Hello there coily curly queen,
What a pleasure to be able to talk with you again after such a long while. how are you and how are you treating that hair of yours? Have you been keeping track of its growth? you may not realise it but that hair is growing but if you do not document the process through pictures and monthly measurements/length checks you will never know for sure. i did a little documentation of my own as its been a while, find the pictures here..
The stages of growth for our hair are quite a number and we (naturals) have a name for each stage ; The TRANSITIONING Stage, the BIG CHOP AKA BC is when you chop of all your permed hair leaving about 1 or two inches of hair to begin the natural journey, this is followed by the Teeny Weeny Afro stage(TWA) with 5 / 7 inches of hair, there’s also the CHIN length,SHOULDER length, BRA-STRAP length, MEDIUM lenght , WAIST lenght and the list goes on, as you can see my hair has almost reached my chin now so you could say that l’am at the chin length stage. what stage are you at now and how are you taking care of it?
Its important to know what stage you are and styles that are best suited for each, otherwise you could easily get frustrated trying out a style, method or regimen that your hair length is not suited for or has gone passed. it happened to me a lot, I didn’t know that there was an awkward stage and did not understand why my ‘wash and go’s looked different, I often compared with other naturals who by the way were passed my stage, how their hair seemed to fall and felt I wasn’t doing something right, that was until I found out about the ‘awkward stage’: stage between a teeny weeny afro and chin length, this stage requires one to make use of hair accessories, its not a very beautiful stage per se, it requires a lot of creativity to it pull off! Here goes the different stages….
The Transitioner or Transitioning :This is the process of growing out ones natural hair along with the permed hair for a period of time, it could take from 1-8 months but I wouldn’t advise going beyond 8months because of the damage it causes to the new growth, not saying its impossible, one will have to be extra careful to maintain both textures Curlie, Hair styles for this stage should be directed at blending of the two textures while protecting the new growth, it could also be quite annoying.
Suggested styles for this stage include : Bantu knot outs, twists-outs and buns.
Photos of a Transitioner and her hair.
Big Chop; This is when a curlie chops of all her permed hair to start afresh with about zero to 2 inches of hair, very easy to maintain your hair at this level, only need to keep it clean and moisturised.
Teeny Weeny Afro: The teeny weeny Afro is a welcome stage, here Curlie has at least 3-5 inches of hair to play with, you may begin to do finger twists, twist-outs, braid-outs , etc, but keep in mind this stage is sort a shortlived and after comes the awkward stage but fret not, just go out and get those hair bands, flowers, scarves and any other type of accessories you can find at the store, these could go a long way to ease your stress believe me.
Suggested styles for this stage include: mini puffs twist-outs, bantu knot-outs ,braid-outs, wash n go’s , etc…
The chin and shoulder length stage : This basically means you can put your whole hair in a bun, its longer and can therefore accommodate more styles and manipulation such as : mini pompadours, huge puffs, chunky twist-outs, twist and braid outs, Wash n go at this stage is very tricky, you could get those annoying fiery knots and detangling could become a dreaded thing, however cheer up Curlie it just means your hair is growing!
The Medium or Bra strap length: This is also known as the third, where your hair must have grown in length and volume, it can do what ever you want it to, but also has its disadvantages such as longer wash days and detangling hours, but its so worth it you may forget so l heard, lol.
The longer our hair is the more time and effort is needed to wash, detangle, and style it so be prepared Curlie Queen, I’m not considering the cost because that is so relative, I personally advocate 90% use of natural/home made product for washing as well conditioning.
In a nutshell Queen, its up to you to do your research, experiment and find out what works best for you and your hair at each stage of its growth rather than sit and whine about how its not acting like hers or hers, don’t forget your hair only works best for you.
Below is a picture I found at Natural hair rules page, showing the different stages;
Till my next post, which hopefully would not be too long from now, Have a great time with your hair this week!