By Sasha Shae of

Hav­ing nat­ur­al hair comes in phas­es. For some of us there is the tran­si­tion, for some we’re deal­ing with medi­um length hair that doesn’t past the arm pits, for some it’s learn­ing to han­dle all that hair, because it’s so super long…but still there are those, like myself that have the TWA. Our hair is super short, but there are still things to be mind­ful of.

1. Moisturize Daily

Mois­ture is key in hair growth. You can’t expect hair to grow that has nev­er been want­ed. Think of your hair as a plant fiber, if that plant isn’t watered, it’s not growing..same with our hair. It needs some mois­ture. Good sources are water, aloe vera juice, or you can see some sug­ges­tions here. Also note that, while the TWA is the short­est hair of the bunch, it’s actu­al­ly the most dry. The mois­ture dis­si­pates very quick­ly, and there­fore we need to mois­tur­ize dai­ly to make sure our tress­es are feel­ing sup­ple.

2. You Still Need to Protect the Ends!

So yes, the main thing about hav­ing a TWA is not wor­ry­ing about it brush­ing against the col­lar of our shirts, or brush­ing against rough mate­ri­als, but friends, let’s face it…we ALL sleep! At night, a TWA rock­er can do so much dam­age. If you’re sleep­ing with­out pro­tect­ing your hair, watch out! You’ll soon see seri­ous dam­age. Point is, even though our hair is very short, we must keep it pro­tect­ed to keep the longevi­ty of it. See my post on pro­tect­ing the hair at nights

3. Co-Wash and Clarify Washes

No mat­ter what you do, you must cleanse your scalp and your hair. If you opt to do co-wash­es, then be sure to know you will also need to clar­i­fy wash once in a while. Co-wash­ing is great for the TWA because it can be a good source of mois­ture wash­ing for the hair. But with­out cau­tion and with too much over-use of con­di­tion­ers, you can expe­ri­ence build up. Build up on the scalp is nev­er good. So clar­i­fy the muck by using a sul­fate free sham­poo or you can try an ACV rinse. Check out how I wash my TWA

4. It can be Styled!

This is one of the TOP complaints/topics I get in regards to TWA. Peo­ple assume short hair means no style…huh? Says who? Last I checked, once there is hair, there is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to style! I recent­ly post­ed on some styles you can do if you have a TWA. Don’t ever lim­it your­self because your hair is super short. Mod­i­fy a style to meet your needs and make it work for you!

5. Accessorize It!

One of the quick­est and eas­i­est ways to make a TWA pop is by using acces­sories. Head­bands, bows, clips, scarves, rib­bons you name it. Go out and find the acces­so­ry lover in you, and add spice to your hair­styles. Even the most frizzi­est messi­est twist-out can look amaz­ing when you add the right piece to it. ;)

6. It will grow if you treat it right

Yup, every­thing comes down to good TLC..if you’re not lov­ing your hair, you think it will love itself? You’ve got to love your hair, despite the times when it gets rough. You have to treat it right. Treat­ing it right means, being gen­tle, being patient and also invest­ing qual­i­ty time and prac­tices to nur­ture good hair growth. Treat your hair to a nice deep treat­ment, see some awe­some sug­ges­tions here and also here.

7. Enjoy the Easy Days

One rea­son I will ALWAYS love the TWA phase, is the ease and quick­ness of doing my hair. Enjoy this phase while it lasts. Jump­ing in the show­er, wash­ing and then mois­tur­iz­ing seal­ing and out the door. It’s light­ning fast to do your hair, it’s easy to slap a clip in to jazz it up and then go! Once it gets longer, it requires more time, and more dis­ci­pline. Try mak­ing the most of these days.

EXTRA: As the win­ter approach­es, take extra cau­tion to pro­tect your hair from the harsh weath­er. Wear hats with silk/satin lin­ing and be sure to wear your hair up an away from your cloth­ing. Mois­ture will be essen­tial in these times. The air is dry, and your hair will suf­fer if not pro­tect­ed, so be sure to keep it tucked away, and do mois­tur­iz­ing often…avoiding prod­ucts with glyc­erin and heavy humec­tants if you’re in humid and extreme­ly dry areas.

