So you just big chopped your hair or maybe you’ve had a short ‘do for a while now, and like a lot of women, you have mixed emotions…
- If you transitioned, you’re relieved because you don’t have to manage two textures anymore
- You’re anxious because you want your hair to grow
- You’re overwhelmed because you aren’t sure which products to use
- You’re disappointed because you can’t seem to maintain moisture in your hair
Don’t worry. By the end of this article you are going to feel much more comfortable and confident with your new hairstyle.
Short Hair Has Its Advantages!
If your hair is super short, you have some nice benefits, so embrace them. The first benefit is you can wash and go with ease. I long for that some days.
Second, your products will last longer due to the fact you don’t need as much.
If your hair is shorter than you hoped it would be, relax. It will grow quickly as long as you moisturize regularly and take good care of your hair.
I know so many people who were devastated after their big chop and quickly grew to embrace their hair because of the benefits such as lower maintenance.
Hairstyle Ideas for TWAs (teeny weanie afros)
If you’re looking for some styles for your short hair, check out the videos below…
All you need is some gel/pudding, a comb and you are ready to go! Here’s a great tutorial video…
If your hair is shorter than hers, you can still accomplish this style.
This is a great long-lasting style for short or long hair. The key to making them last is to use a good setting product and small rods. The smaller the rod, the tighter the curl, and the longer the style will last.
Check out this video…
This is no doubt the most popular hairstyle for naturals no matter if you have a TWA, medium length or long hair. To make your twist outs last…
- Use smaller twists
- Twist firmly (pull downward very gently as you twist to get a firmer twist)
- Use a product with hold
- Check out my article on achieving the perfect twist out
Here’s a great twist out video…
If your hair is longer than a TWA then check out my hairstyles page here.
Overwhelmed By Products?
Figuring out what products your hair likes is a journey. It’s important to know that everyone’s hair responds differently so you can’t assume that your hair will react the same way someone else’s does. Here are the basics…
- Try to use a family of products because they often work harmoniously together. For example, Shea Moisture has shampoos, moisturizers, conditioners, etc.
- Don’t use too many products at once because you won’t know what’s working and what’s not.
- Main Products You Need: a sulfate-free shampoo, rinse out conditioner, deep conditioner (used weekly), daily moisturizer (used as often as needed), stylers (gels, puddings, etc.)
Here’s my full list of products I use and discover how to save money on natural hair products.
Keeping Your Hair Moisturized
Here are the basics for keeping your hair soft and moisturized.
- Make sure your moisturizers have water listed as the 1st or 2nd ingredient
- Oil is not a moisturizer. It’s a sealant. So add oils AFTER your water-based moisturizer to seal it in.
- Create a daily (or almost daily) moisturizing spritz with water, a few teaspoons of a leave-in conditioner and a few drops of your favorite natural oil. Spray/mist your hair when it feels dry.
- How often you moisturize will depend on your hair. If it feels dry, add more moisture. Also, your hair will dry out faster during the winter.
Be sure to check out my moisturizing tips page.
“My Hair is Not Growing!”
Everyone’s hair grows. So if you feel that yours is not that means you are not retaining length and your hair is breaking off.
Be sure you keep your hair moisturized, sleep in a satin bonnet, use water-based moisturizers, try low-manipulation styles like twists and rod sets and keep your ends trimmed.
The best way to retain maximum length with natural hair is to LEAVE IT ALONE and keep it moisturized.
Wearing your hair loose can cause knots (especially if you aren’t trimming your hair regularly). Switch it up and give your hair a break sometime by wearing styles that don’t require much manipulation.
If you can’t seem to figure out why your hair is breaking, seek help from a professional. You can also get more advice about hair growth here.
How Often Should I Trim?
That depends on your hair. For example, if you wear your hair loose a lot (fros, twist outs, etc.) and it’s longer than a TWA, you may have to trim more often because your ends will wear faster.
However if you wear a lot of twists, extensions, protective styles (ends are tucked away), etc. you may discover you don’t have to trim as often.
There are a few ways to tell if you need a trim…
- Your ends feel rough or knotted
- Your small twists unravel easily (you should be able to seal your small-medium sized twists by using a twisting cream and rolling the ends around your finger).
- You see excess breakage
If you really want your natural hair to grow long, you must read this article about preserving and protection your ends.
Visit YouTube Often!
I have saved so much money on hairstyling fees since going natural because I learned to do so much myself. I even trim my hair by twisting my hair in fairly large twists and then trim the same amount from each twist — a trick I got from YouTube!
So if you’re feeling frustrated, always check that site for some maintenance and styling inspiration. Trust me. I was NEVER one to do my own hair but YouTube changed the game for me and so other naturals.
Welcome to Team Natural and enjoy your journey! If you have questions, join us in the forums.
