Top Ways to Transition from the TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) to Longer Hair

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So you did it, “the big chop.” You were so proud of yourself for taking the big step. You rocked that sexy short cut with style and class. One day, you decide, “maybe I will try to grow my hair out.” Here’s where things start to become interesting. Your cute little fro doesn’t feel so cute anymore. It’s bushy and unkempt. It’s too long or too kinky to just put product in and wear a short curly fro and too short for elaborate styles. Listen, you don’t have to hid your hair under a wig until it grows out. Here are some of the top ways women deal with this difficult period.

1. Comb twists.
Let me start by saying that this is not a DIY hair style. You need either a good friend with some skills or about $50-$80 to go to the salon (though, I have done my own and they were just alright…I could still go out in public…lol). Comb twists are when you part the hair into small squares (or my personal favorite, diamonds). Then place a dab of twist gel on that section. Using the small end of a comb, twirl the comb until it forms a tight, coiled twist. Best results are achieved when you let the hair set under the dryer. This is a really neat and controlled style. It’s also a great way to start locs. In fact, that’s how I started mine back in the day when I had locs. This style can last about 3-4 weeks. Do not wash the hair, and tie it up with a scarf every night. Spray with a light oil mist or glosser for sheen as the hair starts to dry out.
2. Braids
These are cornrows after
my second “big chop”
My girl hooked me up.

At this transition stage, I prefer weave cornrows. Again, you are going to need about $50 or a hookup. Cornrows protect your hair from breakage and help to accelerate growth. Now, I’ll be honest, after about two weeks my scalp is itching so bad that I can’t take it anymore. You can wash your hair with the braids in or use herbal cleanser to refresh the scalp. Essential oil sprays work too, but realistically if your scalp is itching because it’s dirty you just need to clean it. I will say this again and again…DO NOT USE GREASE or OIL SHEEN. These products cause buildup and can make the itching worse. Box braids are also nice with weave (you can do them without weave depending on your level of comfort with short hair). I would advise stay away from micro-braids, especially once your hair gets longer. If you don’t take them out properly, they can cause breakage which is counterproductive to growing out your hair.

3. Sew-ins
If the thought of waiting a year before your hair finally grows out makes you cringe, then sew-ins are a great option. This is basically the same concept as the cornrows with similar benefits. With a sew-in, the hair is completely cornrowed and the weave tracks are sewn onto the cornrows It’s a great protective style. However, beware that if not done properly, sew-ins can also lead to pain and scalp damage from being sewn to tight. Breakage can also occur from keeping them in too long.
4. Acceptance.
Once you learn to accept your natural hair texture and length, you will find that there are a variety of non-weave styles that you can do. I personally embrace the afro. I wore them both shaped and unshaped when my hair was short and I still wear them now that my hair is longer. I’ve also been seeing women with finger twists which is similar to comb twist which are twisted with your fingers instead of a comb. Oh, and don’t forget, coloring the hair can also give you a funky, sexy look as well. I would suggest discussing your options with a stylist based on your unique texture.

What are some the styles you have tried during this period?

2 thoughts on “Top Ways to Transition from the TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) to Longer Hair

  1. I have been transitioning for 6 months now. I currently have my hair in Kinky twists. I plan on leaving in for a couple of months. I wore my hair in a sew-in, flat twists,then a wig, and a natural style for a couple of weeks. So far this has forced me to get a little creative with styling. I like it :)

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