Oh how cute you are

My tee­ny wee­ny afro

But please grow out soon

Model Nikia Phoenix
Mod­el Nikia Phoenix

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.

colored TWA_natural hair

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?


Elle is the edi­tor and cre­ative direc­tor of the YouTube chan­nel and blog, Quest for the Per­fect Curl at www.questfortheperfectcurl.com. Her chan­nel focus­es on nat­ur­al hair, beau­ty, and fit­ness. She loves prod­ucts that smell like dessert, yoga, and glit­ter. Fol­low her @qftpc.

Leave a Reply

7 Comments on "7 Advantages TWA Wearers Have Over Naturals With Long Hair"

Notify of

I had my hair cut into a short taper 4 weeks ago & I love it. I’m over long hair for good. I can do wng in 15 mins, i can rinse or cow­ash every­day & now my face is vis­i­ble instead of a big cloud of hair


I think twa is beau­ti­ful. Very sassy. My mom and a lot of my rel­a­tives who are old­er rel­a­tives wear them.

Reina Benoir

I find that those drain traps with the lit­tle fin­gers on it do a great job of keep­ing hair out of the drain and cuts down on the need for liq­uid plumbr.


I don’t usu­al­ly talk up any prod­ucts but I do like that one. I find them hard to find offline. The next time I see them I plan to grab a few.

Feel free to delete this if this is a dupli­cate. (I thought I put this out yes­ter­day)

Reina Benoir

If you get one of those show­er traps for the drain you don’t have to deal with the liq­uid plumbr stuff.


I’m not big on talk­ing up prod­ucts since these peo­ple aren’t pay­ing me to do it but I love mine. No more hair down the drain. It fits nice­ly in the drain and with all the teeth it catch­es it all.


I keep my hair short for the con­ve­nience and for most of the rea­sons list­ed minus color/bleaching.

Hav­ing recent­ly cut my almost-APL most­ly-4b hair down to a tapered ‘fro, and then hav­ing cut the taper down even low­er last week (think semi-under­cut), I’m going to cosign ALL of this, espe­cial­ly #2. I’ve nev­er for­got­ten that first moment after my first BC (20 years ago next month!) when I real­ized that I no longer had to fear water, and that I could wet my hair every sin­gle day with­out any major con­se­quences. It was and is HUGE…and for that rea­son I have always been a fan of the WNG. As far as I’m con­cerned, and in my hum­ble… Read more »