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    17 Big Chop Transformations That Prove Long Hair Isn't The Only Way

    "Best decision I've ever made!!!"

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to send us before-and-after pics of their big chop and to tell us why they did it. Here are the inspirational results.

    1. This person who's had locs since she was a baby.

    "I'm 23 years old and (until now) have worn locs since I was four years old, so they were a huge part of my identity. When I was 21, I decided that I wanted to finally cut off my locs, but every time I thought about doing it, I would wimp out! Then two months ago, I finally chopped them all off and it was the best decision I've ever made! My mom actually did the honors and vlogged the entire experience. I'm so happy I went through with my decision. My head feels so much lighter!!!"


    2. This person who did it for her mental health.

    "I graduated from college this summer and was struggling with my mental health. I needed some kind of change that I was in control of, so a week before commencement and I headed to the barber shop and got my second big chop. It was a cleansing experience for me this time around."


    3. This person who buzzed her fro and never looked back.

    "Out of all the different ways I've worn my hair, shaved is my fave. I first shaved my hair in 2013 and have tried growing it out since then, but can't stand the feeling of hair on my head."


    4. And this person who's about that buzz life too.

    "I've struggled with damage ever since my first relaxer at age 12, so my hair's been pretty short for as long as I can remember. Coming from a family of women who tend to have really long hair did not help my confidence either. So after high school, I decided to go natural, which was quite the battle. I had no patience for growing my hair out and got sick of staying up until 3 a.m. doing twist-outs. I eventually buzzed it all off and dyed it blonde, which I've been doing for about three years now. Just call me knock-off Amber Rose!"


    5. This bold AF person who made the chop to reflect her true identity.

    "The day before my 16th birthday, I went to the house of a friend of a friend. It was me and three other people and we were all queer and most of us nonbinary (I'm nonbinary but woman-alligned.) We ate pizza, listened to the (then) new Fall Out Boy album, and the friend of a friend cut my close friend's hair and mine too. I'd been considering cutting my hair for a year or two for gender reasons, so I didn't regret it one bit. It was a really fun time."


    6. This person who wasn't here for the long wash days.

    Aundraya Richards

    "I've been natural since 2013, but got tired of the length and the washing process. I knew I wanted a new look and kept talking about maybe doing the big chop. Then one day, my boyfriend said if I don't do it now, I never will. So he actually cut my hair with scissors at home right before we left for a BBQ. I'm much happier with the length now."

    —Aundraya, Facebook

    7. This person who'd been wanting to shave her head for a minute.

    Facebook: BuzzFeedCocoaButter

    "Last year when I had relaxed hair, I'd been going to a new hairdresser for gradual haircuts. Then one day in August, I decided that I wanted to be all natural and see how my hair would grow. Plus, I'd been wanting to shave my head for a while. So, my hairdresser took clippers to my hair, and I watched it all fall to the ground. Best decision I've ever made!!!"

    —Kelsi Reece, Facebook

    8. This person who joined #teamtaperedcut...

    "I big chopped around four years ago! I went from bra-strap length to a tapered fro. It's empowering to me."


    9. ...And this person too.

    "Decided I needed a fresh start!"


    10. This person with an inspiring journey of self-discovery.

    "My Mexican mother didn't know how to manage my black hair, so she made me get a perm in the 7th grade. At the time, my straight hair gave me so much confidence because I started getting more attention from boys. My upbringing also gave me the impression that natural hair wasn't beautiful, so I would judge the black girls who were. But, in high school, I became more aware of social justice and black women's issues and was ashamed of how I'd disregarded my own black identity. Between that and years of constant heat and chemical damage to my hair, I stopped getting perms, cut my bellybutton-length hair, and eventually big chopped in April. I love my natural 3C/4A curls and am so excited to grow them out!"


    11. This hero who did her own damn shape-up (with some help from YouTube).

    Courtney Renee Daniels

    "My natural tapered cut was growing out and I didn't like the sides at all. But when I asked my hairdresser to taper it again, he refused and told me to just continue growing my hair out. So I watched a couple of YouTube tutorials and chopped it myself at home with scissors because I really missed my easy to care for teeny weeny Afro. I love it 😍."

    —Courtney Renee Daniels, Facebook

    12. This person who had an indescribable, "transformative" experience.

    "Till this day, I still don’t have a real reason as to why I wanted to big chop. I felt like I needed to change something about me. Maybe not even change something but unlock something, discard something. But what I do know is that cutting my hair has been one of the most transformative things I have done in my life."

    Read Shantell's full big chop story, which includes her Jamaican upbringing and her internal battle with going natural, here.


    13. This person who came to love herself, flaws and all.

    "During my college years, I had to move back home because of a break up and my finances. The ex had always liked my hair long, so after our break up I resented the length. At first, the chop was done out of spite: he loved it, so it had to go. But after the initial shock and tears, I gained this self-confidence that I'd never had. I realized that I'd been using my hair to divert attention from my insecurities. Without long hair, I learned to embrace my flaws. Chopping off my hair was the best decision I've ever made!"


    14. This woman who had to remind her hubby that this was about HER, not him.

    "I had did my first big chop back in 2004 when I was 18. I told myself I would cut it off again when I turned 30, but by that time, I'd got married and my hubby was so against it. I quickly let him know it was about me, not him. And so he even helped me do the big chop! At the end of the day, it's just hair. It will grow back."


    15. This person who decided to "stop letting external standards of beauty define" her.

    "My sole reason for doing the big chop two years ago was to embrace everything that I am, to pave my own path and stop letting external standards of beauty define me. I wanted to walk in my own truth and stand on my own two feet. I stopped neglecting my naps, determined that my nappy 4C hair is healthy, kinky, and beautiful."


    16. This person whose smile says it all.

    "I had long straight hair, but was tired of the chemicals. So, I transitioned for about a year and kept cutting off the straightened ends until I decided it was time to do the big chop. And now I'm so happy with my natural curls!!!"


    17. And this person who wanted to let the photos speak for themselves.

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