For anyone who has ever gone natural, you know the hardest part about the natural journey is starting your hair journey all over again. That scary yet freeing “big chop” (the process of cutting off all of your chemically treated hair) is just the beginning of a world of beautiful afros. While natural hair is stunning, the process of transitioning from chemically relaxed hair to kinky or curly locks can be a lot of work. Nursing your hair back to health takes patience, but it’s all worth it in the end. As you become a naturalista, it’s important to know you’ll go through three fabulous stages of afro.
THE TWA STAGE
As far as maintenance goes, the teeny weeny afro (aka the TWA) is the easiest afro stage. You can totally get away with a quick wash and go without any additional styling. Bad hair days practically don’t exist at this stage! For some, the short length may take some getting used to. While you may be limited in your style choices, the TWA is the perfect stage for an easy and effortless chic look. (Bonus: TWAs give the perfect opportunity to get wild and creative with bold accessories.)
THE PRETTY “AWKWARD” STAGE
Your TWA has now blossomed! But your curls haven’t quite reached “ponytail” level yet. This stage can be a bit awkward because your hair may seem to be both too long and too short for certain desired hairstyles. Take advantage of this fuller yet low-maintenance stage with beautiful protective styles like bantu knots, twists, and braids. (Bonus: twist/knot/braid-outs look most fab on medium sized afros!)
THE FULL BLOWN GODDESS STAGE
If you’re into big hair, then here is where you’ve reached your final afro goddess form! This stage requires the most maintenance and can be a hassle (especially on wash days). The bigger the hair, the bigger the responsibility — and the bigger the fabulous hairdos! Big afros are great for glamorous updos, long braids, and epic twist-outs. (Bonus: You can get away with having shrinkage and still have a full afro.)