the big chop for wavies curly girl method

Most of my life I thought I simply had straight hair, that was prone to being frizzy and poofy. I’ve kept my hair long most of my adult life for the primary purpose of keeping it less poofy.

It sounds so silly to me now, but I just thought ‘if my hair gets too short, it gets poofy!’ and I didn’t care for the poofy look, so I kept it long. It never occurred to me that the poof was brushed-out curls.

See, people with curly hair don’t typically use a brush in their hair, at least not when it’s dry as this will flatten the curls, making them frizz and poof. I learned this after looking up frizzy hair cures and learning that a lot of frizz is typically a sign of hair that wants to curl but isn’t moisturized well enough to do so.

Frizzy damaged hair

Technically my hair is more ‘wavy’ than ‘curly’, but it definitely responds much better when I use teh curly girl method, which includes avoiding sulfates in shampoos, silicones and conditioners and styling products, not brushing or combing hair that is dry, and so on. When I first started the curly girl method my hair was still very long. Here is a before and after.

long hair before curly girl method

My hair before curly girl method is above. After curly girl method below.

After curly girl method wavy long hair

long wavy hair after curly girl method

I was happier with my hair even though I was brand new and many elements of the curly girl method still overwhelmed me. Humectants? Porosity? Shea butter is ‘heavy’? I still have a lot to learn and I’ve been blogging about my curly girl journey on my other blog, Frank Loves Beans. Feel free to follow me over there for all the details!

Anyway, after I got the above results, I was still unable to get the results to last. I knew other people using the curly girl method would have their curl definition maintained for at least two days if they ‘pineappled’ their hair at night. Yet, my waves and curls would ‘melt’ after perhaps 5-6 hours on the first day!

I started asking around in curly girl hair forums about what types of things cause this and many ideas were suggested that I thought weren’t the right answer for me. Then someone asked me how long my hair was. I said when it was wet and brushed straight, it was just a couple of inches above my jeans.

Several people said at that length, just the weight of my hair itself could be pulling it straight after a few hours of wear. So I realized it was time for the big chop.

EDIT: I have learned since writing this post that a ‘big chop’ is a phrase that belongs to the Black community, and is in reference to cutting off chemically damaged hair and starting over with regrowing out their natural hair. As a white person who is just getting a significant haircut, this is was not an appropriate term for me to use in this post. The appropriate term for my situation would be ‘reset cut’. 

the big chop for wavy hair

This was after getting home from the hair stylist. They washed my hair and (I assume) did not use curly-girl approved products. There was also no gel used and so on.

The big chop is often discussed by people who have had their hair relaxed, or otherwise chemically damaged and who are looking to get the damage cut off. My hair was not particularly damaged, as I didn’t use heat on it or dye it. It had a lot of split ends, and very uneven ends simply due to not having a haircut in a very long time.

I decided to have somewhere between 8 and 10 inches cut off, leaving my hair about collar-bone length. I requested a few simple layers in my hair. I made the mistake of allowing the stylist to put layers in while my hair was not parted to the side (which is how I typically wear it).

So, the layers are made for a center part, but when I part my hair on the side, the shortest layers all fall to one side of my head. This has caused the curls to be more intense on one side of my head than the other, but next time I’ll know to get layers put in after I part my hair! Despite that mistake, I am really happy with how much my curls have come to life since getting the haircut.

I no longer have to avoid haircuts to avoid poof, because I know how to turn ‘poofy’ into wavy or curly! I can use a lot less product in my hair which is nice as well, especially when it comes to conditioner. It took so much conditioner to get my hair heavily saturated when it was long.

My hair after the cut, washing, conditioning and using gel that are all curly-girl approved. No curlers or curling iron.

the big chop for wavies curly girl method

As you can see, the short layers all get pulled to one side making that side much curlier than the other. Still a big improvement over the look of my longer hair, in my opinion.

The big chop wavy curly girl method



This post currently has 6 responses.

  • Susan Chester

    I love the new style. Cute!

  • Sarah L

    My hair is straight. period. I like the new look with your waves.

  • Lauryn R

    You’re hair is gorgeous, I just love the look of your new shorter waves! 🙂 I have always been so jealous of those with curly/wavy hair, as mine is so fine and flat. My youngest daughter has curly hair though, so I am learning how to maintain it. Thanks for sharing!

  • ellen beck

    You Know, I am honestly thinking this is why I have like ‘poofy’ hair too. For the same reason,I have let my grow- I do donate and it would get cut, but in between it is frizzy except right after I wash it and before it gets brushed out. I get the curls back when it gets wet- for example, it was how out I was working outside and sweated it out.
    I like your new cut although I also liked your long hair. I am loving the curly girl suggestions as I dont blow dry nor color mine either.

  • gloria patterson

    I would almost kill for those wavys…….. My hair is stick straight no body no nothing.

  • Darcy Koch

    I think your hair was pretty before you cut it as well as now. My hair has always been straight. I often wish for curls so maybe it won’t look so limp. My hair doesn’t curl well.

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