5 Cute Styles for Naturals in the Awkward ‘In-Between’ Stage

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By Chinwe of Hair and Health

The “in-between” stage is infamous for being that period at which your natural hair is not exactly super short but also not long enough to achieve certain styles … hence, the name “in-between”.  The following tutorials are for naturals who are in that stage and have hit a styling rut:

1. Defined Straw Set

This style can be achieved with straws and your favorite setting product.  Start on freshly washed wet hair. 

Products used in this tutorial
Entwine Couture Lathering Hair Bath
Entwine Couture Creme Hair Rinse
Entwine Couture Exotique Buttercreme Hydrator
Entwine Couture Creme Jelle Styler
Straws
Bobby Pins
Silk Scarf
Entwine Total Perfection Argan Oil

2. Fro Hawk with Flat-Twisted Sides

For this edgy look, the hair is flat twisted on the sides and twisted in the center.  On the next day, the twists in the center are released to create this “fro” hawk.

Products used in this tutorial
Rat Tail Comb
Wide Tooth Comb
Metal Hair Clips
Shea Butter
Darcy’s Botanicals Sweet Cocoa Bean Curl Smoothing Cream
Bobby Pins

3. High Twisted Bun starting from a Puff

Your hair does not need to fit into a ponytail to create this bun.  Starting from a high puff, the loose hair is twisted and then morphed into a bun.

Products used in this tutorial
Pro-Line Barber Select Light Pomade
Goody Elastic Headband
Satin Scarf
Bobby Pins

4. Textured High Bun with Bangs Pinned Back

For this sophisticated look, start with your natural curls or coils in a ponytail leaving out the front section.  Then use a few bobby pins to pin down a few curls and the front section.

Products used in this tutorial
Bobby Pins
Hair Bungee
Lavender Oil
Eco Styler Gel

5. Bubble Curl Bun

This style is done on flat-ironed natural hair but can work on hair that has been stretched via rollers, banding, or blow drying.

Products used in this tutorial
Goody Elastic Headband
Bobby Pins

Ladies, will you try any of these styles?

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33 thoughts on “5 Cute Styles for Naturals in the Awkward ‘In-Between’ Stage

  1. Any tips on when it grows like an inch after being shaved? I look like my dad at the moment haha maybe the only thing to do is wear a pretty headscarf for now until it gets to a length long enough for the styles on this post?
    cheers for any replies

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    • During this stage I wore and still have tons of “skinny elastic headbands” (google that) in all different styles. Bows, without bows, little barrettes, anything sparkly. I would wash, condition, leave in condition and then slap on a cute headband and go. Headbands can be so versatile. Then can be cute or dramatic, think feather or very simple or formal, think tiara. I still rock headbands but with a bun. There are so many styles to choose from. You can spend a small fortune. Just make sure you wear them and buy ones that don’t leave you with a headache at the end of the day.

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    • Try gelled comb curls. They look like the straws somewhat, but smaller and more defined. They are great on 1-3 inches. Google for instructions, I’ve just seen pictures.

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    • @ Ellie, accessories hun, best way to make it through that phase is to accessorize yourself and wear confidence with pride. :) You can also use makeup to enhance the features of your face and draw attention to your face or your overall appearance instead of just your hair. You are a complete package remember its not just about the hair. Stay sweet xoxo

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      • Ladies just becausevyour hair is 4c doesn’t mean you cant rock styles like these and others. Just stretch your hair and play around. 4c doesn’t mean limitations. I gonna try that twist bun. That looks easy and low matinence.

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    • when will women get over hair type?! just because they have a different texture than you doesn’t mean it won’t work on your hair!

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      • Agreed. Maybe I’ll write a post about this. It saddens me when I hear 4c women say “It won’t work on my hair”. Try it out, at the very least. You’d be amazed or might even create something of your own. If I had that mentality my styling would be extremely limited.

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        • Please write a post or do a comparison photo or video showing 3 and 4 with the same style many styles work witb both the perm rod styles and curlformers styles

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  2. I love all three! Especially the fro hawk! But I am so into flat twisting and the twist and tuck! It has gotten me through the in between phase the fastest and the neatest!

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      • Thanks! It’s very simple!
        1. Part your hair in squares or rectangles
        2. Twist your hair like a two strand twist
        3. At the bas of the twist, tuck in under
        4. that’s it!
        It’s good because it’s low manipulation, if you suffer from hands in head syndrome your hair is out of sight. it’s super protective because your ends are out of sight as well. It stretches your hair,and when you take it down you have a curly fluffy fro!(see the after picture attached)

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    • It’s called the awkward stage because the hair is too “Short” to braid or twist but not that short to do anything else. I personally didn’t think it was a negative place to be in. I would just get the Eco styler gel, a cute flower nd slick my hair down like Josephine Baker. You have to be creative during this time!

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  3. Cute styles, but honestly, I feel like they could eventually lead to over manipulation. I tried keeping my own hair cute during this stage, but it was acting like a rebellious teen and I had split ends galore. So now I just twist my hair up, tuck away my ends and wear my Kurly Klips. No more splits. Also, I took a tip from Curly Nikki and moisturize with cocoa tree detangling ghee and seal with raw shea butter… My hair has never been so moisturized. I finally feel like I’ve found my hair’s holy grail. It only took like two years LOL. #thatnaturallife

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    • Awesome! You use Qhemet Biologics too? Coco Tree Detangling ghee is a natural’s best kept “secret” lol. Heck the entire QB line is. Not enough naturals know how amazing their products are. My hair’s length is more at the post awkward length stage (about 8-9 inches all over). I love wearing out styles, and my hair has retained a lot of length thanks to it being well moisturized, stretched, and (gently) detangled. I wear braid-outs and also curl formers sets that I comb through for a very huge fluffy fro. :)

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  4. I just wish I had the skills to do all these styles that are posted here on BGLH, other blogs, and Youtube. No matter what style I try, it almost always comes out looking so unpolished or often times it looks ugly. and other days I simply don’t know what to do with it. I don’t want to get my hair done at the salon every 2 weeks, but I’m starting to think that is the only way to have nice looking hair. Too many bad hair days make me hate my skills.

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  5. I am considering the first two styles especially the frohawk. I think I will do the straw set with bubble tea draws instead and the fro hawk with larg twist to give a nice textured look. No to all to all the rest my hair dislikes the use of elastics longer than a day. Plus buns lose there appeal for me after a day.

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  6. I love buns and all their variations. All you need is enough for a ponytail and from there you can make it look like you have as much or as little hair as you like.

    I wore straight twists all the way through, like, every stage lol I wasn’t very adventurous.

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  8. chinwe is it half suku and base that you’re calling fro-hawk? it’s alright. i don’t 3 to 5 though. they look way longer than the rest. ive been doing 2 since i was a young child. tried the middle section as bantu knot outs, loved it. not so much as twists though. They wouldn’t and just looked straight and pointy. did 1 too but i guess i used too many products. it was stiff. but i guess it wasn’t so bad because i got lots of compliments. anyways….

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