The TWA Stage

Here’s our Movember “Fun Fact”, to raise awareness on men’s health:

Warning signs of Testicular Cancer:

-A hard, pea sized lump on the testicle
-Feeling of heaviness in the testicle
-Enlargement of testicle
-A dull ache in the testicle
-Sudden accumulation of fluid in the testicle
-Lower back pain

-Source: Cancer society of Zimbabwe

Where are all my TWA ladies at!! This post is for you!

I started out my natural hair journey with a big chop (brush cut here in Zimbabwe), and spent a good three months with it under a wig, because I had no idea what to do with it. I’m so shocked my hair didn’t rebel and fall off in frustration. My confusion with my TWA stage was, I’d look for videos on YouTube, and these were the “TWA”s I’d find:

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash
Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash
Photo by Caique Silva on Unsplash

I didn’t have the foggiest idea what to do with my brush cut when all I saw were full afros, so under the wig it went. Now that I am past that stage, and tackling new challenges, I think I have learnt enough about my hair to know what to do with it, if I decide to big chop again.

So here we go: How to Maintain your hair at TWA Stage:

From what I discovered in the Natural hair community, those are TWAs, I didn’t know it back then, cause I was still new. The ones below are also TWAs:

Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash
Picture Credit: MaCoupsy (long story)
We call these bush locks, or nyangarara. Pic: The Quarter Wife

And of course, the famous brush cut. Is the maintenance the same? Heck yes!!! I know that now, but when you’re new to natural hair, and you see “part your hair into sections”, it gets annoying because you wonder: What sections?

Anyway, I digress. How to maintain your TWA!

Start Simple
If you watch a lot of natural hair YouTubers, you would be justified if you think that natural hair maintenance is overwhelming and maybe not even worth the effort. It isn’t. All you need to know is to start simple, and work from there. Get yourself a good shampoo (preferably sulphate-free), conditioner and little spray bottle which you can use to dampen your hair when necessary. When you get those basics down, then you can move on to the fancier things.

Do not wash it every day!
I went to boarding school, and in the 4 years of having my TWA, I would wash it every day, without fail. I know now that it is a bad idea. Natural hair is naturally dry because of the coils and kinks, so the scalp sebum doesn’t reach the full extent of the hair. Because of that, washing everyday will strip your hair of the natural oils that it does have.

How about if you have dandruff, you ask? If you have dandruff, chances are you are one of the lucky ladies who have real oily scalp, and the dandruff is a manifestation of that. Our body works with feedback mechanisms, so if you wash your hair everyday, again, it’ll say to itself, “Guys, that oil keeps disappearing, we need to make more oil” Then your scalp gets more oily, and you get more dandruff.

Start by washing it once a week. Twice a week here and there. Let your twa maintenance be the foundation of your natural haircare before it reaches greater lengths.

Wash and condition Always!
Think of shampooing your hair as washing your body. You don’t just wash your body, then go out the house! Especially if you’re like me, you will be ashy! (unoita shena in Shona). You take a bath/shower, then you put on lotion. So it is with shampooing, never do it in isolation. Shampoo, no matter how mild, is designed to strip your hair of oils and make it squeaky clean, so you have a clean slate where you can moisturise. If you shampoo only your hair will dry up. Conditioner is your hair’s “lotion”, replacing and locking in the moisture.

Manipulate your hair when it is Damp
Never ever comb, style, oil your hair dry! Our hair is more fragile than other types, and will break if not treated well. Spritz your hair lightly till it’s damp, and then you can manipulate it with less breakage.

Enjoy the Journey!!
Whether you decide to keep it short, or you’re growing it out, enjoy it! It is your hair, and whatever curl pattern it is, it is beautiful and easy to manage, once you understand the basics of our hair. I used to think my hair was tough and unmanageable, but once I got the hang of it, I realised that with a lot of love and care, it is easy!

How was your big chop adventure? Did you struggle with maintenance as well? I hope these tips will help you and others who want to big chop.

Until next time… your Quarter Wife.

2 thoughts on “The TWA Stage

  1. I loved this post! Let me point out the things I had no idea about that I just learnt from reading this:
    1. Don’t wash your hair everyday. Thankfully I already don’t because I really am lazy the whole process drains me BUT I remember back in primary school I did wash it everyday with Geisha even! LOL
    2. Conditioner is the like lotion to the body. I’ve always done wash day religiously but I didn’t realise that was the importance of the conditioner.

    Now I’m wondering which stage my hair is at because it’s not yet a full blown afro and also not at the TWA stage…

    Thank you for the photo credit and for the informative read, I enjoyed it! 🙂


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