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Why are stylists so hesitant to do the ‘big chop’ for their clients?

Avatar • Jan 25, 2010

Toshia, our style icon today, spoke of her stylist almost refusing to cut off her relaxed hair for the big chop. I’ve heard a lot of similar stories. Some women even have to leave salons altogether and do their big chop at home because stylists downright refuse to do it.

So I want to know, why are stylists so resistant to doing big chops (especially when they’re being PAID to do it!)

Feel free to dish about your big chop/salon story..

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Kigali
Kigali
10 years ago

I got my big chop like almost ten years ago. It was at a men’s barber shop. It was a little packed and the men in there were staring at me. I understood their confusion.

Dari
Dari
10 years ago

Most of the time, people have been going to a particular salon and stylist for a long time. Years perhaps. That same stylist has been watching your hair grow, trying to make it long and beautiful, and now you want to cut off all her hard work!
Another thing behind this is, what happens when you don’t like it? Is it her fault? Did she do something wrong? How are you going to react?

Bee Michelle
10 years ago

I never had a problem with a stylist refusing to do a BC on me because I cut off my relaxed ends on a whim one day in April in my dorm bathroom. Now, when I went back home I wanted my hair trimmed a bit & flat ironed so i went to my stylist. The whole time I’m sitting in her chair telling her how I wanted my hair she is tryin to persuade me to get a relaxer!! She tells me how I could just get a “kiddie perm” instead if I don’t want to damage my hair.… Read more »

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

I believe that when you have one hairdresser for some years, the hairdresser feels like she has a total bond with your hair and sees it kinda like a mother watches her child. I understand this but when I had so much growth from weaving my hair for some years. I grew out a nice bit of hair at my relaxed hairline but my hairdresser refuses to cut my hair to make it even. I do use weaves to grow out my hair and she knows thats what I intend on doing but she just wont do it. I have… Read more »

Apartmentlife
Apartmentlife
10 years ago

Either they don’t want to be the one to cut off all that “pretty, long, good, etc hair” or they don’t want to deal with an upset client coming back to the salon crying due to regrets.

I say, if they don’t want to do it, don’t force them to.

aloeveranewyork
10 years ago

When I wanted to do my big chop my hairstylist didn’t want to do it either. When he realized I really wanted to get my hair cut he decided to cut it short, not like I wanted. It was the Hally Berry cut.
A few weeks later, I went to a men’s Barber shop and they shaved it all off.

Brit
Brit
10 years ago

I went to a natural hair salon and even the stylist there was hesitant. She kept saying “I don’t think you realize how short your hair will be.” I explained that I am prepared to walk out of here with a fade, I’m ready to cut these relaxed ends and get the natural show on the road. She did not cut all my relaxed ends, she cut most of them and did gel twists. She suggested for me to come back every two weeks to to the gel twists and she will cut bit by bit until I had enough… Read more »

Gisele
Gisele
10 years ago

The stylists are probably reluctant because it’s like the first step to losing a customer (ie. no more expensive weaves; perms, braids etc).

AfroKisses
AfroKisses
10 years ago

I had fairly long hair before I bc’d and I feel that might have tied in to my hairdresser being hesisitant. But more because she didn’t want me to see the short hair and freak out and blame her and hate it. It was funny because she tried to come up with everything anyone might say and when I still wanted it, she happily cut it off. After she did it I was happy, she was happy, and my mom was happy. She said she just wanted to make sure I was prepared and actually really wanted it.(she’s natural, her… Read more »

Angel
10 years ago

Its so so true. I actually have been transitioning for a year in braids but on Saturday just this weekend (23rd Jan) I wanted to get the relaxer bits chopped off. At the hair salon I was actually discoraged from doing it and they kept going on about how it wont look good, how short it would be, how my man would leave how even if I want it in braids and twists the blunt ends will stick out. It then went onto “why do you want to go natural?” and they kept telling me how unkempt I would look and… Read more »

Sandy
Sandy
10 years ago

What a great question! I don’t have any real answers or anything, but here’s my story. I BCed with my own scissors one evening in the privacy of my own bathroom, partly because it was an impulsive decision and partly because I wanted to avoid the inevitable drama of BCing at a salon. I just can’t expect other people to know what I know when I suddenly know it. In other words, just because I had an epiphany about my hair & lifestyle doesn’t mean that everybody around me will get on that epiphany bus with me. One’s epiphany bus is another’s… Read more »

