hair. Add to that the perplexity of dealing with a texture of hair they’ve never experienced.
First things first; nearly no hair doesn’t always equal nearly no maintenance. Upon first chopping your relaxed tresses, you may still notice bouts of dry scalp and roughness in your hair. Understand that the chemicals in relaxers permeate through the scalp and it may sometimes take another trim for the hair that’s growing out to be free of its effects. Take the time to reintroduce your hair and your scalp to WATER. Yes, although it was often viewed as an enemy in your former hair-life, water is necessary to the good health of your hair and should be part of your developing new regimen… which reminds me- YOU NEED A HAIR CARE REGIMEN!
Something simple yet tried and true (especially for those who have come to identify themselves as being part of the type 4 hair category or may be stumped with how to maintain moisture) is the L.O.C. Method. The L.O.C. Method is one which focuses on actually trapping moisture in your hair using three steps: Application of Liquid, Oil, andCream. Each ingredient actually serves as a sealant for the one before it. Sealing is something you should get into the habit of early on, as it’s key in preventing frizzy split ends and retaining length. I currently use water as my L, Taliah Waajid’s Aftrican Healing Oyl as my O, and Curls’ Curl Crème Brule as my C. Because I have a TWA & my hair is only two inches when stretched, I often sport a wash-n-go. After rinsing while in the shower, I apply my oil to my hair, paying attention to my edges all around, the crown of my head (my trouble area, aka, Nap Central lol), and massage into my scalp. I repeat this with my cream and air-dry. This is a great routine to implement on wash day and for those with TWA’s and limited styling options. It trains your little bit-O-hair and helps with coiling. For longer lengths of hair that may not wash as often, it can still be used in between time as well, substituting a spritzer bottle filled with water and your other favorite refreshing liquids like aloe, and a thicker cream to help in setting and holding braid and twist-out styles. Stay tuned for a short demo and a few secrets to achieving the perfect itty bitty coils