With the rise of social media influencers and YouTubers, there has never been more pressure to flaunt long natural hair. It’s almost like a shortcut to rise through the ranks of fame and popularity.
When you think about it, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean most of us started our natural hair journeys hoping to achieve long healthy hair overnight (read in five years or less). This was before we found out that genetics play a major role in determining hair growth. The rest of us are left with following a consistent and dedicated healthy hair regimen to achieve our hair goals.
But that’s just by the way.
Now with these people all up in our faces all day, every day, it can be quite tempting to grow your natural hair in stealth mode. This is a common practice among celebrities especially here in Nigeria. One day, they’re wearing long flowing wigs and then boom! a selfie with their luscious natural hair. Then you keep wondering, how come? It doesn’t correlate. What we didn’t know was that under those weaves and wigs, they were quietly nurturing their natural hair until it was Instagram worthy.
Again, that is not necessarily a wrong approach because I am personally currently on a protective style regimen in an attempt to get my hair out of a growth plateau. This means that I’m in and out of protective styles.
But the problem with this approach of waiting till you have reached a sustainable length is that you miss out on all the fun you could have had with your hair.
As much as we want long natural hair, before anything else, a woman’s hair is an expression of herself. That’s why you see a lot of women that are adventurous with their hair. They play with colors, shapes and sizes. It’s their way of expressing themselves. Natural hair is supposed to be a new adventure. (Forget that it was once a fad.)
But then if you decide to grow your hair past the TWA and the Awkward Length straight up to a Mini Fro, here are all the things you’re gonna miss:
- You’re gonna miss having an actual relationship with your natural hair. Yes, it is that serious. It is during those nurturing stages that you begin to understand your hair. What kind of products it likes, what it absolutely cannot stand, etc. If you skip the struggle now, you will meet it in front. (in a complete Nigerian accent).
- You’re gonna miss exploring the various styling options available with natural hair. During our relaxed days, the number of styles that we could do was somewhat limited but with natural hair, the options are freaking unlimited. I mean you could have a full afro today and tomorrow you can decide to go for a silk press if you miss the straight hair. And then all the styles in between? Damn girl! That’s a lot to explore!
- You’re gonna miss the progress and transformation. Of course, you can actually see that your hair is growing when you take down your weave but it can’t compare to when you watch it week in, week out painstakingly. Before now, we all used to be obsessed with length checks because we wanted to see the results of all our efforts but thank God for growth.(in the literal and figurative sense).
As much as I believe it’s important to find out what works for you, wouldn’t it be great to see more YouTubers with TWA? If you know anyone, please share them in the comment section. In the meantime, enjoy this video by one of my personal faves, @Chiziduru, whose natural hair is still in the awkward length.