Hello everyone! Today, I’m writing about that awkward stage everyone goes through with their hair. I’ve been in the Awkward Stage for a few months now, and lemme tell ya, I’ll be glad when it’s over.
Let me start at the beginning of my hair journey before we dive into some tips…
I had lots of hair when I was a kid, until my mom shaved it all off! My stubborn, tender headed self hated getting detangled, so she did the only thing that made sense; now that I look back on it, I’m glad she did that because it gave me courage to do it myself later on in life. But we’re going too fast!
In 6th grade, I began relaxing my hair. My Nana was 100% against it, if I’m remembering correctly. At the time, I didn’t know why. I relaxed my hair for 7 years, until I went to college and quickly realized getting relaxers was WAY out of my budget, not to mention it was ruining my hair.
I began growing my hair back, but my curls were not the same. I looked silly no matter what I did to my hair!
Finally, I got a nice Big Chop and decided that I needed to teach myself how to work with my natural hair.
By this time, I had already started dating Matt. He loves my curls, and combined with the need to look cute (thanks, Ego), I found a nice lil haircut I liked. I even got some braids for the first time!!
The day after my best friend’s wedding (and the day after Matt proposed to me) I shaved all my hair off. I wanted a fresh start, because my hair was not curling like I felt it was supposed to. Who knew that three years later my curls would be thriving??
Of course, I went through awkward stages throughout those three years. Right now my hair is almost long enough to do the styles I want to do, but not quite. I figure if you have the strong urge to cut all your hair off, it’s in an awkward stage.
So that leads us into the topic of the day: what do you do when your hair is pissing you off? When it’s too long but too short? Let me give you some of my tried and true tips…
(Of course, I am not a professional. These are just my self-taught hair tips! Don’t be discouraged if they don’t work for you! Hopefully you can tweak these and make them work!)
Try A New Style
Is your hair long enough to do stuff with? You could try a new style! As soon as my hair was long enough, I started braiding it and putting it in different styles. The two braid part was my go-to for a while, once it got too long to wear out but too short to put in a full bun.
Hair not long enough for that? You could get a lil crazy and find a good wig to wear! I’ve never done it, but it’s super popular to find great quality wigs and wear them like you would real hair! I’ve seen people of all ages and backgrounds ball out in wigs, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t think you could pull it off because you totally can.
Don’t want to play the wig game? Get some bundles, gurrl! Black women especially wear box braids, feed-ins, goddess locs, you name it. Obviously, that is a cultural thing, and if you don’t think you should get extensions like that, don’t do it (cultural appropriation is a thing, y’all). That doesn’t bar you from wearing extensions, however. There’s plenty of salons that will help you find the right extensions for you!
Find Your Perfect Stylist and Get a Trim
If you feel like your ends could be starting to get a little coarse, go ahead and schedule a trim with your hair person. Trims are super, super important when it comes to the hair growing process, so don’t skip out on them! I try to get a trim at least twice a year, but most stylists I’ve been to suggest anywhere from four to six weeks (to maintain length) to four to six months (to encourage growth). I usually just wait until my hair starts to feel unfixably dry at the ends, but in theory, two to three times a year works perfect for me and my hair growth speed. Do what works best for you!
Say your hair is getting longer, but it’s looking a little goofy. You can always go to a stylist you trust to shape it up and make it look way better! If your hair is curly like mine, it’s easy to let it get into crazy broccoli head mode. My stylist knows exactly how to shape my hair to make it look nice and afro-y, just like I want it! She also knows I’m growing it out, so she encourages that by only trimming and shaping what needs to be trimmed and shaped, and nothing more.
Finding a stylist who knows your hair is so important! Between yourself and your stylist, they can make your hair look fantastic, no matter what length it is. The two of you combined can work some magic! I always steer clear of places like Great Clips because I’ve only heard bad things about the stylists there. That being said, if you trust your stylist, it doesn’t matter where you go. Shop around and find a stylist within your budget who is dedicated to making you look your best!
I get bored with my hair a lot. The easiest thing for me to do when I get bored is accessorize! I have headscarves and bobby pins and all sorts of headbands and such to throw in my hair when it’s looking a little blah. This is probably the easiest thing you can do with Awkward Hair because it doesn’t take long to do, and it’s temporary so you don’t have to commit to anything.
There are so many headwrap styles on Pinterest it’s not even funny, and even more ladies on YouTube willing to show you how to use your scarves to look cute. There’s no excuse! If you don’t know how to tie a scarf, you’ve got the whole world at your fingertips. Google is your best friend! I know I used Google for everything while I was beginning to learn how to do my own hair.
Get some fancy hair ties! Get those cute lil clips with butterflies on them! Hairbands keep awkward bang lengths at bay, as do bobby pins and hair clips! Trust me, buying the cheap stuff is better than just being frustrated with the state of your hair. I have plenty of hairbands and clips that cost me less than $1 that I use all the time. If my hair is too thick and it breaks? That’s fine, it only cost a dollar! Hair accessories make a huge difference in any hair journey.
If All Else Fails, Just Rock It
We all have Bad Hair Days. When your hair is at an awkward length, it can seem like everyday is a Bad Hair Day. If you’ve tried every trick up your sleeve and you still look crazy, just say “Fuck it” and let your hair do what it wants. I am a professional at this. My hair has a mind of its own sometimes, and some days the only thing I can do is just say “Fuck it” and pull it into a bun or a ponytail (or, er, a Bunny Butt…my curls make a ponytail look like a bunny tail…). There’s definitely power in letting your hair just do its thing.
Can’t bring yourself to go outside looking crazy? That brings us back to accessories! Wear a hat!
But honestly, try just getting your hair wet, letting it air-dry, and go about your day. You’ll be surprised at how many people compliment you. I get frustrated with my hair a lot, but the days I just let it do its thing are the days I get the most compliments. It’s strange, but it’s nice!
Of course, like I said in the beginning, I’m not a hair professional. These tips are just what I’ve learned over the past few years of wearing my hair Natural. Some of these tips won’t work for everyone, and some will! That’s the beauty of hair. Everyone is different, and our hair is a reflection of our unique beauty. Even if you’re bald! Even if you grow it long to the floor! Even if you’re somewhere in between! I love my hair, and every day is a new chance to learn something new about it. Try something new every once in a while, especially if you find yourself in an awkward length. You’ll be surprised at what your hair can do!
And if you’re a man reading this, especially if you’re a bald man…do something new with your facial hair! Just because you don’t have hair up top doesn’t mean you have to let your facial hair go crazy. I know plenty of men who have no hair up top, but have great beards (shout out to Matt, who is probably wondering why he read this all the way up to the end). I have endless love for a bald man with a great beard. Plenty of people do! Experiment with your facial hair, my guys. It’s just as fun, if not more, than playing around with the hair on your head.
That’s all I’ve got for today, y’all! Explore Pinterest, Google, and YouTube for great hair ideas. I don’t have any particular hair YouTubers I favor over the other, but I do have a Hair and Skin Pinterest, so check that out for ideas! I also follow people on Twitter with great hair, so you might see me retweet them sometimes. You can follow me there for blog updates as well! Thanks for reading, everyone!