The Different Stages Of Kinky Coily Natural Hair Growth

Kinky and Coily hair, aka type 3 and 4 hair, grows in different lengths and stages.  If you are in the TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro), you might be excited and eager to know what stage of hair growth you can look forward to.
As a newbie natural, you may also be curious on the right terms to label each hair growth stage for natural kinky or coily hair.
Kinky Coily hair has four main hair growth stages:
  1. TWA – The Teeny Weeny Afro.
  2. TA – The Teeny Afro
  3. Afro –
  4. BA – The Big Afro

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THE TWA (TEENY WEENY AFRO) STAGE

This is the easiest hair stage.  If you big chopped, expect this stage in years 1-2 of your natural hair jurney.

Hair care in this stage is pretty simple and straight forward.

In this hair stage, I was cowashing every other day, deep conditioning twice a week.  Detangling was a breeze, there was minimal breakage & shedding, my hairstyles were very simple – comb and go.

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The style below was my very 1st Twist-Out Attempt.  By the time this picture was taken, I was already approaching the next stage, the TA (Teeny Afro) stage.

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THE TA (TEENY AFRO) STAGE

This stage is known as the awkward stage or terrible twos stage……..with good reason too.  The TA stage occurs between Years 2-3 of your hair journey.

At this stage, you are still learning about your true hair texture and whether your hair strands are are coarse or fine.  The relationship between you and your hair is a little awkward as you are unsure of what techniques or products are best suited for your hair  so you buy everything, spending lots of money on the newest product promising to give awesome hair definition or curl hang.  I call this also the Product Junky stage – you will probably spend a lot of money on products for your hair at this stage, with most of them going to waste and you discover that a lot of them are unsuitable for your hair.

Hairstyles in this stage are a real headache. Your hair is too long to just wash, comb and go….and too short to rock a decent twist-out, braid-out or even roller set.

During this stage, I was cowashing 3-4 times a week, deep conditioning 2ce a week.  I definitely through the product junky stage, buying the next big thing that got the hair forums humming with excitement.  Styling my hair was difficult so I lived in finger coil outs or corn row outs.  On the positive side, I was enjoying being able to enhance my natural curl definition using coil-outs and similar hairstyles.  I was also able to use henna, henna-indigo on my hair – as my hair was still quite short, the henna process wasn’t too tiring or time consuming.  As my hair got longer, I used henna treatments less and less for the sheer amount of work involved and the length of time it took for my hair to dry….this happened in the Afro stage.

A main positive of this stage was the many firsts I encountered:  for the first time, I could pull my hair in a puff;  for the time, I could wear a semi-decent twist-out or bantu knot-out.

Sill, in my opinion, the TA hair stage was the most headache-inducing stage of my hair journey.

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Below is my 1st puff, accessorised with a headband, decorated with a bow.

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THE AFRO STAGE
To me, this is the most easy going hair stage.   Expect this in Years 4 & 5.  I consider it similar to the 2nd trimester in pregnancy.  The TA or awkward stage is like the 1st Trimester – you & yourhair are getting used to all the changes, techniques and products.  Inevitably, it will be an emotional, stressful time.
In the Big Afro, it’s all about maintaining the hair.  Just like the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, everything is tiring and stressful.  Washing the hair takes too long, feeding the hair (ie product use) takes too much and on and on it goes.
In the afro stage, you can rock practically any natural hair style decently.  Washing and drying your hair isn’t too time consuming and stressful.  You know what works on your hair and you have a staple stash of products you use regularly.
Most people, myself include, simply remain and enjoy this stage.  When my hair progressed to the Big Afro stage (see below), I didn’t like it.  It was a real handful……it took too long to dry.  I keep my hair in the Afro stage by regular trims.
I am currently in the Afro stage. My hair is too long for henna sessions which are extremely time-consuming.  I use Bigen to colour my hair now. I wash twice a week and deep condition every 2 weeks.  I know what products work on my hair and tend to stick with them.  I also have my preferred hairstyles that I wear regularly.
I am not interested in curl definition as I have discovered that healthy hair and the use of the right products will enhance my own curl definition naturally.  I don’t care about growing my hair because I am happy with its current length.  All I focus on right now is keeping my hair and scalp healthy.
My favourite part about this stage was my hair finally having some hang-time as you can see below.  However, these days, due to my distaste for hair hanging in front of my eyes, I simply pull the front back with a headband, as shown in the last picture.
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hang time on my natural hair – woo hoo!
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THE BA (BIG AFRO) STAGE

Expect this from Year 5 onwards in your hair journey.  Also prepare to spend more money….not really buying new products, but in buying increasing amounts of your favourite product.  Your ever growing hair will need more and more products.  You will dance with glee when you see a 2kg sized jar of your favourite hair product in the aisle.

Drying your hair naturally can take up to 2 days  and expect wash day to be a 36 hour affair.  If,in this hair stage, you are still experimenting with different styles on weekly basis, you are to be highly commended.  In this hair stage, you wo’t have time that.  You be grateful to have your hairstyle last at least 2 weeks.  You will probably live in puffs and buns…..the easiest styling options for your hair at this time.  You hair care will be a full time job….and you will probably need a 2nd job to buy all the products your hair will drink up thirstingly.

I don’ have any pictures of myself in this stage because, like I said above, once my hair hit this stage, I honestly couldn’t be bothered, so I snipped it off.  Also, I wasn’t comfortable with longer, shoulder grazing hair.  It was too hot, too itchy, too in my face.

If you still wish to proceed on to this stage, I wish you Godspeed. lol

For those interested in speeding up their hair growth and progression through the 4 stages, here are great techniques for growing your hair   and also  super effective hair growth products.

Thank you for reading.

 
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14 thoughts on “The Different Stages Of Kinky Coily Natural Hair Growth

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  4. I love this post :D it really helped me ! I just entered the Teeny Afro stage… lol it’s annoying but oh well. I am exited to reach the other stages ! :D

  5. Ive recently donated my Afro to locks of love. I don’t have curly hair but I want to grow my hair into a type 4 twa. Is there a type of product I should use, or is there no hope…… My sister said its possible but I’ll have to train my hair while its growing. Any suggestions??

  6. Mine is definitely at afro stage. I have a question though. Is it normal to have longer front hair than in the middle & at the back?

  7. I think your inch estimations are off. One of those pics is chime, and in that pic she had prob 15 -20 inches of hair.

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