7 Haircuts That Make The Big Chop Way Less Scary

Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images.
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 buzz cuts 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 folks who beat you to the punch.
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For Nappily Ever After Sanaa Lathan didn't have to shave her head but she did it to fully commit to her on-screen character and give the camera some real emotion (mostly tears with a sprinkling of laughter). A few months later, she's still rocking a small Afro.
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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.
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"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!" Just take a page out of Iesha Hodges' book. The Victoria's Secret model, who proudly wore her buzz cut on the runway, frequently dyes her strands platinum blonde and uses Olaplex to keep her hair healthy.
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Photo: Via @charlisharenata.
A dramatic cut isn't so scary once your gorgeous, healthy curls start growing in (like these!). In this stage, you can experiment with different curl products and styles (like finger coils) to define your natural texture.
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Photo: Via @andressabsantiago.
If you're not ready to let go of all your length, a tapered cut is an alternative. "The tapered cut is a staple look that happens to be one of my most popular requests," Mizani Global Educator Daryce Brown tells Refinery29. Ask your stylist to keep your curls full up top and gradually get shorter towards the nape of your neck and the ears.
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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. "A lot of people who are coming in for big chops go for a complete fade, because it's easier to keep up with and requires less styling time," Brown tells us. "I do recommend getting your edges cleaned up at least once a month, though, to keep your style looking fresh."
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Photo: Via @themonacut.
If you've been growing out your roots for months, don't get rid of all that progress. Opt for something angular (like this cut by Mona Baltazar), which will crop your curls in a geometric shape to give your look some edge.

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