by Naeeri of Your Africa is Showing
When I originally started my natural journey, I had no idea how much I would learn about my hair. I’ve never been one of those girls who was good at sticking to a regimen, so I never even tried. I became a product junkie, buying every good product I researched, and just did my hair from day to day. Through much trial and error (and wasted time, hair, and money), I learned that my hair taught me what it needed, wanted, and very much created its own regimen!
What has my hair told me it likes?
* Shampoo once a week, co-wash at least twice a week and more frequently in the summer.
* Loves Henna!!! So now I Henna once a month.
* Deep condition – Basically whenever I wash, I DC, so I never NEED to, I just do.
* Finger detangle! – My hair has taught me if I keep a comb away, my hair will stay! =D I finger detangle my hair wet with lots of conditioner. Even with dry detangling I use my fingers so I can feel the tangles and separate them, instead of ripping through them. I use a comb sometimes, but very seldom.
* Shea butter – My hair loves Shea butter, especially when it is in an Afro or going to be twisted, it keeps my hair highly moisturized, soft, and sets twist-outs beautifully.
* Trim away Single Strand knots – I learned that I only get SSK’s on my tighter, coarser textures, so I check them often for SSK’s and snip! Snip! SNIP!
* Protective Styling -My hair loves to be twisted! Flat twists are my fave right now until my hair grows a little more and I can wear more 2 strand twist styles.
* Where’s my Satin bonnet?! – Don’t forget to protect your hair as you sleep, or even under hats.
I guess that’s the reggie my hair created for itself in a nutshell!
When growing out your TWA, you will need a low manipulation, high care regimen in order to grow your hair to its fullest potential. Pay attention to what you use and how your hair responds to it, this will help you to learn what your hair likes and what kinds of products it likes as well. Remember that the ends are the oldest parts of your hair, so pay special attention to keeping your ends healthy, that way you retain all or most of your length; Breakage and needing to trim often will greatly slow your growing process. Make sure your hair stays moisturized and if you are protective styling, make sure it is a style that won’t cause any damage to your hair/hairline.
If you are a new natural, take some time to play with your hair and learn what it likes and needs, as all hair is different.
Don’t expect something that works for everyone to work for you, it may not, but you will find something that will 🙂 Remember that just because your hair is short now, this little TWA will be your ends once your hair grows out so don’t go crazy dying, frying or not taking care of your hair just because it’s a TWA, trust me, you’ll pay for it later (obviously speaking from experience =x).
Good luck listening to it and creating your own TWA reggie!
I learned not to Bleach or dye my TWA. It taught me to always style it while its damp never comb or brush while dry, and always use natural products in my hair.
Faith, garbled triple nutrition conditioner is really good for cowashes!
Hello I'm 6 months in and I'm basically having trouble with what shampoos to use and what type of conditioner because my hair and scalp can get super dry also when I puck my. Hair out I get a lot of hair in my hand as well why is that ? And is there away for me to tighten up my fro shape because it kind of looks like my hair is growing longer in different places
WHAT IS A GOOD CONDITIONER TO USE FOR DAILY OR DC'NG ONCE A WEEK?
Hey, Charlotte 🙂 I wrote this post and i for one can tell you that if you want to grow your hair out, keeping it simple is the best thing. If i had started to care for my hair years ago (considering i did a big chop back in winter 08' but went back to relaxers myself), i could have been one of those ladies going for waistlength this year!!! I could even have been apl by now because i was well on my way to shoulder length and i had to chop because of color damage.
My point is, the less you do, the better! Dont go crazy tryna do everything! I have some great pointers on my blog and there's a world of info here on CN! start focusing on caring for your hair, doing the right things and using the right products and remember to always be patient 🙂
It's a new year, see how much hair you can grow from now until the end of the year with care 🙂
This is perfect timing. I have been a natural for two years and it seems my hair has not grown an incch. I was looking too hard and long at the creamy crack. BUT, I instead just blowed it out and realized, that straight isn't the answer. I guess I just need to sit back and listen to my hair and start all over again. I am a product junkie, but maybe I need to keep it simple as some others have said. Any more advice greatly appreciated. Thank God for CN's website!
Great article!! I have been stuck at the same length for 2 years to no avail, but 2011 will be my year.
I've finally learned to listen to my hair and it is definitely getting healthier and starting to grow.
-No protein at all, mineral oil, petroleum, coconut oil (my hair is picky..lol)
-hair loves henna (I henna every 2 weeks)
-co-wash weekly with a DC
-clarify hair once a month
-no finger combing..this contributed to all my breakage the first two years
-moisture, moisture, moisture
-trim as needed but not to often
Most of all, listen to your hair.
Hello Elaine, click top right the basics fot dictionary
I'm new to this site, and would love to have a guide for all the initials, such as TWA, BC, etc
*wash once a week (shampoo-conditioner-leave in- shea butter)
*DC every 2 weeks
*twists are ok every so often when my hair is tired of styling.
*Shea butter is love!
*Petrolatum is EVIL!!! on skin or hair.
*Pantene is evil. Makes hair fall out.
*finger combing is a no. Hair gets pulled out no matter how gentle. Wide toothed comb all the way!
*Keep It Simple Stoopid! Don't use a ton of products. My hair gets weighed down easily.
*Only trim when you need it. about every few months.
*Listen to your hair for updates. lol!
This post is really useful to me as I big chopped only 4 days ago. My hair is feeling very different from the time that I transitioned. It is good to get some guidance as to maintaining my TWA.