Brit
Brit
10 years ago

I understand why your tried and true stylist would be hesitant. But in my situation, I could have been a new client, eager for new natural hair tips and products, but I felt she was trying to milk me so it really forced me to learn how to do things on my own. Natural hair salons charge an upwards of $70 for two-strand twist without extensions, if I hadn’t learned to experiment with my own head, I’d be quite broke.

tracyata
tracyata
10 years ago

@ Gisele and @ Sandy I agree with you both. Cutting all of your hair off is seen as ending the relationship with the stylist. It’d be one thing if you wanted a relaxed pixie cut but to cut if off with the intention of going natural means you’ll most likely be doing the styling yourself or head to a natural hair focused salon instead. These stylists are most worried about their pocket-books. Especially in this economy. I remember wanting my former stylist to maintain my hair after cutting it off. I was so ignorant at the time that it took… Read more »

Handmade Design
10 years ago

When I decide to do the big chop the stylist told me she would do it and end up not cutting it all out she said she didn’t think it would look that good so when she finished my afro was whop sided. Then she convinced me to get a texturizer, but it looked bad because of how she cut it( she didn’t cut it short enough. So I went to the barber shop and he did exactly what I wanted.

Chantel
10 years ago

My mom tried to chop me but she chickened out at the last minute so I had to take a trip to the mall to finish the job. My cousin had been my stylist for years and she had watched my hair grow and get better and better over the years. She knew that I didnt want to relaxer anymore and I remember sitting in her chair at JcPenny’s salon and her asking me over and over was I sure that I wanted to cut it off. Yall should’ve seen the reactions from the older women in the place lookin… Read more »

Meredith
Meredith
10 years ago

Honestly, I’d have to agree with apartmentlife. It would be churlish to deny that a majority of black women admire and desire long hair/big hair. When a woman with long/ish relaxed hair goes into a salon asking for a b.c, the stylist may be hesitant to chop it off for any number of reasons. She may have short hair prejudice, she may think the client is doing the b.c on a whim without thinking, she may believe she will then have to deal with a regretful client and angry relatives. Not many people can fathom why a woman would b.c… Read more »

Nikki
Nikki
10 years ago

I really don’t know why, I guess it’s because some stylists are old school and have the same opinions that a lot of black people have still which is nappy hair isn’t cute, or super short nappy hair really isn’t cute. I stopped going to my hair stylist about 2yrs before I went natural because once I had mentioned to him that I was thinking about getting dreads, and instead of a open-minded response he told me oh you must just be giving up as if I was being lazy or just didn’t care or something. It took me another year… Read more »

Kweenie
Kweenie
10 years ago

Many of the readers have summed it up above: Many hairdressers don’t want to lose your business and know they will because all they know how to do is to relax, color or cut chemically-treated hair.

They do not know how to take care of natural hair, but even better, you won’t need them to take care of your hair. Once you go natural, you’re the only expert in your hair texture and hair needs there is. 🙂

Dee
Dee
10 years ago

Ahh. hair politics. I think in general, any woman who wants to cut off her “crown & glory” is considered bananas! and somewhat unstable. LoL A notion of femininity is attached to long hair for women. And in that femininity lies beauty and attraction; seduction even. I had a soc professor, Indian, who told a stylist to cut off her waist length hair, and the stylist asked her if her husband knew, as if her relationship with her husband would be severed with her hair, which is linked to her femininity and attractiveness. For Black women, it might go a… Read more »

Coffey0072
10 years ago

Interesting theories…
Collectively, they’re probably all true. I know when decided to grow out my relaxer during the latter part my collegiate years, I cut off all of my relaxed ends, and then just decided to bc myself. A guy on campus with clippers, was more than happy to round out the the job for me and gave it shape. He did a great job. Fortunately I didn’t have to contend with emphatic salon stylists.

Mrs.Tiffany
10 years ago

I thought this just happen with me lol…well my sister is a licensed hair stylist and she’s hyspanic, shes got this long black hair and I’m mixed but I’m basically black…:) I asked her to do my “BIG CHOP” and she had so many excuses…
“why don’t you get your ends clipped and keep growing it, your hair isn’t gonna grow long…its gonna fall out …why not just loc it…you just started a business, you sure you wanna cut it all off”,I’m like look if you don’t do it… I will!!…and it will look a hott mess lol.

Coffey
10 years ago

Interesting theories…
Collectively, they’re probably all true. I know when decided to grow out my relaxer during the latter part my collegiate years, I cut off all of my relaxed ends, and then just decided to bc myself. A guy on campus with clippers, was more than happy to round out the the job for me and gave it shape. He did a great job. Fortunately I didn’t have to contend with emphatic salon stylists.

