Well I am no expert, but I have gone through both, and I have had the chance to witness others go through it, and saw how they reacted. So here is my take on when to know to big chop and when to transition...
1. You’re not a very patient person. Once you make up your mind about something you are ready for action! When you have to wait, you are on edge. To say the least, patience is not one of your virtues. On the opposite side of things, those who transition are easy going and allow things to happen as they do, time is not an issue. You actually hate fast paced things, you enjoy taking your time and you enjoy the process of every new journey in your life.
When transitioning you have to have patience. Often times women set unrealistic goals when it comes to growing hair. We tend to look at the women on YouTube and think in a couple of months my hair should be at that point. And it won’t. It can take up to 2 years for your hair to grow out, and it depends on the length and of the extremity of heat damage or relaxer that is in your hair. Your hair has the opportunity to grow 6 inches a year, a half inch a month, but this is only when you are doing everything correctly.
2. You are not attached to your hair. Those who can big chop are not as attached to their hair as others. You have always taken big chances with your hair, you have colored it, relaxed it, cut it...etc. Your hair goes along for the ride. But those who transition, loves their hair, they have an emotional connection to it. You have never cut your hair in life, unless your ends needs to be clipped, and when it gets clipped you are upset because they cut too much. Your hair is your glory!
Big chopping can be an emotional experience, especially if you are not prepared for how you will look afterward. We are indeed our hair, our hair is a part of our body just like any other body part, and if your mindset is that, than you definitely should not big chop.
3. You take life as it gives it to you. You can big chop because even if you hate it, you will rock it like it’s nobody’s business. You don’t allow the not so good things get you down in life, you tend to keep it moving. A transitioner likes to play it safe. Being shocked is not something you go out searching for. You want to know exactly what you are getting into. You don’t like the unknown.
Big chopping is a commitment, you can’t put it back after it’s gone. If you cannot handle the what if, than don’t do it!
4. Your life is too fast pace. You big chop because you don’t have time to pamper, and baby your hair. Either you are an on the go mom, a working mom, a career woman, whatever it is, you just don’t have time, and so you just get it over with. The transitioner likes to pamper. You don’t mind the little extra work, you actually enjoy it. Your time is not as constricted and so you can do as you will.
Transitioning is a tedious, long, and sometimes tiring thing. You really have to be a person who don’t mind taking care of 2 textures. Trying to take care of the straight and the curly hair is a job, and you need to know that. Your hair will shed, you will always have to use extra tools to achieve a twistout, and braidout, and a wash and go is never your friend because you have the nagging straight pieces that is taunting you. You will not know your true curl pattern because the straight pieces are weighing down your curls, and let’s not mention the tangles that is overwhelming. Your tolerance level is high when you can transition. If you don’t have time to really pay attention to all of this, and pamper and manage the 2 textures, you really need to big chop.
With saying all of this, only you know what you can handle. I myself did both. I transitioned for about 6 months and then got tired of it and cut it all off. I loved how I looked when I big chopped, but I prepared myself and was able to adapt and adjust. But it wasn’t that way when I went in to get my ends trimmed for my year anniversary, and they nearly cut all of my hair that I just grew, back off. That time, I was an emotional wreck. It took me almost 2 weeks to get over it.
So now the question is, which one are you?