Big Chop vs Transitioning: Which One’s Right for You?

Big Chop vs Transitioning

I can officially write a post like this with an unbiased opinion, I transitioned for a year and 3 months and I have just big chopped! Yaay!

Deciding to start a natural hair journey can be scary- really scary. You know that embarking on a hair journey will mean cutting off relaxed or damaged ends, and growing out your beautiful curls. There are two ways for this to be done: performing a big chop or transitioning. There are pros and cons to both of these methods that should be considered before moving forward with your hair journey. I’m going to list out a few for both, and you can decide which method works best for you!

Big Chop: A big chop means that you decide to cut all of your relaxed or damaged ends off at one time. This can be done at any stage.


  • You jump right into your hair texture: Talk about diving in! With a big chop, you start learning how to care for your hair as it grows in. You only have to worry about one texture. Your hair and your knowledge of hair care both grow at the same time.
  • Bold change: Want to be dramatic? Want something different? What’s bolder than cutting your hair? It switches up your look and you get to play around with different styles and accessories while your hair grows to different lengths. Your hair also seems to grow super fast after you big chop (I think you just notice the changes more!)


  • You may not be ready for it just yet. And that’s okay! I definitely wasn’t! The idea of cutting a lot of hair off at one time may seem daunting, especially if you’re just flirting with the idea of going natural. Big chops are a big step, and not everyone may be willing to make a commitment like that starting off.
  • It may be hard to style at first, especially if you’re used to styling longer hair. It can get frustrating. However, learning to style your hair gets easier with time, and can even become fun!

Transitioning: Transitioning hair means gradually cutting off damaged ends over time. Transitioning can last as long as you want it to, whether it’s for 2 weeks or 2 years. (This is the method that I personally chose!)


  • Ease into hair journey: Transitioning is like getting your feet wet, while a big chop is like diving into the water. It takes the pressure away from cutting off a large amount of hair at one time. How much you cut, and how often are totally up to you. Some people transition and cut off 1″ of hair every 3 months, while others cut off way more. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with.
  • You’re in control of your length. While you don’t want to keep damaged or split ends, you can decide when you cut your hair. You get to experiment with different styles without a big commitment. One day you look in the mirror and BOOM-you’re natural! The time flies before you know it.


  • Dealing with two textures: That was my most dreaded part of transitioning. As my natural hair started to grow in, my curls would be nice and springy while my relaxed ends just… hung there. Relaxed ends are permanently straight, so they need to be manipulated in order to blend with your curls. Cue twist outs, braid outs, flexi rods, etc.
  • Fragile line of demarcation: This is where your natural hair and relaxed hair connect. This area is very fragile and is prone to breakage. This means you have to be extra gentle while washing, conditioning, and detangling. The relaxed hair is limp and can tangle easily, as you’ll be caring for curls instead.

Deciding which road to take when starting a natural hair journey is a personal decision. No one can make that choice for you. It’s about weighing the pros and cons and deciding ultimately what’s best for you and your hair. Whatever you decide, make sure you focus on keeping your curls healthy and happy!

Did you big chop or transition?


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