Ah, the teenie weenie afro. Liberating for some, a puzzle for others, and a beautiful thing in general. But it can be frustrating once you get rid of those relaxed ends. What now? Here are a few ideas/experiences that I’ve had concerning the TWA.
Of course you have more options with a few inches of hair as opposed to a closly cropped fade, but that doesn’t mean you can’t thoroughly enjoy your TWA experience.
Just wash n go:
This is the simplest option. Really your TWA doesn’t need that much styling. I know most of you who’ve just BC’d can’t wait for your hair to grow, grow, (dammit grow!) but it does take time and trying to kill yourself making a simple style complicated is not going to help.
One day you may see yourself wishing for those days when you had a 5 minute detangling session instead of a 20 minute one. Wash n go, moisturize as needed, tie up your hair with a silk/satin scarf at night. I sure wish I’d kept it more simple during those days.
Texture Playground has an awesome series this week on wash n go’s.
Gettin’ wiggy with it:
As much as I despise the dependency a lot of women have on wigs, they do make good protective styles. They are especially useful if you are not yet comfortable with your TWA just yet.
Let’s face it, some people can BC 5 weeks after their last relaxer and rock a fade without a problem while some of us (yes, US, as in me too ladies!!) would rather hide under a rock after the BC because we are afraid. Everyone may not agree with this, but I think a wig helps while you are getting used to your new hair. You may even choose to get a wig that moreso resembles natural hair if you like.
I would encourage everyone to take care with your hair under the wig. Cornrow, braid or twist it underneath and don’t neglect it. Continue your healthy hair habits. I personally do not like a nylon cap directly against my hair and choose to wear a satin bonnet or scarf under the nylon cap. Make sure it’s not too tight as this can cause problems with your edges. Also beware of having your head wet under the wig for long periods of time.
And try not to hang onto the wig for too long. You have a beautiful head of hair under there that wants to be released. Don’t deny it.
Braids with extensions or kinky twists:
Another idea is to braid your hair up. This will allow it to grow and is a good protective style. Make sure you have a good braider (if you’re not doing them yourselves) who does not braid too tightly or put stress on your edges. You don’t need traction alopecia messing up your beautiful new head of hair.
I had to use Janet’s picture because I’ve never had braids with extensions.
I wish I had a picture of my first set of fingercoils on my 3-4 inches of hair, but I never got a picture that day. Click here to see an example of what I mean. I remember loving it though, even though some of them were sticking up. This style can take some practice and experimenting to do, but it can be done on short hair. Some ladies don’t like the look of it on shorter hair, but I’ve always thought it was an adorable style.
I didn’t really care for twists on my TWA but I liked my twist outs. They can still give you a different pattern. Also something that takes practice and experimenting.
If you are a little put off by the shrinkage, you can try banding. This is a good way to stretch your hair out a bit without using potentially damaging heat. It can also, depending on how it’s done, give the hair a more wavy appearance. See more information about banding here.
I hesitate to even recommend that option since I am pretty adamant that one should get used to their hair in its natural texture before running to the hot comb. Heat straightening can be damaging to your newly liberated locks and, until you get used to your new hair and what it can and can not handle, extreme heat may not be advisable.
Some ladies do like to use a blowdryer on a cool setting and a comb attachment to do a blow out. Rollersetting may be hard to do on shorter hair but it’s not impossible. If you decide to, flat iron with care and be sure to use a heat protectant.
Accessories can be your best friend with a TWA. Scarves, headbands, head wraps, flowers all make your beautiful TWA even more beautiful.
Little golden lamb (who was once natural but is now relaxed) really knew how to accessorize her TWA with flowers and scarves. I personally really stuck to scarves and bought everyone that I could find.
Head or hair wraps are also a way to go. They are beautiful and cover the hair completely. Here is a guide on how to wrap your hair in various ways. I always wanted to try these and have just recently ordered some to try. I think, done correctly, these can be a sophisticated style.
Things to keep in mind about your TWA:
- Any relaxed ends may effect the look and feel of your hair. If you are hanging on to an inch or so of relaxed ends for length, but your hair is not “acting right”, you may want to consider cutting them off.
- Keep it simple. You can drive yourself crazy trying to complicate things
- Gels and gel like products are great, but remember to focus on moisture and health first and foremost.
- It takes a mental transition to get comfortable with your TWA as well as physical. Give yourself time.
Some articles you might find interesting:
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