16 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.

Read These Stories Next:
The Haircut I Never Thought I'd Get
The Real Reason Taraji P. Henson Chopped Off All Her Hair
How I Finally Transitioned My Hair — Without A Big Chop

Photo: Via @tamarbraxton.
"I'm over feeling captive to a wig, weave, people, people’s comments & opinions hell...even my OWN feelings!" Tamar Braxton captioned a March 2018 selfie. "WE can choose to stop these things from having the power and victory over us!! And for me, that starts TODAY."
Photo: @princessbroadus.
"Don’t be afraid to try new things!" Cori Broadus, who's Snoop Dogg's daughter, encouraged her followers in a March 2018 post. "My growth is reallll."
Photo: Via @elisajohnson.
Elisa Johnson (the daughter of Magic) was hesitant before making her big reveal. "Last night I contemplated whether or not I wanted to share my personal hair journey with Instagram but then I thought what the heck," she wrote in April. "SO inspired by all the powerful women who do not let HAIR define who they are...I love the woman I am becoming and I encourage everyone to try and conquer their own personal insecurities, and rather than letting these insecurities define us, take the power away from them!!"
Photo: Via @sanaalathan.
For Nappily Ever After (out later this year), Sanaa Lathan didn't have to shave her head, necessarily. "We gave her the option to use a bald cap and shave that," her hairstylist Larry Sims noted in September 2017. "With today's technology in film, it can look like you're actually shaving your hair. She was committed to shaving her actual head and hair for this role. You'll see her real reaction on film. That shows you, nervous or not, she was committed to telling the story which is going to be so important to women around the world once they see the actual film."
Photo: Via @yayadacosta.
After cutting her 'fro off in December, Chicago PD's Yaya DaCosta offered fresh perspective about natural beauty to The Glow Up. "It’s funny, I’m not sure I’m comfortable calling it the 'big chop,'" she said. "When I first heard about that term, I thought it was more connected to women who were going natural, and were chopping off processed hair. But maybe it’s not specific to that. Maybe it’s just cutting your hair off... I’ve had the same hair my entire life. I was born with a very full ’fro, so, it’s never—even as a baby—been as short as it is right now. So it’s definitely a new world. I have so much more free time."
Photo: Via @tarajiphenson.
After Taraji P. Henson chopped her natural hair in June 2017, 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.'"
Photo: Via @keke.
"I cut my hair for a couple of reasons," Keke Palmer exclusively told us in June 2017. "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.
Photo: Via @andressabsantiago.
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."
Photo: Via @alissa.ashley.
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.
Photo: Via @glammzmore.
This fade looks fab, but full disclosure: You'll probably have to touch up your shorter sides every few weeks to maintain the style.
Photo: Via @charlisharenata.
A dramatic cut isn't so scary once your gorgeous, healthy curls start growing in (like these!).
Photo: Via @beatsbyjan.
@beatsbyjan's makeup is gorgeous — but man, are those edges laid.
Photo: Via @imcrystals.
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.
Photo: Via @themonacut.
Stylist Mona Baltazar says that her client was inspired by Nefertiti for this style. "Her new crown," Baltazar captioned. Swoon!
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