Well those are my 7 tips for now. The TWA phase is a beau­ti­ful one. Don’t be a in a rush to get out of it. Think of this time as prepa­ra­tion for when it gets super long!

Ladies, how do you main­tain and style your TWA?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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22 Comments on "7 Tips for Maintaining a TWA"

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Alex Carter

I love the hair style.

I am 2 months nat­ur­al with a TWA. I use Wen hair care prod­ucts by Chaz Dean. I have tried a cou­ple styling prod­ucts, eco gel, Mizani, and KCCC and the Wen prod­ucts seem yield bet­ter results. I do most­ly wash and go’s using the Wen cleans­ing con­di­tion­er (Fig) to wash and as a leave in. Then I use the Wen hair oil to seal and with that I use the Wen styling crème and/or the Wen defin­ing paste to define my curls. Wen also have a re-moist con­di­tion­er for deep con­di­tion­ing and I deep con­di­tion every week. My hair/TWA… Read more »
I did my BC last night. And I’m so hap­py; no regrets or tears! I tran­si­tioned on acci­dent for 7 months. I run and this past sum­mer start­ed hav­ing hair issues after 1 1/2 years of run­ning and went to braids. As most of my run­ners have nat­ur­al hair sub­con­scious­ly, I guess I want­ed that expe­ri­ence; less expen­sive and less has­tle. So, after my sec­ond round of braids I choose to go nat­ur­al. I was going to do the tran­si­tion for anoth­er 6 months but hav­ing relaxed hair and nat­ur­al was a MONSTER! So, off with my hair I went.  Thanks… Read more »

Did my bc Decem­ber 7 2013 after 2 months tran­si­tion. Thanks for the tips


just noticed that all the links in this arti­cle dont work. the page should be just fyi.


I can’t twist my TWA. It is too short to twist and I just can­not manip­u­late the fine tooth comb to twist and for­get about the back. It’s 4C/D all over. My hair is the length of “snap of a fin­ger” and it looks ter­ri­ble with­in a few days after my styl­ist gives me the comb twist out. I can­not afford to go to the salon week­ly, so I’m back to braids but I do want to wear my own hair out. Sug­ges­tions?


Hey girl I feel ya. My hair is so short and I can’t twist it or do any­thing with it. you need to try a wash and go. I have been rock­ing that and it works. As for prod­ucts try Shea Mois­ture Curl Enhanc­ing Smooth­ie and Eco Styler Gel or As I am Gel. This works won­ders for my 4a hair. I actu­al­ly pre­fer the As I am Gel because it has no crunch. I hope this works for you.
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Hiya! I’ve done the big chop just about two weeks ago as my hair was get­ting thin­ner and would break so eas­i­ly with all the chem­i­cals and perms I would put in it to make it look ‘nice’. Your blog has loads of inter­est­ing insights on how to take care for my hair. To clar­i­fy my TWA, I’ve been using water and vine­gar to rinse out the prod­ucts I put in my hair every­day. But I’ve got no idea what a co-wash is… I also seal mois­ture with a com­bi­na­tion of oils and shea but­ter, how­ev­er I haven’t found a way… Read more »
Christine J.

Hel­lo there! For me, with adding mois­ture, I get a spray bot­tle and mix water, olive oil and a lit­tle bit of my favorite con­di­tion­er. That pro­vides plen­ty of mois­ture and con­di­tion­ing for me. Take care and be blessed!