I just did the big chop about two hours ago I’m excited and nervous at the same time. LOL
I’m with you. I did it about 3 weeks ago and went through a range of emotions. I’m still excited but at a loss with what to do until it grows out to where I want it to be. This website has been a God-send thus far and will be my go-to for information. Good luck on your hair journey!
I just got finished doing my big chop, but when I did it I felt complete. I don’t know something about me havin short makes me happy.
I just did my big chop today, I’m so nervous
I did a big chop 2 days ago my hair is about two to three inches long went 10 months chemical-free now I need to know what to keep it maintenance it is super dry what is the best thing I need to do just to keep it healthy I think my hair type is a 4C super dry when I transition and now since I did my big chop it’s still super dry.???
Hey big cousin. I just bc my hair two nights ago. I am so excited definitely going to send you a pic. Following your site as always for assistance.
Heeeey cousin! I’m so backed up on all my comments. I’m so proud of you!!! Please send a pic to lisa at napturallycurly dot com. Would love to see your hair. Keep in touch!
I’ve been on this site since I decided to go natural about 7 months ago and your transitioning guide helped me moisturize and maintain transitioning hair. Now I’ve decided to do the big chop and look what I find on your page. This advice gives me so much more confidence to do the big chop. Transitioning is more comfortable for me because I maintain the length that I’m accustomed to but the two textures drive me insane. I can’t seem to achieve any good hairstyles beyond a ponytail or bun so I don’t know if I heard it here or somewhere else but aye “if you want it to grow let it go” so instead of maintaining damaged length that has heat damage and chemical damage I decided to focus more on having healthy hair not long hair. So my hair is supposed to be getting cut on the 23rd of May so….this is it. But again thank you for this information I’m gonna tuck it away til May 24 when I’m falling apart lol your a life saver girl…Natural4Life 🙂
thank you for the help with natural hair journey. What recommended deep conditioner and when do i use mousse?
I’ve never used mousse on natural hair. I don’t know how that would help. I like Shea Moisture’s Masks – any of them for deep conditioning.
I might be able to help……there are actually 2 Pantene their new “colored” hair edition and Mane And Tale but I don’t use mousse so sorry
So I transitioned for about a year and a half and got my hair to it’s thickest and most natural point (I regularly trimmed my relaxed/split ends) then cut it all off a week ago. I finally had a full head of thick natural hair, but that was it. I had no definite curl pattern, my hair looked dull and felt dry, I would trim it but had no set routine for washing/moisturizing it and I was tired of it not retaining length lol who wants a head full of hair that isn’t getting any longer. By the end of last week (after my bc) I have started a routine and I already feel a difference in my hair already. My hair is full of tight curls and waves that I never got the chance to see or properly care for before. Although I still would like to retain length, I know that I need to focus on taking better care….but if it isn’t down to my knee caps by the end of the year I am cutting it all off again… kidding
What does your routine entail?
Why is grey hair so brittle,and dull
What was the answer?
Lauren Vasquez says
Your best bet is to make DIY Natural conditioners like honey, mayo, egg & honey hair mask to receive your curly coils again. Keep in twists with satin bonets and keep essential oils, butters & lotions on hand. Once a week do a deep conditioner.
I’ve been wearing my hair natural for over two years. It is tight about 1 inch from the roots and thin and frizzy (almost straight in some areas) about 1 inch to the ends. I’ve spent so much money trying to figure out what product works but most just seem to add to the shrinkage and dryness. Even when I condition, leave-in condition, moisturize gel and finger twist–I take it out and it’s still frizzy and straight. Now I’m experiencing a lot of breakage so it’s very uneven. I’m trying not to go back to relaxing but I’m a little tired of looking ‘crazy’ with hair looking like I just rolled out of bed! Any suggestions??
I just did my big chop January 18, 2017 so I would like the cold winter still my hair is like always dry and it’s been very difficult for my curls to come in what product should I use to keep it moist and should I wash it every day my salon Salas told me that I should but with this weather and it being cold It’s making my hair very dry what should I do how often should I wash my hair and what products do you please help this is my first time going natural
Using moisturizing products like shea butter and thick moisturizers will help you a lot. Also make sure you seal in your moisture by using an oil like olive. I can’t really tell you what product will work best. You have to experiment, but you should look for water-based, creamy moisturizers.
I just did the big chop yesterday what are some tips and good natural hair products that you would recommend
L Boogie says
I just started using As I Am and my hair seems to really dig it. My twist outs are a breeze with the slippage the Twist Defining Cream. And FINALLY I’ve found a line that’s helping the last bit of scab hair soften up.
Don’t you love that stuff! I just started using it too. Great twist outs!
I did the big chop last month and my hair has not grown at all I have been moisturizing it and sealing it with my oil and doing some more things that I saw was on here but nothing. What should I do to make it grow?
If it’s only been a month you may simply not be seeing your hairs progress. Try to take pictures every month to help monitor your growth. If you still don’t see any growth try scalp massages, and oil treatments. It’s all about patience. A month isn’t a great amount of time when it comes to hair growth.
