Not Quite Short But Not Quite Long: Styling Hair In The "In-Between" Phase

I recently had a friend hit me up on Facebook, asking for details about my NYE hair style. She said, "Please tell me how you get your hair like you have in your current profile pic? I'm looking for my options for natural hair styles. My hair is much shorter so it may not look so fro-fabulous, but I'm willing to try." That took me back to the days when my hair was much shorter than it is now, and the constant thoughts of "What am I going to do with it today?" As I've mentioned before, I transitioned to natural hair for one year, then did my big chop in August of 2008. My hair was the shortest it had ever been, and I had no clue how to style it. My favourite online resource was Fotki, a photography site where I found a ton of naturalistas congregating and sharing their hair regimens and styles. I quickly created an account and joined the network of women documenting their journeys from big chops and beyond. For women who did the ultimate big chop, I heard from many of them that things get a bit frustrating when they start to gain a bit of length. I took some time to look back at my hair in those early days, and thought to post some of those photos here for anyone who needs some inspiration. If your hair is not really short, but not really long - this post is for you!

(click photos to enlarge)

What were my favourite products back in the early days? I used Pantene Pro-V's Relaxed & Natural conditioner, Queen Helene's conditioner, Aussie's 3-Minute Miracle, Elasta QP Mango leave-in conditioner, Ramoni leave-in conditioner (mixed with extra virgin olive oil aka EVOO), Organics Lock & Twist Gel, IC Fantasia Gel, and Kinky Curly Curling Custard. Yeah, I was a bit of a product junkie! I've simplified a lot since then, but I don't think there's anything wrong with new naturals indulging in product overload - it's part of the learning process.

Patience is another part of the in-between phase. Once I started focusing on the health of my hair versus the length of my hair, I began to enjoy the whole journey even more. Now that my hair has grown, I look back and realize that certain styles actually looked better then than now! Sometimes the quest for long hair is overrated - if that's your goal, then by all means, go for it! Just don't forget to enjoy where you are right now. Natural hair lends itself well to many different style options, so try them all! Twist-outs, braid-outs, coil-outs - do them on wet hair, do them on dry hair, do them on lightly blow-dried hair, do them big or small. Wash n' gos, careful flat ironing...the options are endless! Get creative and enjoy!

Are you smack dab in the middle of this "in-between" phase right now? Are you enjoying it, or are you waiting for more length? If you have any style or product tips that have worked for you, let us know!

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