Should You Big Chop Or Transition?

November 30, 2017 4 min read

Should You Big Chop Or Transition?

By Toia Barry

When it comes to going natural, the first thought of many women is that they’ll need to chop off all of their hair in an effort to get back to the texture they were born with. The concern is that they won’t like the way they look with short hair — or worse, OTHERS will not like it, especially family or significant others.

Women are sometimes afraid of doing the big chop for fear they won’t be found attractive by men, though in many cases, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While doing the big chop is probably the popular, quick-like-a-band-aid way to go about “going natural,” it’s not the only way.

There are some of us who decided that cutting our hair super short wasn’t for us, and instead, chose to slowly transition back to our natural hair texture. Whether you transition or throw caution to the wind and big chop is up to you, but let’s talk about some pros and possible cons for both methods.

The Big Chop


As mentioned above, if you’re tired of relaxed hair and want to get back to your natural texture ASAP, then this is the way to do it. Just get it over with! Clip clip clip, you’re done. It’s over. Welcome to the club!

Once it’s done, you’ll likely have a feeling of freedom (if you’re not crying), and you can now explore this new life with short. You’ll be able to touch and feel the texture of your natural hair, and you can begin to discover what types of products your hair responds to or doesn’t. As your hair get longer, you evolve with it, learning about ingredients, new styling techniques, and gaining an overall knowledge of how to treat your coils and kinks.

Many opt to keep their hair short, finding that it’s much more low maintenance. With the right shape to suit your facial structure, the “teeny weeny afro,” or TWA, can be an amazing look! In this cropped state, you can use our Honey & Ginger Styling Gel for some cute coils or just to define your curls for an effortless wash-and-go style. You may not have length, but you’re not as limited as you think. Social media is full of short hair inspiration like Helecia, aka iknowlee, who used our Pomegranate & Honey Collection to create a combo style on her tapered cut featuring Bantu knots in this tutorial!


We have noticed that one of the main concerns many have about the big chop is short hair. We don’t consider having short hair as a “con,” but I can certainly understand why this wouldn’t be a person’s first choice. If you feel like this would be too much for you, by all means, don’t do it! Because once it’s gone, it’s gone, and you’ll just have to wait for it to come back.

Another downside if you’re a fan of updos and the like is the limit you’ll have on styling, at least until you get some length. But, speaking from experience, that’s nothing a few bobby pins and creativity can’t fix! Slicking back the sides for a simple “frohawk” with our Honey & Ginger Edge Gel is one of the many ways you can spice up that short do while encouraging healthy hair.



Transitioning when it comes to hair is all in the name. Instead of taking the plunge right into the natural texture, one will stop chemically straightening, allowing the new hair to come in. A major pro to transitioning is that you won’t have to cut inches of your hair off all at once. But to get to the kinks, you will need to trim it every so often until you’re left with the natural texture.

You can transition for as long as you like – some have gone through the process for two years – so you’ll still have length to play around with if you want to experiment with some styles. But remember, you’re no longer dealing with just straight hair, which leads me to what may be considered drawbacks of transitioning.


As your curls come in, you’ll need to adjust to dealing with two textures. Trust me, everything from washing to product selection and styling is different, and you’ll have to be willing to learn all of that to keep your hair healthy and stay committed to the journey. I transitioned for about eight months before cutting off my relaxed ends, which I did merely because I was annoyed with the two textures. If I was provided with the knowledge I have now, I likely would’ve gone longer.

One thing to note is that, in this state, your hair is very fragile, especially at the point where the new hair and straight hair meet. So being gentle, and keep in mind that using the right products is very important. A good deep treatment like our Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner, infused with protein, will keep the hair strong as it moisturizes to prevent breakage. You can find more helpful transitioning tips in this post!

Hopefully, this has given you some things to consider as you think about returning to your natural hair texture! If you’re already there, which route did you find worked best for you? Did you use Mielle Organics hair products to ease the transition? What worked best for your newly natural hair? Let us know in the comments!




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