Steph
10 years ago

I’m glad you brought this subject up, Leila! It’s a question I’ve often wondered about. I’ve never really been a salon type of girl, even relaxed. But even back then, when I wanted my shoulder length hair in a pixie or other short cut, stylists gave me flak over it. I did my own BC, and when it got longer I neglected it. I wore a afro ponytail without taking care of it, and it turned into a giant loc in the middle of my head! I went to a male friend who was a barber and asked him to… Read more »

Patricia
10 years ago

My stylist was reluctant to cut my hair because she knew she was the reason I was cutting it off. She over-processed my hair!

LBell
LBell
10 years ago

Back when I was still perming, I went into my salon and ordered the stylist to cut my almost-SL bob into a short style (specifically, the Anita Baker…showing my age). He kept saying, “Are you sure?” and I was like, “Yes, I’m sure!” My bob was all broken off in the back and it looked really bad — even I could see that — and you would THINK he would have suggested a corrective cut long before then but like most stylists he just wanted my $$. I will NEVER forget the silence in that shop as he cut my… Read more »

Freda
Freda
10 years ago

When I was relaxed I went to a Dominican salon and when I first started having thoughts of transitioning I knew that I could no longer go to her. Occasionally I’d see natural sisters come in to get a blowout and the looks and comments were mean. Not to mention they charged them more because it supposedly took more work. My stylist of over 5 years made it very clear how much she dislikes natural hair. I heard her speak negatively to women I knew who went natural about their “crazy” decision. I chose to do the BC myself. I… Read more »

Sandy
Sandy
10 years ago

@LBell:

You wrote: “Seems to me, if [these stylists] actually knew what they were doing, the weave business wouldn’t be so healthy.”

WHAT?!
People, the truth has been spoken!!
That correlation isn’t a mere coincidence, folks!!
You are absolutely right, LBell. Yes, Ma’am. Yes, Ma’am!
Weave wearers are paying the hefty price of their own stylists’ mistakes while continuing to go to that same stylist to have have those self-same weaves sewed in.
Vicious cycle.

But LBell’s trying to stop the weaves in their tracks (pun intended) with some good ol’ truth telling! NICE!

Thanks for that.

Shaa'ista
10 years ago

Sis. Juanita who has been doing my hair since I was 5 REFUSED to cut my hair!!! But I think after I called my sister in the middle of the night to chop it, and she ratted me out to Sis. Juanita, she knows I’m serious. We’ll see how it goes. I know she doesn’t want to cut it. Lol

Coffey
10 years ago

P.S. Please pardon the double posts. I’ve been trying to log in w/ diff accounts to get my avatar/pic to show up. Argh. To no avail.

Vacra
Vacra
10 years ago

The lady the trimmed my hair when it was relaxed is vietnamese and when I asked her to give me a BC she tried to talk me out of it because she thought I looked really cute with my Rhianna-esque fauxhawk. I told her how the chemicals were causing my to lose my hair in the middle of my head (speeding up my hairloss part of which is genetic.) She agreed that I was losing too much hair and cut off about 90 percent of my relaxed hair and left a bit on top to hide my bald spot until… Read more »

MsBernie
MsBernie
8 years ago

The experience my daughter had was the exact opposite. I tok her to a beauty school to get her hair done for back to school. We didn’t a any hairsyle in particular in mind & certainly not a BC. The stylist though encouraged her to BC and begged her not to ever put another relaxer in her hair. She also explained to her how she should care for it & what she does to her own natural hair. My daughter was so thrilled with her new, completely natural hair. Talk about a breath of fresh air. Maybe there is hope… Read more »

Aelicia DeLovely
Aelicia DeLovely
6 years ago

This happened to me. I made an appointment with my stylist and when I told her I wanted to big chop she made all sorts of excuses as to why I should transition. I finally was fed up and told her either she started clipping or I started walking to a barber shop. Needless to say she gave me a great start to a wonderful journey.

Kima
Kima
6 years ago

I handle my own hair cuts. I walked into a natural salon to inquire about the prices and perhaps make an appointment. She told me it was $45 just to wash and blow my hair. A trim would be extra as would styling. I wanted to walk out with an afro, she let me know that wasn’t an option. The place is pretty popular among naturals in Brooklyn too. That was the first time I wondered if maybe I didn’t have enough money to go natural.

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