One thing every natural knows is that maintaining natural hair is not effortless, but it’s fun watching your hair grow after all the effort you’ve put in. What few people will mention is that each stage you enter comes with its own ups and downs, trials you will have to conquer and styles you will have to master in order to really enjoy your hair at whatever length it is at. For me, the TWA stage was the most effortless. Really. Then one winter morning I woke up and realised I’ve entered the “dreaded” awkward stage, “dreaded” because I suddenly wasn’t quite sure what exactly to do with my hair anymore. Styles like twist-outs which I loved started to look – you guessed it – awkward. So I gathered all the courage I needed and finally waved goodbye to twist-outs.
The thing about the awkward stage is that I find it to be very subjective. If I head on over to Youtube and search for styles for the awkward length, truth is I’ll find women going on about hair that is nowhere near close to mine in length. I’ve since realised that the term “awkward length” merely refers to the stage in between various lengths. In my case my hair is not short enough to be a TWA but it’s not exactly shoulder-length either. As a result, I’ve literally had to find my way through this stage, specifically styles that work best for my length. And boy did it take a bit of a while… But now that I’ve found styles I love, here are seven styles that you can rock confidently during the awkward length.
You can’t go wrong with the good ol’ afro. No, really. This is one style I’ve learned to love especially now, there ain’t nothing like a huge afro and the thing about it is this is one style that can never let you down. Shrinkage or stretched, it’s the one.
Afro puffs give me a school kid kind of vibe. Whether done with two puffs that make you look like the next member of the Powerpuff Girls or one funky fineapple, this is a great style for the awkward length and one of my go-to’s, especially on days when I don’t really feel like styling my hair and those nights when I’m just too lazy and can’t fathom the thought of twisting my hair before heading to bed.
Bantu knot outs
This is my favourite at the moment, mostly because they’re so quick and easy to do! To get the most out of my bantu knot outs, I usually start on damp hair and section my hair into several two-strand twists first and then proceed to twist each two-strand twist into a bantu knot. This helps keep my hair soft, whilst giving it extra volume once I unravel my bantu knots.
Flat twist outs
The thing about flat twists is that they require practice, especially if you have two left hands, but practice makes perfect and once you get the hang of it you can’t go wrong. Personally, I love the definition I get from this style and it has been one of my go-to styles literally since I started the awkward stage. The secret to a good flat twist out is styling it in the manner which you want your hair to fall once unravelled.
Perm rod sets/flexi rod sets/rollers
This also takes some practice if you’ve never done them before or you could even get them right on the first try if you follow instructions down to the tee. These styles usually require a setting lotion or gel, however, I find my spritz does the job just fine without leaving residue on my hair. I’ve also found that these styles work best on my hair when I start out on dry, stretched hair as it gives me more volume.