Well congratulations! You just got your big chop and you are now a full member of the natural hair club. I welcome you and wish you all the best on this journey.
If you didn’t transition or you transitioned for a little time, your hair will probably be in the teeny weeny afro(TWA) stage.
You need to read: Common Natural Hair Acronyms and Terms
This is an awesome stage to be at because almost everything is easier and takes less time. You are free to pour all the water you want on your hair in the shower without the fear of shrinkage and drying time. Styling is also a lot easier at this stage. You can just comb your hair(if you want to), grab a cute hair accessory and head out the door.
A major fear new naturals have is limited styling options for a TWA. In reality, this doesn’t have to be so. There are so many styles you can rock with short hair. You can even try out a wash and go if you choose. I’ll post some styling tutorials later on.
Let’s get to the tips:
1. Develop a hair regimen
A regular hair regimen can consist of various processes such as pre-pooing, shampooing, conditioning, deep conditioning, ACV rinse, hot oil treatments, tea rinse, protein treatments, just to mention a few.
However, a hair regimen can be simple too. My regimen when I had a TWA was like this:
*Shampoo once a week
*Regular condition twice a week while I was in the shower.
*Deep condition fortnightly ( once in two weeks)–Please DO NOT skip deep conditioning
And my hair grew healthy and fast too.
Check out my wash day regimen: For Busy Naturals Who Don’t Have All Day! (How I Wash My Hair)
Sometimes, less is more 🙂
2. Filter the advice
When I first went natural about 3 years ago, I joined a lot of natural hair groups. I then learnt about various hair recipes that can be made in your kitchen. I was so fascinated and so I was doing a lot of those “treatments”. I eventually saw the red light when some people recommended “engine oil treatment” and “urine therapy” (Of course I didn’t try them. Do you think so lowly of me 😦 ). I kid you not. I ended up getting a second big chop and starting afresh 11 months ago and since then I have been running away from kitchen concoctions.
This is not to say that all advice is bad… no way! I learnt so many valuable hair lessons from those groups. Kitchen concoctions may work for some people, but they don’t work for me. In all the months I tried them, I ended up wasting money(there was a time I used up a 500ml bottle of olive oil in 2 weeks! Now I use up one litre in a year!!), and all those products just weighed down my hair.
Now the moral of the story is simple. Filter all advice, not all will work for your hair. People can give tips about what works for them, but if you try it and it doesn’t work out for you, don’t force it. However, don’t be afraid to test the waters.
People can give tips about what works for them, but if you try it and it doesn’t work out for you, don’t force it.
3. Don’t worry about growth
Your hair will eventually grow long if you take care of your body and remain consistent to your regimen. It is said that hair grows about half an inch in a month. Even if your hair doesn’t grow that fast, don’t worry, you’ll eventually get there. Just make sure you’re eating well, drinking enough water and exercising. You know that hair grows from the inside so focus on what is going into your body. Nothing you apply externally to your hair can increase the rate of growth.
Later on this week I’ll upload a post on how to know whether your hair is growing. Hair experts say that your hair is always growing and if you think it isn’t, it may just be breaking at the same rate it’s growing. However, from personal experience I can tell you that it is possible that your hair may be growing slower than snail speed or not growing at all for a period of time. Make sure you subscribe so that you will be the first to know when that post comes up. 🙂
Hair grows from the inside so focus on what is going into your body.
4. Don’t waste too much money on products
You may be looking for that one super product that will leave your hair moisturized forever, or give you the perfect curl definition. In this quest, you may end up spending large sums of money and still ending up disappointed and frustrated. To avoid this, make sure you read reviews on products before you buy. Or as a better alternative, you can check out these posts
Make sure you read reviews on products
5. Petroleum jelly is not your enemy at this stage
Before you expert naturalistas start throwing rotten tomatoes at me, I beg you to please hear me out!
For people with natural hair, products containing petroleum derivatives such as petroleum jelly(petrolatum), mineral oil( paraffinum liquidium, paraffinum) are worse that the devil. The problem with petroleum jelly and mineral oil is that they thickly coat the hair strand locking in the moisture already in the hair, but preventing further moisture from getting in. The greatest problem is that petroleum jelly is very hard to get off the hair, and it leaves the hair pretty dry if it stays on for too long. You often need to shampoo your hair regularly to remove it from the hair.
So why do I recommend it here? Because petroleum jelly/mineral oil are AMAZING sealants. (At this point you really need to check out this post if you haven’t done so).
See: Common Natural Hair Acronyms and Terms
A sealant is used to lock in moisture in the hair. And hey, when your hair is in a TWA, you can afford to wash your hair more regularly.
However, you may need to stop using the products when your hair gets too long for you to wash every other day. (And BTW, you don’t need to go “full wash day”, you can simply shampoo while in the shower and use just a little leave in conditioner before your petroleum jelly or mineral oil product).
6. Moisturize your hair
My moisturizing routine goes thus:
*LIQUID: I use my spray bottle to dampen my hair. However, at this stage you can wet your hair in the shower.
*OIL: I apply a coat of an oil mix including coconut and olive oils
*CREAM: I apply my leave in conditioner or shea butter mix to the hair.
This is called the LOC method.
See how I make my shea butter mix: 4 Quick and Easy Homemade DIY Leave In Conditioners All Under 500 Naira
You can apply the cream before the oil if your hair prefers that, whatever rocks your hair. (That’s the LCO method)
Natural hair is soft and can be combed easily when moisturized.
7. Get hair accessories
You definitely will need some pretty hair accessories to ‘decorate’ your beautiful fro. You can purchase them at your local beauty shop or make some yourself!
8. Learn how to style your hair
Contrary to public opinion, there are a number of diverse ways to style your TWA. I’ve lined up a few tutorials here. Check them out!
For the flat twist out, I used my Beautiful Textures Curl Definer Styling Custard for curl definition.
9. Subscribe to this blog!
Yes! This the most important tip. You need to subscribe so you can get hair advice, tips and product reviews delivered to you as soon as they are posted. Please click here to subscribe.
10. Don’t pay attention to the haters! Rock your fro with pride!!
Always remember that regardless of your hair type, your hair is beautiful.
Thanks for reading. Your comments are like ice cream to me. Feed me please! Lol.
Enjoy your day (or night)!
If you have any questions, please do send a mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to hear from you.
Oh, don’t forget to subscribe I’m sure you’re subscribed already *wink* 😉