11 Haircuts That Make The Big Chop Way Less Scary

Once upon a time, the big chop was a frightening, stressful notion for women who were thinking about going natural. Being bald doesn't work for everyone, they said. Pretty hair is long and full, they claimed. Luckily, with the natural hair movement still pushing ahead full steam, there have been plenty of naturalistas who've flipped that notion upside down.

Yes, people still get buzzcuts for their big chop (and they all look beautiful, for the record) but these days, they're looking a little different — and a lot doper. Translation: You don't have to shave your whole head to start your curl pattern over again. And yes, you can color without ruining the health of your hair, too.

If you're still a little skeptical about the big chop, just scroll on to see some celebrities who beat you to the punch. Plus, get further insight on the looks — and on coloring, the right way — from some of our favorite stylists.

After Taraji P. Henson chopped her natural hair, her stylist gave us the exclusive deets on the reason behind the cut. "She was just like, 'I want to cut my hair,'" Tym Wallace says. "She already had an undercut, and it was growing in. She was loving how her curls looked, and was like, 'If we're gonna cut it, we're gonna cut it all.' She's like, 'I trust you.'"
"I cut my hair for a couple of reasons," Keke Palmer exclusively told us. "The first being, I wanted to start over. My texture has changed quite a bit over the years from all the things I've done to it. I really want to be able to let my hair rest and become its own thing. I also really wanted to be bald!"
Photo by Rochelle Brockington.
Some people are afraid to color their hair when it's in the grow out phase — but celebrity stylist Vernon François says that visiting the right stylist will maintain the health of your hair, the right way. "Going for the big chop to rescue hair that’s been damaged is more likely to be due to several years of heat styling or using a harsh chemical like relaxer on the hair," he explains.
If you're not ready to let go of all your length, a tapered cut is a handy alternative. Keep your transitioning curls full up top, and gradually get shorter towards the nape of your neck.
Photo by Rochelle Brockington.
"It’s possible to have colored hair that is healthy," François tells us. "It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it! Visit a professional stylist and avoid bleach if you want to keep it healthy."
Thinking about going blond (or blue, or pink, or purple...)? "Textured hair should be properly moisturized before a color service and void of any product build up," Shari Harbinger, cofounder of DevaCurl Academy, says. "Utilize a deep treatment mask before a color service to really help preserve the integrity of the hair, and cleanse with a clarifying shampoo or other build-up removing treatment." Harbinger recommends DevaCurl's Melt Into Moisture treatment to soften up your hair, and Buildup Buster to rid it of any gunk.
This fade looks fab, but full disclosure: You'll probably have to touch up your shorter sides every few weeks to maintain the style.
A dramatic cut isn't so scary once your gorgeous, healthy curls start growing in (like these!).
@beatsbyjan's makeup is gorgeous — but man, are those edges laid.
Another perk of a big chop? The products! Curl gels and creams work wonders on shorter hair. Pro tip: Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream is a dream for this.
Stylist Mona Baltazar says that her client was inspired by Nefertiti for this style. "Her new crown," Baltazar captioned. Swoon!
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