How to REALLY take care of your TWA

I have a TWA (teenie weenie afro). I’ve had my TWA for some years now and sometimes, it still feels like I’m raising a newborn baby. The relationship’s been a special case of yin and yang. But over the years, I’ve learned to understand my hair’s personality, its temperaments, what makes it happy so that it’s not screeming at me first thing in the morning even before I wake up. Best of all, I’ve learned what my baby needs to grow healthy.

If you have a TWA like me, you probably already know that there’s a lot of information out there about all things ‘natural’ hair and TWAs. From YouTube to blogs and everything in between, someone in Japan, Brasil, Germany, the Caribbean, or Nigeria has some information or advice about how to care for your TWA. So yes, navigation the wealth of information out there can be a bit overwhelming for someone who’s just starting out—and even for some veterans like myself who still haven’t figured things out 100% yet.

I’m still learning, but I think I’ve got most of it under control. Here’s what I had to do to learn how to REALLY care for my TWA.How to REALLY take care of your natural hair_Mar18_2013

Lesson #1: What’s your problem?

No seriously, what’s the problem? Before you can start working towards making your TWA the healthiest thing it can be, you should figure out what your goal is for your TWA. What problem(s) are you having with your TWA? Is it breakage? Dryness? Lack of growth? Are you looking to go the organic route for your hair products? Find out what your TWA problem is and that’ll be a good starting point to figuring out what your hair needs.

I thought I was having all sorts of problems. My hair wasn’t growing. It looked beat up. Hard as a rock that I don’t know how I’ve managed not to break any combs til this day. But the real problem was dryness. My hair is extremely dry. And once I finally realized (and accepted) that, I started to look for solutions—healthy, organic solutions, which brings us to…

Lesson #2: What’s the word on the street?

Once you’ve figured out the kind of problem you’re dealing with, do some research to find out how you can fix #1. Like I already said above, there’re a lot of resources out there that can help you restore your hair to good health. But be careful not to get too carried away or be overwhelmed with what’s out there. Also, take every advice with a grain of salt because a solution that fixed the same problem for Sally may not work for you. Keeping in mind that every hair type is different will prevent any disappointment/discouragement if you don’t get the results you’re looking for.

I use organic and home remedies on my hair—and boy did I do a lot, and I mean A LOT, of research before I went 100% au naturale. And I keep the learning going. I researched organic, home remedies for clarifying my hair, shampooing, conditioning, and styling—solutions to prevent the extreme dryness. And this leads us to the next lesson…

Lesson #3: What’s your game plan?

If you’ve gone through lessons #s 1 and 2, your next step is to create a regimen, something that works for YOU. Even more so, something you can maintain for the long run. Taking care of TWAs isn’t a piece of cake so try not to slack off. You should keep a consistent routine that way you’re likely to get the result you’re looking for.

I have a regimen, actually two weekly routines that I use—one for when I leave my hair out in a fro and the other for when I have my hair in twists or other natural styles.  Again, the important thing about creating a regimen is to develop a plan that’s manageable and sustainable. And once you get into that routine, following it will become second nature. I enjoy my routines, for example twisting my hair. The time I set aside to twist my hair is my relaxing, ‘me time’. It’s my time to catch up on my favourite TV shows and movies, and stuff my face with healthy guilty-pleasure foods/snacks. That’s how I make it fun. And you should too so it doesn’t become dreadful work.

I’ve come a long way with my TWA that doesn’t grow much and can be as dry as a desert when it’s not taken care of properly. I hope this post helps you with whatever problem you’re having with your TWA.

Remember, walking the less traveled road of natural hair is not a fast race—it’s a journey. So don’t forget to stop and smell the roses along the way. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey.

~ by omonaij on March 17, 2013.

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