Oh how cute you are
My teeny weeny afro
But please grow out soon
I wrote that haiku a little after my “Big Chop,” years ago. It’s how I felt everyday about my TWA. However, that’s all it was – a feeling, because after the “Big Chop,” there is no turning back. Long and short term transitioners, for the most part, anticipate the day they are ready to snip off their relaxed ends and rock a TWA. But why? The TWA means many things: complete dedication to going natural, comfort with wearing your hair extremely short, and maybe getting in touch with your “roots,” so to speak, in more ways than one. During the 60s and 70s, the afro was viewed as a symbol of Black empowerment and rebellion, seen as a portrayal of pride, and demanded respect. You will never have the carefree ease of maintaining a style and looking fabulous as you will with a teeny weeny afro, so embrace it! TWAs are awesome for a number of reasons:
1. You don’t have to worry about your ends rubbing on your clothing: Unless you always wear hoods or hats (non-satin lined), your outfits really hold no power over your hair. When my hair got longer, I became more aware of the types of fabrics in my shirts and jackets, and focused more on sealing to protect my hair. With a TWA, I didn’t even notice.
2. Multi-day hair? Who cares: Even though I try to minimize my wash and style routine, it still takes significantly longer than when I had a TWA. I think to wash and style my short hair took maybe…15 minutes compared to around an hour now. I never cared about multi-day hair or not having the time to style and dry my wash and go, because my wet hair wasn’t dripping all over my clothes and back. That was absolutely the life!! Also, if your product mix doesn’t work out, it takes no time to hop back in the shower and rinse, then try again.
3. Cleansing your scalp is SO much easier: I mean, your scalp is right there! I can’t even tell you all how many times that I hopped out the shower when my hair started growing out and realized that I had totally failed to cleanse my roots and scalp. With a TWA, you can give your scalp a quick massage in the shower and not miss a ton of spots, which results in needing to repeat cleansing (more time tacked onto the routine, bleh).
4. You spend less money on products: Obviously, you use more product the longer your hair gets. I remember when even my rinse out conditioners lasted for what felt like forever, and now a 8oz bottle might last me a month even if I only use it once a week. Great if you have PJ tendencies, not so great for your wallet, especially if you use more indie products.
5. Detangling is a BREEZE: My TWA started out at an inch of hair. How tangled can an inch of hair really get?! Awhile ago, a friend told me that they hadn’t detangled their hair in over a month and it was probably about four inches long. I was helping with products and offered to detangle it, but I was a little scared — turns out, it took me less than five minutes! Can’t lie, I was a little jealous.
6. You’re saving your shower drain from a life of pain: If any of you came to visit me, I wouldn’t even let you see my shower. Seriously, I have a Liquid Plumbr snake in there as I type and I fight a constant battle of getting the hair mixed with conditioner out (around every two weeks it goes haywire again). I never had this issue with a TWA and miss it. You also don’t have to worry about going on vacation with friends and being the person leaving the huge ball of hair in the shower.
7. You’re free to play with color without worrying about long term damage: When you only have a few inches of hair, having to cut out color damage if you get too bleach happy may set you back a few months instead of years. I wish that I had played more with color when my hair was shorter instead of fearing permanent color and bleach now.
Now don’t get me wrong, longer hair is great too — I love the versatility I have with my hair now and giant buns make me super happy. But still, I sometimes reflect on having a TWA and I want to cut it back down, bleach it, and change the color every other week. If you have a TWA, appreciate it now — you may miss it when it’s gone!
What are some other benefits of having a TWA?