Meet Tiffany- Her Big Chop
I have known Tiffany for YEAARRRSS…Since we were in elementary school and we lived down the street from each other. It is so cool to reconnect with old friends and when she decided to transition she ran into some of my videos and asked a couple of questions. Here is her story:
When/why did u decide to go natural?
I decided to get my last relaxer in July 2007. At that time, it was more about trying to thicken my hair and not as much about embracing my natural curl. Therefore, I straightened my hair ALL the time. I mean faithfully about every 2 or 3 weeks. Yeah, you guessed it, bad decision. I became victim of the infamous heat damage or what people like to call “trained to be straight” I did not realize that this was happening initially because my hair was always fly and I would always get compliments on how great, shiny, healthy, and soft it looked. I loved it. It was healthier and it was growing. I didn’t realize that it had heat damage until I wanted to go on vacation and wondered why when I washed my hair it was still straight lol. I wanted that versatility that naturals always talk about. I then realized that I would never have that versatility until I started embracing my natural texture and wearing it in that state more often. I also was starting to work out more often and realized it would just be way too unhealthy to straighten my roots after each work out. I knew what I had to do; I had to stop playing around and go all in. Boy was I scared of this. I did not know what my natural texture really looked like. I always got my hair done in a salon and never really did my hair myself, so when it was washed I didn’t see the natural state. I decided to start researching more about natural hair, styles, and hair care. I discovered that there was an entire natural hair community out there that I could get support from!
How was your transition?
Once I actually educated myself on natural hair, my transition went great. I started trying styles such as twist outs, braid outs, rod sets, and twist n curls. I began to play around with products to see what worked best for my hair. Most importantly, I learned SO much about myself during this time. I realized how much hair influenced my perception of myself. I enjoyed every minute of it though. The twist and curl was my staple style during my transition.
When did u bc/how did it feel?
I started contemplating the big chop once I got tired of blending my two textures. I thought about it long and hard for about two months. I had never had short hair and was scared as hell of how I might look with it. I wanted to make sure that I still would look professional and also sexy for my man 🙂 . I must have had a zillion conversations with him on what he thought I should do, if he still would think I was attractive, etc. He became an integral part of my natural hair journey. I knew that I was going to do it because it was what I wanted to do, but I still wanted to involve him in the decision/conversation since I would be making such a drastic change. He gave me his blessings several times and assured me that what we had was way past what my hair looked like and that from him witnessing my hair wet he knew my natural hair would look great. He said that I would always be beautiful.
I finally buckled down and did the big chop on December 9, 2010. I was so scared to get it done and once the stylist starting clipping I started praying lol. After she was done, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I knew that I was happy that I did it and that it was a weight lifted off of my shoulders, but I wasn’t sure if I liked it. The product that she used on my hair just wasn’t what my hair was used to. So, I drove home as fast as I could. I wanted to get in my bathroom to soak it all in. Once I got home, I rushed in the bathroom and wet my hair again. I looked up in the mirror and I LOVED it. I really LOVED it. I couldn’t believe it! My boyfriend knocked on the bathroom door asking if he could see it. I slowly opened the door and to my surprised he LOVED it. He said it was so curly and he loved my texture. He liked how it showed more of my face and features. I immediately started snapping photos on my phone because my best friends and my sister were waiting for the verdict. When they got the pic, they loved it too!
What’s your favorite products so far and favorite style?
My favorite products thus far are Herbal Essence Totally Twisted as my co-washer. I love this stuff and it smells so good. I like the Kinky Curly Knot Today leave in conditioner as well as the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Miss Jessies Quick Curls is a good leave in as well. Shea Moisture has a great deep conditioner. I also love the Olive oil replenishing packs to add to my deep conditioner. I still am looking for the perfect deep conditioner though. Any suggestions let me know!
Since my BC, I have not experimented with many styles. I have just been rocking the wash n go!
My advice to transitioners and new naturals is to make sure that you are embarking on this journey for YOU and no one else. It’s also helpful to have supportive people in your corner. Whenever I used to second guess myself, I had fly naturals that I could reach out to, my close friends, and my man to just listen to me, give me advice, etc.
I know this sounds cliché but it is so true, do not decide to go natural because of what someone else’s hair looks like. Go natural because you want to embrace your own curl. Also, do not BC before you are ready. It is a huge step, so do your research, learn about your hair, and wait until you are ready. Lastly, once and if you do the BC bring products that you like with you to the salon. Every product does not work for everyone, so take the product that your hair loves with you and ask them to use it.