I’ve been taking biotin supplements daily which have help my hair growth. I also use the LOC method to retain moisture because my hair is super dry and coarse; my hair is high in porosity. I use many products from SheaMoisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil line and I’ve noticed a big difference in the texture and growth of my hair too.
Venus Clark says
I did my 2nd big chop last month but I’ve had trouble keeping it moisturized. It drys just as quick as I put something on it. The first time I tried Cantu and it kinda worked but not really. What is something else that I could that might help? Right now I’m trying Palmer’s Olive oil
Venus Clark says
also it always itches
If your hair itches, take a bottle: mix in 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water, rub it all over your scalp, leave for 15mins then rinse out. Follow up with your Regular shampoo and conditioner. You had product build-up.
I did my big chop back in August 2015 I can tell it grew a little. I have been using Cantu products. My hair drys very quick after using the products any other products I should try?
Shea moisture products
DNA I WAS BORN THIS WAY products
Thanks everyone I have found Hawaiian Silky Miracle Worker 14-in 1 and it works great in my hair! My big chop was back in August of 2015 and I must say my hair has grown. I am growing out of the TWA stage. However, my hair sometimes shed. I am a little worried about the shedding it usually happens two times each month. Do anyone think I might have to cut my hair again and start over? Just curious I am new with everything.
I just did the big chop last night n its been 5 months since I stopped using relaxers but about a month or so ago I started using cantu products and it worked very well but I got tired of dealing with my relaxed hair because my natural hair was growing and super curly I feel like I did the best thing but I still need a few tips to keep it growingsince I have thick hair
Since you have thick hair, keeping your ends trimmed and moisturized will be the key to maintaining and gaining length. I dust my ends monthly now. That means you take a super small amount off the ends but still less than you’re growing out. You will still get growth but your ends will stay healthy.
As your ends age, they get more brittle. That’s why it’s SUPER important to dust. If you do this regularly, you’ll probably rarely need trims.
what are the benefits of having natural hair?
Your hair will be healthier and you don’t compromise your own health by exposing yourself to nasty chemicals in relaxers.
Hi I went natural august 2015 and don’t seems like my hair grew any I have a bad breakage in the crown and I’m not seeing any length help
Kim J. says
This article was very helpful. I just did a big chop on Oct. 16, 2015. I haven’t had perm since December of 2014. I was getting frustrated with the 2 different textures. I never thought I would go natural, but I wasn’t happy with my hair with the relaxer any more. The biggest adjustment is learning how to do my own hair.
I just did my big chop after waiting 10 months a little over a week ago. I see that I still have a few straight ends. I have cut many of the really noticeable ones. I meant to wait a year at least, but couldn’t deal with the look of the two textures and wanted it gone. Now, I have about 5 or 6 inches that are in these 3c/4a coils that shrink down. I haven’t done much with it besides keeping it moisturized and keeping it covered when I’m out with a pretty satin scarf. It is much shorter than I am used to. I’m glad that I’m not burning my scalp with a relaxer, but I feel as if there is going to be a huge learning curves as I get to learn about taking care of my hair in it’s fully natural state. I know that it is hair and as long as I keep taking care of it that it will grow, but I miss having more hair and am just in shock still that I actually did it.
Hey! I just big chopped on August 1st 2015, and im wondering when will be the next time I get my hair trimmed??
It depends on how your ends feel. If you wear your hair out a lot then you will need to trim more regularly (every 6-8 weeks), but if you wear more protective styles, meaning your ends are tucked away in twists, etc. then you may need to trim less. It really depends on how worn your ends get. Congrats on your big chop!
thank you for this idea
tasha y. says
i did the big chop in january 2015. i am still in transition with my hair, and it has grown…slowly. i only co-wash when i know its dirty-excessive sweating, pool.. the texture of my edges will not curl,nor the top of my head. the top always look dry and frizzy no matter what i use or how often i moisturize; which is daily. my products: pantene co-wash, soft&beautiful leave in conditioner (green/yellow bottle), cantu/cantu for kids moisturizer, shea butter in all products…oil, water….i dont even use a comb–just fingers and brush for edges. the edges are grey(early grey for 10 years) but rest of hair between hair colors through years…HELP & THANKS
Lauren Vasquez says
Use DIY conditioners and shampoos. Leave commercialized products, they’re a waste!
I surely found this article useful. I just chopped off my relaxed ends today so will go to the hot saloon tomorrow to get it even out.
I’m so proud to finally start this journey and get away from chemical burn due to relaxer.
Mykaela Williams says
I pretty sure you can, but it could alter your curl pattern and the results might not be exactly what you are looking for. I advise you to wait it out until your hair gets longer and then decide from there.
tomyca phelps says
my hair is a half inch can i put a texturizer in it
Mykaela Williams says
Why would you want to texturize hair that is only half an inch?? Girl, you are delusional. You can texturize it, but be mindful you will look like a complete fool.
That’s hilarious. LMAO