No matter whether she is kinky curly or silky straight, most women have a collective disdain for the period of hair growth that is known as the “awkward stage.” The awkward stage usually occurs within a few months after a haircut and can last as long as a few years, depending on how short the hair was cut. This growing period is characterized by hair that is too short to be long and too long to be short. In some cases the hair may even be patchy or have uneven lengths all over the head.
All of these issues present styling challenges and the resulting hair styles may look…awkward.
For naturals, the awkward stage usually begins with the “big chop” and can last until the hair reaches at least shoulder length. Those who are transitioning have the added difficulty of mismatched textures and stringy ends.
This stage can be seen as both the best of times and the worst of times. The time immediately following the big chop is the best time to get to know your new hair. This may be the first time you have ever seen your real texture and it is a great time to learn about products and techniques. However, it is perceived to be the worst time due to lack of styling options. Many women miss this golden opportunity to embrace their new kinks and choose to use wigs and weaves until the hair is at a more manageable length.
In this blog we will arm you with the tools to create a fabulous and versatile ‘do using only 1 styling product and drinking straws.
The Fabulously Versatile Straw Set
The straw set was my go to style from the big chop until my hair was about ear length. What makes the straw set so versatile is that it will work for any length hair as long as there is enough to wrap around a straw. It is perfect for transitioning hair as it beautifully and undetectably blends straight ends with curly kinky roots resulting in less stress on the line of demarcation while giving the hair a natural looking curl pattern. A good straw set can last up to 4 weeks if protected at night with a satin scarf or bonnet making it a perfect (and chic) low manipulation style. Because of the tight curl pattern it is possible to use a light daily moisturizer without fear of reversion, and it is also heat and humidity safe.
To create this style you will need:
• Drinking straws: Yes, the sippy sippy kind. The size you need will be determined by your hairs length. 1” to 2” lengths can use regular sized drinking straws. Hair that is 2” or longer will need large diameter straws like the ones at McDonald’s (hint, hint).
• Bobby pins: To hold the straws in place.
• Gel: I prefer something with a soft flexible hold like ORS Lock and Twist Gel. Be sure to choose one that is not drying.
• Rat tail comb: For parting and sectioning.
The next items are optional but will make the job a lot easier:
• End papers: These will help to ensure that the ends wrap around the straws flat resulting in smoother ends. They also make it easier to wrap shorter hair
• Hooded dryer or bonnet attachment for blow dryer: To speed drying time.
• Spray bottle: To keep hair damp