Hair Diary: Life after the Big Chop

I wanted to share with you all how my Big Chop Journey is going too far!! I’m not gonna lie, it was rough a first. I had never ever worn my hair natural, even as a child, I was permed, pressed or had braids, so I never had that natural love for my own hair, I wasn’t taught to love it. When you hear words like nappy, tender headed, rough, course to describe your hair it doesn’t really inspire you to feel like its beautiful.
Just to recap my hair history, I had been wearing weave since high school, back in the day when gluing hair in was the status quo. I continued wearing glued-in weave all through my 20’s. My edges were decimated, and by that point, I thought I had no choice but to wear weaves. I could never wear my hair cause it was in such bad shape, so what did I do? I keep on with the damaging!! Also, I was working in the corporate world of fashion and at the time natural black hair was an absolute no-no. I remember the conversations anytime someone with a natural hair look would come to interview… “we like her but she’s gotta change her hair” or “She can’t wear her hair like that”, this was all too common.

 

It got to a point where I was so embarrassed by the condition of my natural hair, that I refused to get help from a professional, the thought of someone seeing my hair made me ill, I’m not kidding, I was my own worse enemy. Living in New York I was hopping on the C train 2 times a month to buy my packs of Milky Way 22 inch yaky 1B hair on Fulton Ave.  I would wash and straighten my own hair with a hot comb and install (glue) it in myself. I did this every 2 weeks people!! Sometimes I would throw a box perm kit on it, then straighten it… did I mention, I am not a professional?! Yeah, doing way too much!
About 8 years ago I met who is now a very good friend, she convinced me to start sewing in my weave instead of gluing. She is not a professional but she definitely has some skills and she was kind enough to introduce me to a healthier way to wear weave, and she was sweet enough to do it in the comfort of my cave! I remember her and I have the “big chop” conversation, and we both agreed, we would could NEVER go natural, funny in hindsight, because currently, we are both wearing our natural crowns!

I thank social media for all the beauty it has brought to women of color, especially our hair. I remember seeing photo after photo of all these goddesses with natural short cuts, afros, and braids and it was considered beautiful! I started feeling like I really wanted to do it, I wanted to cut all my hair off and start fresh, I wanted that sexy natural tapered cut, that big halo of natural kinky curls, but for years I was too afraid to make a move! Until this year. Maybe it was becoming a mother, maybe it was all the encouragement I got from my husband to wear my own hair, but I made an appointment with a salon that specialized in ethnic textures and curly hair called More than Curly Salon here in Denver. I with met Marissa, the most amazing stylist who made me feel really comfortable with my decision and I pretty much gave her carte blanche to cut my hair as she saw fit! I loved it! But it was a huge shock for me, and I had to adjust not only my new hair but also my new hair routine!

I’m not gonna lie, I did buy a wig almost immediately, just in case, and I found that I really enjoyed wearing it when I did not want to do my own hair. One thing that I have always been told is that short hair is harder to manage than long hair, and I must admit it was difficult and time consuming for me at 1st. I would spend an hour doing double strand twists on my 1/2 inch long hair. Trying to grip and twist my short little strands caused me to have some tendon problems in my hands.
About 3 months after my big chop, I got braids to give myself a break. Now, this was hilarious because my hair was not even close to being long enough to hold the length and weight of the braids, and I was losing these bad boys left and right! They fell out in the grocery store, I would find them in the parking lot walking back to my car. My husband would wake up screaming thinking there were snakes in the bed…no that just my braids babe, just throw them on the floor and I’ll collect them in the morning! lol!! I wore the braids for about 3 weeks and took them out because I literally had like 8 braids left on my head! But this gave my hands time to get better and my hair did grow quite a bit!
So now, I can twist in bigger sections, I often wear my wig on top of my twists until I’m ready to take them down and rock them, but I love that I have options! I wash and deep condition my hair once a week using Oligo Blacklight Intensive Replenishing Mask, I apply Moroccan Curl Control Mousse to twist and style,  I use the Moroccan Oil Glimmer for shine, expensive but I love it!! And if I do not twist my hair out at night (being lazy) I use Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Refresher Spray to give my tresses life, smells amazing too!

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One thing no one really says about the “Big Chop” is that it may be shocking and hard at 1st. You may not recognize yourself or you will feel like everyone is looking at your damn near bald head. Your hair WILL GROW! And when it does you will be so proud of your courage and love the beautiful natural you staring back in the mirror!
I can not express how exhilarating it is to finally feel like my hair is healthy and beautiful, especially after all the horrible things I did to it. I really want to stress how important it is from a young age, especially for black girls to be told how unique, gorgeous and amazing their natural virgin hair is, and often! Because they WILL be told that their hair is ugly or nappy or hard to manage, and they need to learn that is a lie, and they need to be able to confidently speak to why their hair is beautiful and feel pride in their crowns! Teach them to LOVE their hair! It took me 30 years to finally learn this lesson.

 

I could not write this post without giving you a little style! I decided to take this hair for a little spin while rocking one of my favorite looks with my short cut! Coco Chanel once said “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”, definitely a woman who knew the power of a great haircut!

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4 Comments

  1. August 9, 2018 / 4:17 am

    So I already commented on your hair on Insta as @angelgramme but I loved this article too. Snakes in the bed, hilarious! I too just did a big chop (and went blonde!) and while I love it, I’m still getting used to it. Especially in the back. My hair is very kinky in the back and I admittedly feel self conscious about it at times. However, I feel like myself more than ever! I’m looking forward to becoming a pro at switching up my styles. Currently I’m hooked on flat twists with perm rods on the ends. That style lasts me the longest, almost 3 days.

    • Dana Buerger
      Author
      August 21, 2018 / 10:35 pm

      Yes, the braids were a faux pas! I love the blonde look on literally everyone I see wearing it after they cut their hair, but i am to chicken to do it!! and I have already damaged my poor dry brittle hair enough. isn’t it funny how weird it feels to be your raw self, I thought everyone was staring at me…lol! I found these great short hair clip ins you should try from http://www.bigchophair.com, I have a lot of fun with them. Thanks for reading doll!! xoxox

  2. Esined
    August 9, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    Hi Dana,

    GOOD FOR YOU GIRL!!! Keep on rocking and loving your hair! I too…transitioned from wearing my 1.5 inch fade for 20 yrs to growing my NATURAL 4C hair! Which is now full of vigor, health and lots of love! I get compliments ALL the time from people wishing they had my hair…go figure? We have been told NOT to love ourselves on soo many levels… I’m so impressed with your blog; you keep it REAL. It’s nice to see our melanin sisters doing it! Continue to ROCK your fashion…you’re a natural and Little Atticus is so adorable. Nice pics of your and your lovely family! Peace and Love SOUL Sistas!!

    • Dana Buerger
      Author
      August 11, 2018 / 4:24 am

      I cant tell you how good your comment made me feel, thank you so much! Anytime I start to doubt my decision, I see a beautiful black woman with the most glorious afro and I think…yaaaas goals, that’s what I want. Thank you so much for following our family and my journey!! xoxoxo

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