OMG I’m so hap­py to see that you post­ed this last month. I did my BC on the 9 of march and then got braids the next day because I moved to Ger­many and it was cold. As of now I still have the braids in but I’m do anx­ious to take my hair down because I’m won­der­ing if it’s get­ting mois­tur­iz­er prop­er­ly. I’ve nev­er been nat­ur­al myself and want­ed some tips from you as to how things are going with your twa and what are you doing to it now

So.. as I was look­ing for some­where to post a ques­tion on some kind of nat­ur­al hair web­site for advice (which is hard by the way), I came across this arti­cle which I am very grate­ful for. I big chopped about three weeks ago today and I have been doing research every sin­gle day. It nev­er fails. This is my first time work­ing with my nat­ur­al hair EVER. I got a relax­er when I was 6 and before then, my mom of course was doing my hair so i’m ver­rrrry new to this. ANYWAY, most peo­ple don’t blog in detail… Read more »
I recent­ly did my sec­ond big chop like.. yes­ter­day lol (im at 1 to 1 1/2 inch­es of hair) and i did it not because of dam­age but because i real­ize that my obses­sion with long lengths (or lack there­of) was caus­ing me to focus less on oth­er things. I also real­ized that for me I real­ly want­ed long hair to feel val­i­dat­ed .. and that is not healthy. so now im back to a twa and i love it… and i feel more free and less wor­ried about whether Im 2 inch­es or 1 inch away from apl or… Read more »

Yep, I did the same thing in August because of the long hair obses­sion I was get­ting. I love my short hair, so easy and free­ing!


These are tips to grow out hair from a TWA rather than to main­tain it. If you keep your hair real­ly short, you don’t need to do so much — that’s the whole point of hav­ing short hair! (They’re still good tips, but wash­ing and mois­tur­is­ing are enough for TWA main­tainance.)


Hon­est­ly, all I do these days is wash and cow­ash my TWA and it’s still growing…so I agree that not much needs to be done to a TWA at all.

How­ev­er, I did not see many extra tips on here except acces­soriz­ing, styling, and cov­er­ing your hair at night. And the first two don’t even sound nec­es­sary to grow­ing out a TWA, so I don’t see how the tips entail doing a lot.

Ugonna Wosu

isn’t all this what you need to do to HAIR in gen­er­al?

Except for the last point, pret­ty much… I’ve worn the TWA off and on for years; my most recent BC was two years ago last month. When I think about it the only real dif­fer­ence between then and now in terms of care is TIME. More hair = more time. And I don’t even do a lot of com­pli­cat­ed styles, which would add even more time. Each stage of hair growth has its good and bad sides. Some women get so freaked out by hav­ing short hair that they miss the good stuff…namely, being able to just get up, do the do,… Read more »

Vivian Green is so love­ly. Did she ever go back to short hair?


I total­ly agree. She looks fab with that short hair. Her pic was one of those I came across when I was doing a search on big chops & TWAS.


I’ve been nat­ur­al for 12 years, and recent­ly big chopped due to hair dye dam­age. I’m lov­ing the short hair. Way less prod­uct. I have a nice sim­ple rou­tine that I hope I can con­tin­ue. Also, I feel like my hair is grow­ing like crazy and is soo soft since I’ve wet­ting my hair, adding some leave in, and seal­ing with shea dai­ly. My hair is so amaz­ing right now. Loves it!


Great arti­cle. I learned the “lack of mois­ture” prob­lem the hard way. I’m look­ing for­ward to big­ger hair and I’m rapid­ly approach­ing the “in-between” stage…of which I’m a lil’ All and all the TWA is an expe­ri­ence I’m glad I didn’t miss. I tried tran­si­tion­ing but it just became to much real quick, and the short­er hair has allowed me to learn my hair with­out deal­ing with tan­gling and mas­sive styling.


I total­ly agree with this arti­cle! I love short hair, so this TWA phase is okay with me! I want the big hair, but that will come in due time! I tran­si­tioned for 3 months, then BC’ed in March. I absolute­ly loved my TWA by the third month in! It was per­fect! I had even added some col­or! Now I have more full­ness so I wear it in more styles. The ‘Fro­Hawk’ is my ulti­mate go to style! But I con­sid­er cut­ting it back down quite often!