I'm a male going through the natural regimen to try something different and to support my female friends going natural and I'm in the TWA stage and it took a lot of trial and error but I finally think I have something that works. Just have to keep at it and find what works for you.
Also a freshman at Reading uni in England… I BC'd 2.5 months ago
My hair does not like shea butter atm 🙁 this sucks since I bought a tub of it
but i learned that it LOVESSS almond oil and castor oil…
but ever since I Bc'd my scalp itches a lot. especially when I lie on materials. Can anyone help?
Well, I BC'ed myself first week of Freshman year at TAMU, September 4, 2010. It wasn't that hard–there was a clear indication of where to cut between my permed hair and natural hair. Being only 3 months and a couple of weeks natural I haven't really learned what my hair likes/dislikes. Mainly because right after I BC'ed a wk later I got Kinky Twists by an African woman who braided WAAAAYYYY too tight. So, I ended up taking them down two weeks later. Afterwards I did wash and gos. From the wash and gos I learned:
-My hair LOVES Aussie Moist Conditioner
-My two inch two strand twists LOVES Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter–it leaves my hair SUPER moisturized for days
After that for a couple of weeks, I got cornrows for two weeks and I currently have Kinky Twists from a fellow natural. They are not tight all and she was VERY gentle.For my current style I learned:
-My hair grows AMAZINGLY fast in Kinky Twists about 2 inches of New Growth
-Bee Mine Moisturizing Daily Spritz soothes my scalp and keeps it moisturized better than my Elasta QP
-My hair is SUPER SOFT after I DC with Aussie Moist 3 min DC mixed with Wild Growth Hair Oil, castor, tea tree, olive, sesame, and peanut oils.
***Seeing as I've probably only worn my hair free-form for a total of 4 weeks in my 3 months of being natural–b/c of protective styles, I'm sure I still have a lot to learn about NappyNefertiti (which is what my mom calls my hair). I actually look forward to it with my granted wish list of BeeMine and SheaMoisture hair products, a Huetiful Hair Steamer, and Henna.
***ALSO, I am EXTREMELY LUCKY i think b/c my new natural hair stylist and I have yet to find ONE single strand knot or split end. YAY ME!
Tell me about it. Growing beautiful natural hair is not easy for some of us. I had beautiful, long locs and that was easy, but when it took the locs down, boyyyyyy I was clueless. I did not know I was clueless until I was left to my own defenses. There was definately a lot of trail and error. To be honest, I have been deloc'd for about 2 years now and I just really figured it out about 6 months ago. I learned that my hair loves water and DCs. My hair doesn't like certain types of shea butters. Saying listen to what your hair needs is one thing, knowing what to give it is a whole other dilemma. I just recently found out that my hair doesn't like too much product. It was weighing it down. I thought it was looking good. LOL until I received 3 compliments in one day and that was because the situation caused me to use less product. Little did I know. Now my products will last me much longer and I will be saving money. A win win situation.
i almost cried when reading this article simply because literally 7 minutes ago my head was under water with little broken and some long strands sliding away under the faucet. my seamless comb showed even more breakage of my now 2 1/2 month post BC. . I feel lost when it comes to my hair. I know now that i really just need to have a strict regimen and LISTEN to my hair. Growing beautiful natural hair is the hardest part. . something so many new naturals are not aware of. Thanks 🙂
I did a video on my TWA and my hair was about your length and so many women ridiculed me and said that it wasn't so I am thankful for this article as it brought me back to memory lane. My TWA taught me to:
– Not ever colour my hair again
– To show me off to the world how beautiful I can be with short hair
– To start a regimen and is see what my hair loves
– My TWA also taught me to LISTEN to what my hair needs
Great article… thank you
I needed to read this today. My little TWA is thirsty and I just don't know what to do.
Loved this! Thank you so much!
I am 2 1/2 months post BC and still trying to figure out what my hair likes/dislikes. When I first bc'd it was still warm outside and I was wearing wash-n-go's or spraying my hair with some water and oil mixture in the morning. I've noticed my hair has been shedding a lot within the last few weeks, so I started using castor oil in my regimen in hopes that it would help…not quite. Now I'm starting to do protective styling. I kept my hair in 2 strand twists over the holidays and today I have it in 2 french braids. I plan to keep my hair in protective styles more often. I hope this will help.
My TWA is telling me that less is more. I'm going to scale back what I deem to be unnecessary treatments.
Thanks for this!
Thanks so much for this post this is exactly what I needed to hear. I am four months in my twa stage and still trying to find my way. This really helps,thanks again!
Perfect timing on this post!!! Today is 1month post b/c and I am in love Sheila (remember the song "oh Sheila?" – I grew up in the 80's). I'm still trying to decide if co-washing more then poo-washing is going to work for Sheila, my hair seems to feel and look better after a good poo. Sheila is fine and enjoys a little periodic protein to keep her strong and healthy – she ADORES being spritzs and shows me by curling up gracefully. With all that I've learned I still have more to figure out about my bff. Happy Growing!
This post was right on time! I am three months post-chop (hehe makes me think of pork chop), and here's what I've learned thus far:
***My hair is dry and needs lots of moisture.
***I only need shampoo when I feel gook on my scalp.
***My fingers make a perfect comb for my hair.
***My hair doesn't like too much protein.
***Deep treatments don't do much if my ends are scraggly and overdue for a trim.
***Shea butter + twists = ultimate moisture retention.
***Stretching my hair (drying in twists) is a great way to retain moisture and avoid tangles.
***Styling options are only as limited as your imagination.