The Teeny Weeny Afro (TWA) has steadily been making its way up the preferred hairstyle ranks as of late, yet it is still not as widely received by the natural hair community as other elaborate hairstyles. Let’s be honest here – the TWA stage is not exactly perceived as a ‘fun’ period of one’s hair growth experience for no other reason than it often being seen as limiting one’s ability to be versatile with their hairstyles. The truth of the matter is that there is a world of possibilities when it comes to livening up one’s ‘crown and glory,’ while rocking a TWA. Who said short hair couldn’t be made to be fun and funky, sans all of the toil and drudgery that many believe its maintenance accompanies? Yes, it will require a keen eye and a bit of patience, in terms of its upkeep. Nonetheless, if you are willing to devote the time enough to transition into a natural state of hair, then transitioning through the shorter hair stages should be smooth sailing. There are many go-to style options from which to choose when it comes to sprucing up one’s TWA.
1) With a tinge of color:
Now, the color need not be shocking to the eye; your choice of color will more than likely reflect your personality’s uniquely defined palette. In other words, if your personality and wardrobe are demure, you more than likely wouldn’t be caught rolling out with a blonde ‘do. You would more than likely choose a color that runs along a spectrum of browns and bronzes. As well, for the naturalistas who are largely against the use of harsh chemicals such as dyes containing ammonia on their hair – they may opt for a natural hair-dyeing solution, namely, Henna. If Henna is not a preferred option, one can always go for a dye that is ammonia-free, such as Garnier Herbashine Color Crème With Bamboo Extract, which’ll do the job and offers 18 different shades for your choosing, save for the color only lasting for up to 28 washes.
2) Coiled Up:
Coils are a simple and easy way to achieve a fresh, new look. All you need to achieve this look is a fine-toothed, rat-tail comb, and some gel. You could use Taliah Waajid’s Black Earth product, Lock it Up. On freshly-washed hair, you would part your hair into tiny partitioned sections and proceed to apply gel to the root and upwards toward the ends of the hair. Then, gently rotate the fine-toothed comb in a clockwise motion from the bottom to the end of the hair. Allow the style to sit for about 45 minutes to an hour, in order for it to maintain its hold with the support of the gel. And, if you want to go a little funkier, you may choose to go for a ‘coil out’ look, which would just entail you gently pulling out the coils once dry. Your best bet would be to wrap your hair with a satin scarf when you sleep to make it possible for this style to last for many days.
3) Curled Up:
This is by far the quickest way to achieve an enhanced look with the TWA. The simple curl is the perfect solution for the woman-on-the-go, who has little-to-no time to fuss about what to do with her hair. For this one, you’ll simply need to sprinkle the hair with water and apply a curl enhancer of your choice. If you’re stuck on which curl enhancing product to use, you could try Shea Moisture’s Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancer Smoothie, especially if you have a weakness for that smelly, smelly good stuff. The trick to this ‘do is to continue to re-apply water to it, so as to keep the curls active.
4) Double-Strand Twists:
Double-strand twists are for those who don’t want a tight feel on their scalp, which is often caused by the pull of firm braids. Two-strand twists don’t require as much force, nor do they apply as much pressure to the scalp and hair follicles. The good part about twists is that with a little moisturizer applied before beginning the process – you should be good to go – unless of course you want to apply gel to ensure that the twists remain firmly in their place. You could also use coconut oil, argan oil or perhaps, even castor oil beforehand, for the purpose of allowing your hair to give off some sheen. The choice is yours to make, either way – the twists are a good style choice for any age range.
5) Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!:
The amount of accolades accessories deserve is indescribable with just the use of words: somehow, someway – they always seem to save the day. Whether we’re talking about transforming an outfit from drab to fab or simply for the purpose of adding an element of originality to an otherwise regular ol’ hair day – accessories are bound to do big things. For a teeny weeny afro, you may choose to accessorize with the aid of hair pins, flowers, scarves, jewels, or a simple headband may do the trick.
How do you jazz up your TWA?Nikki is an educator and writer, whose musings cover a wide range of topics incuding but, not limited to: politics, love, education and cultural criticism. You can follow her on Twitter @artculturemusic.