NATURAL HAIR JOURNEY: THAT INBETWEEN LENGTH

By Hadassah Agbaps - July 28, 2013

That teenage fro
Hi people!
What's been on?! Hope you gave your fabulous selves a treat spiritually and physically?
I'd love to know your secrets for staying fabulous in these busy times...I can't keep sharing mine all the time, y'know!!!

This weekend, I treated myself to spiritual cleansing and discovered I still had a lot to learn about absolutely loving myself and others (even when I'd rather *bang bang blow off smoke* some peeps... lol!).

To top it off, I did a bit of yoga (I can finally bend my waist) , a secret deep conditioning treatment for my hair and skin (not going to spill until y'all do) , then out for mani and pedi (got my toenails painted gold) and a bit of retail therapy with my sis (new products y'all!) and then capped it all off with dinner .
I think I'm revved up for the week ahead!


So, nothing about hair???......... absolutely..... NOT..... there'd always be something about hair!

I noticed while out for retail therapy, a lot of new naturals with "that in between length of hair" where you can't really put it all in a bun and it's too long for a teeny weeny afro.

My dears, I've been there twice.... no three times!
The first time I was in JS2. I was 13. The original teen right?!
That's was the biggest big chop of my life because my hair was healthy, long, full... everything!

I can't really remember why I had to cut it (I've blocked it out)....it wasn't a school thing...in fact low cuts on girls wasn't really encouraged by school admin.....
Anyway, my hair was long one day of school and short the next day!
I hated it at first but then loved how it curled up when it was wet and I began to like it.
I'd wet it every morning before school,pat it down and leave it to dry without disturbing the curls.
I'd finally begun to accept my TWA (teeny weeny afro) when about some time later, my hair grew to "that in between length". I didn't really notice until my French teacher said,
'Young lady, you had better make up your mind. Are you keeping your hair short or are you growing it out long?
If short, you're due for a trim. If long, you had better braid your hair before coming to school tomorrow!
'

I was confused. I never thought I had to decide so soon... if at all. I just thought I'd rock it until it was long enough to braid.
I told my mum and she was like she since she couldn't find a braider on such short notice, she'd have to cut it low again.
When she saw the look on my face, she decided to thread it!

The final look was something like this....


 I couldn't smile broadly! My mum did her best to "catch" every strand of "in between" hair.
First my brother laughed at me, then my sisters, then my dad, then the gateman, then the neighbors and on and on.
It drew a lot of laughter (and jokes) from my mates and teachers (even the French teacher).
After being thoroughly embarrassed, I finally saw the funny side and laughed at myself (when my hair loosened up a bit).... what else could I do?!

So I think I understand how annoying "that in between" stage of natural hair growth after the big chop can be!
As I grew older and became responsible for my own big chop and the subsequent "in between" stage, I learnt how to deal with it.
Here's what I did

1. HIDE IT
Yes, I did it. I hid my "in between" natural hair.
I hid it under weaves, I hid it under box braids, I hid it under Ghana weaving. I hid it under wigs.
No one except my roommate and sisters knew my hair was short.

Please, naturalistas...don't shoot me yet!
I can explain!

I didn't have enough info then as I have now.
I didn't know I could do coil outs, funky mohawks.... heck... there wasn't any internet then and all the short hairstyles in the magazines were for relaxed hair...so what could I do?

The only option then was "didi" aka "hannu biyu" aka "two hands " and I did that a lot too.
There's this belief here in Nigeria that it grows out hair. It's a great protective style!

The good thing was, I didn't have the opportunity to be frustrated with that "in between length" of natural hair growth and taking down the extensions was as easy as "chop it off to my short length and loosen the rest". Much quicker than if I did it on longer hair.
Also I could easily do the "feathered short bob " hairstyle.
The bad news was that constantly braiding my hair wrecked havoc on my edges! So my hair grew but my edges didn't.
Now I know better to always keep my edges moisturised and protected with a satin scarf at night.
Thankfully, I still had my "3 weeks max" rule for extensions.

2. FLAUNT IT
Unfortunately (since I've passed twa stage), I've discovered lots of beautiful styles that work even better on that "in between length" so much so that I've been sorely tempted to chop off my hair again!

Do you know that the "in between length" of natural hair is the perfect length to rock a picked out afro without being too "out there" ?!
That's why it's the length of most afrocentric weaves sold in the market!

Other styles perfect for that enviable "in between length" are

- Fingercoils and coil outs ( I did this for Kay and she told me she's been getting a lot of compliments and questions from her boss, colleagues at work and even strangers! It's actually because of her length I was tempted to cut mine! )

- Mini twists and twist outs. The best results are gotten on wet, shrunken hair!  Yep, shrinkage is your friend!

- Half mast afros. Cornrow, flat twist or band the front (with a cute hair band), fluff out the back and you're good to go!

- Fro hawks. You can so get away with frohawks at this length. Longer hair would be too big and may be inappropriate for some places and it doesn't quite look fierce on shorter hair.
So never say never with that "in between length" and enjoy it while it lasts because pretty soon you'd have more hair to deal with! Lol!
Here's some pics I scored to get y'all going and if you're rocking that "in between length" and would love to share your hairstyle, send your pics to nappilynigeriangirl@gmail.com

Who knows how many naturalistas you'd inspire....(I may finally chop again) !!!!




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9 comments

  1. I can't even remember what I did with my hair at this length. Probably just left it out as a fro.

    http://berrydakara.blogspot.com

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  2. My weekend was like my most busiest. Went to work on saturday, On sundays after church, lot of visitors flocking in an out. By 5pm, i was off to church again, and i was among the last to leave church around 9pm. Got home and off to bed. No time for myself...SMH

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    Replies
    1. Oh boy! I got so tired just reading this so I can imagine how hectic the week is for you!! Phew!!!
      But that's the more reason to grab someone and force em to give you a massage.... Hehehe!!!

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    2. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...Hadassah, you aint nice o. Lolzzz

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  3. I think i belong to the in between lenght, what i do most is use a head band and put d back into a fro....

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  4. Yayy. I have "in between" hair and I've been thinking of what to do with it

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  5. God knws I've bin so frustrated with my "in between" hair nt untill u gave me d idea of twisting wen its wet n later untwisting. Amma rock deze styles frm nw on!

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    Replies
    1. I feel ya but you did a good job with your hair! I'm happy I was able to help.
      Twas fun styling you...and your hair was like candyfloss...a cyndycandyfloss :)

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