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Curly Nikki

TWA in the Workplace

By January 27th, 202118 Comments

via LifeWithBabyJ

So what is a TWA you ask? Teeny Weeny Afro! That is the classification of my hair at the length that it is at right now. Although I think I will be past that stage very soon because I am almost able to put my hair into a ponytail now… MILESTONE!!

Anyway… That’s not the point of this post.
A few weeks ago I received a message from a fellow ‘Nuturalista’ asking me about styling options for her TWA for work. She was bored of wearing her hair in just the Afro and wanted something “more professional”.
Around the same time, there was a lot of discussion in the natural hair forums that I frequent, about how much trouble some women were having in the workplace with their natural hair. There were some that even suggested that natural hair is not professional (huh?). Some women said that they wear wigs to work in order to look more presentable.
My take on this? It’s not just your hair that makes you look professional or presentable. If you don’t look like you put any effort into your entire appearance, it won’t matter if your hair is natural, relaxed, twisted, straight, long, short, whatever!
Also, if you don’t have confidence within yourself to know that you are beautiful with your hair the way it is, it will show… and this will just open the door for ignorant people to add their unnecessary commentary. But that’s just my opinion.
So… I was inspired to go through a week and style my hair the way I would to work (yes I have actually worn ALL these styles to work before). By doing this I hope to inspire those who are either bored with their TWA, or simply just want new styling options.
Video tutorials are also available if you click the captions… Hope you enjoy!

TWA in the Workplace


  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing. I've been transitioning since November because my hair takes a while to grow. I plan to cut today & needed some styles to wear to work. Also need to now get accessories to jazz it up a bit.

  • Mama on A Misson says:

    …I don't get it. A twa is very professional looking to me. I tend to take women that I see with natural locks working in professional environments more seriously than I do those with bad looking wigs that you can tell are fake, or badly damaged relaxed hair (or relaxed hair in general). I don't know what it is, and I don't think that wigs or relaxed hair are bad things if utilized properly, but it's just a natural reaction I have to it. It also has nothing to do with my hair being natural. I felt this way for a long time before I went natural (while I was still wearing a relaxer.) I also believe that most places would prefer us to wear our hair natural. It is attractive, fresh, and energetic looking imo. stay natural :)

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been natural (4c) for 3 years now. I can't retain length (it's broken to 3 inches in my crown!), it's riddled with mid-strand splits, and detangling is a nightmare because of the damage and SSK, and I'm sooo itching for another big chop! I just don't want to go through that awkwardness again…

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the ideas and tutorials. I'll definitely give these a try. :) ~KF519

  • Sophie says:

    Cool styles! My hair is longer than this now, but I love looking at styles! And I think that how you put yourself together is the main thing when trying to look "professional". I don't think it's true that long 3a curls would be considered professional when type 4 curls are not. Can you imagine long curls spilling all over a woman's shoulders during a board meeting? If someone was going to take umbrage with distracting hair, hers would be right there with an afro. Personally, I think hair being considered unprofessional has more to do with letting your feminine show than ethnicity/hair texture.

    I also agree that anyone can wear short hair, but I understand that not everyone wants to. I have a very tall (6'4"!) friend who keeps her hair long because she feels it is in balance with her stature. It's a style and a preference.

  • Quaneasha says:

    I think that it is the texture that scares people. Take a Caucasian woman with long 3a textured curls. No one in the workplace would have a problem with that. It's the 4a, 4b, and 4c curls that people have a problem with. #ImJustSaying

  • Anonymous says:

    @NaturallyNatural: "quit insulting your maker"…comments like this are why many people think all naturals are overbearing, over-sensitive and judgemental.

  • NaturallyNatural says:

    This is a interesting topic because I hear this so often. I think ANY women can look good in a TWA, but your looks are your looks and all you can do is try to enhance your features if you do not found the TWA as flattering or professional such as earrings, hair accessories and/or make-up. But there is just no way you are cute with a relaxer or long hair and all of a sudden you are ugly or unprofessional with a TWA. I think alot of women used hair as a shield and now with shorter hair there is no hiding your features. Get over it. Quit insulting your maker and be the beautiful kinky hair queen he made you. And yes the pics were all cute, and I will be rocking some of them for sure.

  • Anonymous says:

    @5:39pm. What's a face for short hair? Is those ladies with the heart shape face who facial features look great with short hair. Sorry, boo boo short hair doesn't look flattering on everyone!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anon 5:39 I'm with you when it comes to the 'face for short hair' thing. Most people with long hair will wear it back in a ponytail or bun. If they can do that, then they can wear their hair short as well because they both give the same look.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anon 3:39PM: What is "a face for short hair"? Also, I went from relaxed hair that hung down my back to a TWA 14 years ago and never blinked. I got more compliments with super-short hair than I ever got with long and I have heard the same from many other naturals. Just my opinion, but I think more transitioners should get over their fears and just do it! There are so many great styles for all lengths and textures.

  • Duval says:

    Thanks for this. Suggesting that wearing my hair the way it grows out of my scalp is flat out insulting. Big ups for this post for people who want more options.

    Because of major shrinkage (1 inch as-is, 7 stretched) I have been wearing a twa for these first two years of being natural and I get more compliments on my hair now than with my thick healthy shoulder length relaxed hair. I graduated from top business schools, was an investment banker, and now work for a conservative hospital. It's about how you put yourself together. I rock my pearls and structured skirts and dresses and look as sharp and professional as anyone else in the room. The twa stage can be more boring at times but professional hair has NOTHING to do with length or texture.

  • Anonymous says:

    She's beautiful and I just checked her tutorials out youtube and I loved it! Thanks for posting this Nikki now I have more options ( =

  • Anonymous says:

    This style looks great on her, she has the face for short hair. Most transitioners don't want to rock a TWA not cause of NOT looking professional but 'cause they aren't use to wearing extremely short hair. Its difficult to go from shoulder length hair or longer to a inch of hair over night.

  • Anonymous says:

    The 'not professional' argument simply doesn't wash anymore. Just look at the advertising aimed at professional, middle class people. The black women are all sporting natural hair. At least they do in my country (Canada)

  • T Monique says:

    Her hair is gorgeous in each photo. I would love to know where she gets her earrings. Im jealous of her long neck. She looks so elegant.

  • Anonymous says:

    Love it! So many transitioning naturals avoid the BC and claim a TWA isn't versatile and won't work in a "professional" workplace. Wrong!

  • Jamila Reddy says:

    What a great post! She looks fabulous in each and every one of these photos. Thanks for sharing, Nikki!

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