Styles to Wear Before the Big Chop

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If you are going natural then you probably are both excited and nervous for your big chop. It kind of feels like the first time you went on a real date with a boy you really liked. I for one have no idea what that feels like but I assume you have butterflies in your stomach and you are not necessarily sure if it's the good kind. I mean it's not too late for you to turn back, you can still get a perm and reap the benefits of permed hair while you can! I won't be mad at you, heck I won't even bat an eye! I get it! There are tons of potential benefits to having permed hair and going natural, though more favorably looked at now, is still a big process. Things really do change for you if you are going natural. Trust me, I'm only one month in and I feel different.

Either way, we know the big chop is a big thing. Bigger than that time you got your first job and that time in middle school you screamed "Sorry" at your crush when you almost bumped into him in the halls and you heard him and his friends laughing afterward. Because the Big Chop is a big deal, you may want to prolong it as much as possible. Maybe you want to grow your hair out longer, so that when you do get it cut off you have a lot more hair left than you would now. Maybe you want to wait and see if you really are ready to go through with this. Persnaps, you want to save up some cash for treating yourself to some lush hair treatment when you go for your big chop. Whatever your reason, it can seem almost pesky the way your hair doesn't do what you want it to, especially if you are hanging on to a bit of permed hair at the ends.

Here are some styles that can help with hiding your permed ends. I've used these styles in the past when I was in between perms and also am utilizing them now as I await my big chop.

Twist Out
On a personal note, my hair doesn't look good when I do twist outs. It's most likely because I haven't mastered it yet. Whatever the reason, I will tell you that this is the main style my hairdresser recommended I try in order to hide my permed ends. It helps create a curl and disguise permed straight ends. Twists outs create loose curls/wavy hair (the way it looks depends on a lot of factors like whether the hair is dry when you took them out, your natural hair type etc). It's fantastic because there are so many tutorials out there to help you get it done right, and also it's a very simple and easy style to utilize. I love the look of them, especially when they're not so freshly done. It creates this effortless beachy/windtossed look.

Bantu Knots 
 I'd like to thank the gods, Mother earth, and Sister Moon for bantu knots. Like I said, my hair doesn't look nice when I do twist outs. However when I do bantu knots (and then take them out), it feels like the stars are alligned and mercury has moved out of retrogade. My hair curls up in the cutest way and my permed ends are neatly hidden under the power of the bantu knot. I feel so much more confident when I have done my hair like this. It feels close to my natural hair texture and it looks it as well. So, ergo, i feel like my hair has reached that ultimate natural girl stage. The stage in which your hair is healthy and well taken care of and your natural curl pattern (whatever it may be) has been fully realized and embraced.

Protective Styles
 Protective styles will save you! It can light the way! The stars shine when you have protective styles in. Your hair takes time out of it's busy day to say thank you when you go to protective styles. No one will pay attention to your ends and you can enjoy the freedom of doing whatever you want to your hair. Want an updo? No problem! How about a ponytail? Do it! Basically any style you can do on your hair normally (whether it's straight or not!) is available to you via protective hair styles.Protective styles were my go to as a kid. I hated having my hair out because I had to do it and protective styles just got it out of the way but also gave me the benefit of protecting my hair from all kinds of things. (But I also did it too much and ended up having tons of breakage because of not properly theres that...)

Pull it Back
 It's boring but oh so nice. Just pulling your hair back into a bun or some sort of twisty bun like thing can be so dang rewarding. Smacking your hair down knowing it will stay in pace during a long day can feel like a gift from the Earth herself. I don't know what it is about pulling back my hair when it's not been permed for a while, but there's something about it. I mean the less I mess with it the better my hair is. It'll grow out faster, it will just do it's thing and I don't have to worry about it or my ends looking a mess. Just be aware that wearing your hair tie in the same position/place can cause breakage around that area.

Braid Outs
 I love a good braid out. Even when I had straight hair I used to like how pretty the waves looked when I undid some braids I had in. I loved it even more after I took out the cornrows I had gotten as a kid. Not only is it super easy but it's super pretty and does a lot for your hair and for your ends.

What are your favorite natural styles?  Got any natural hair tips?

Edit: I've finally big chopped. The maximum length of hair that was cut off was maybe 4 inches, so while it's not a lot for my short hair it's a pretty decent amount of hair to hang on to. I did not go to a salon to do it, since I'm not back in Bermuda and probably won't be for a while, and that's where my hair salon is. I actually asked my dad to do it and while that may seem like a major risk on my part, my dad is good. He has an eye for these things and regularly cuts his own hair, and my brother's hair (which is actually a big deal because my bro's hair is longer than mine and it's styled). Not only was I nervous but I was so excited. Like I was containing all my bouncy energy watching my dad buzz and snip at my hair until the permed bits were gone. Now everything is so smooth sailing, I wear it all puffy in an afro and I just really love my hair.

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