Don’t Stop Big Chop:LeiMeredith

7 Aug
 Why did you bigchop?
  It was extremely, extremely spur of the moment. As much as I love short hair on others, I enjoy longer hair myself. Knowing that  about myself when I started to transition, I just knew that I would not BC until atleast 12 months after, when I would probably have close to shoulder length hair (judging by my hair growth). However, I started off with a short bob and did not have many ends to last a long transition. Also, the longer I transitioned, the more I fell in love with my growth and wanted for it to be the only texture on my hair, even if shorter than I preferred. The stringy ends were just no longer worth it.
When did you big chop?
I decided to big chop on July 27, 2012, approximately 8 months after deciding to transition December 1, 2011.
 How did you feel? What was your reaction? I was anxious, excited, curious and afraid. I am in the process of job searching and the number one fear I had when contemplating an early BC was what employers would think. Once I let that fear fade to the black, I then became afraid simply of how I would look with a TWA. After doing the BC, for a few minutes, I still had very mixed emotions but one stood out most amongst the others: LOVE. I had another part of my that I could love AS IS and that was my hair. With each minute, all I could do was smile and run my hands through it. I know by July 2013, I will not even miss the ends that I cut.
        My reaction involved plenty of yelps and screams of happiness and I was very proud of myself. I actually started my own YouTube channel back in March to document my hair and weight loss journies for myself, as well as to inspire and help others who may need a helping hand. My YouTube name is Fallfreelei and in my Big Chop video, I think I go through every emotion possible, haha.

What are you doing to take care of your hair?
 I make it a priority to moisturize my hair twice a day, just like brushing my teeth and washing my face. It takes a few minutes but goes a long way. I have a spray bottle that I keep half filled with aloe vera juice (pulp-free) and the other half water. Whether I drench my hair completely wet, or just mist it, I always make sure the ends are sprayed and then seal the moisture in with shea butter (homemade or Shea Moisture, depending on what I have) or an oil mixture (olive, lavender, castor, jojoba, almond, grapeseed, etc.).

        I twist my hair every 2 or 3 nights simply to protect the ends and keep the hair stretched (I am a little length driven). This also helps to prevent knots and matting. I have decided to lay off the shampoo for a bit because all that I have tried have dried my hair terribly, even if made for natural hair. But, I do co-wash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration as needed (every 4-5 days on average) and do apple cider vinegar, or ACV, rinses as needed (every other week on average). My hair loves protein so I also do deep conditions with mayo, egg and honey as needed (once a week on average). That much protein can be very damaging to many hair types, however, my hair loves me for it.
 Do your regret your decision?
 No. I love my hair. I love my curls, how thick it is and how soft it is when treated. This is only the beginning. For 15 years, I never thought to see what actually grew on the top of my head. Now that I know my Crown of Curls, I could never regret this decision.

What words of encouragement would you give someone contemplating the big chop?
 If you are thinking about it, a part, even if a small part, of you wants to do it. Separate yourself from everyone, for just 10 minutes. Go in a room and write down why you want to do it, and what makes you fear doing it. If any of those fears has anything to do with anyone else, your employer, your companion, your family, your friends…anyone but YOU…then do it. Because the most important thing when doing the BC is that YOU are ready. Coming from someone who loves their BC but would have transitioned two years if she could, do what is best for YOU. It was my time to let the ends go. Some people are ready at 2 months, some after 1 week of making their decision to wear their natural hair, and some after one year. You just have to know that whatever you do, you are beautiful. And once you big chop, girl does it GROW!

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