Growing Out A TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro): A Lesson in Patience

Growing Out A TWA: A Lesson in PatienceAll smiles on her last day of chemo back in April

A few years after my big chop, I never thought I’d be dealing with yet another TWA. But last year when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, I was faced with the ultimate lesson in patience. With chemotherapy treatment, I counted down the weeks — until I counted down to DONE. Then, in the few weeks following treatment, I patiently waited as the glow returned to her skin, the dark circles under her eyes disappeared, and her thick lashes returned. Now, I patiently wait as her skin discolorations subside, her scars fade, her dark nails grow out…. and her luscious curls grow back. The final signs that our lives are truly back to normal… (I still can’t believe that it’s true.)

The quality of being patient, is “the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like”.

But whether you are facing life’s challenges or dealing with the insecurities that can accompany a TWA, remember that it is a lesson in patience. defines the quality of being patient, as “the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like”.

Enjoy the Season. Enjoy Your TWA.

No matter how difficult your life circumstances may be, there is always something to smile about. Even when confined to a hospital room, we smiled, we laughed, we danced, we played. Being down doesn’t change your circumstances, so why not find joy?  Similarly, have fun with your TWA! If you love longer tresses, this may be your only time with short hair. Revel in the experience. Enjoy how your short hair plays up your facial features.  Play with headbands, head wraps, and jewelry. And enjoy the ease of a wash and go!

Don’t Complain

It is important to vent and voice your frustrations, but don’t stay stuck in that negative mindset.  For every complaint, you should be able to state at least one thing for which you are thankful.  Be positive. The season will pass faster that way.  The internet is a breeding ground for complaining and self-pity. Don’t fall victim. It is important to reach out for support, but don’t send out invitations for a pity party.

Celebrate Small Milestones

With every day that passes, you are one step closer to your ultimate goal. Celebrate every month. Celebrate every inch of growth.  Enjoy where you are in your journey.  Focus on how far you have come, rather than how far you have to go. Sometimes I look at pictures and wonder how long her hair would have been. But then I have to remind myself of how blessed she is — she’s here and she’s thriving.  Her once see-through sprouts of curls are now thick and curly. And with short hair, I can truly marvel at what a beautiful, little girl she is.

I’m a firm believer that hair is not just hair. In many ways, it is metaphorical of our life experiences.  Growing out a TWA is truly a journey. A journey that will prepare you for life’s greatest challenges. Be patient and enjoy every minute.

What have you learned from growing out your TWA?


4 thoughts on “Growing Out A TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro): A Lesson in Patience

  1. Nezeka

    Great article! I have relaxed hair and I’m really considering transitioning to natural hair. I have thick but short hair (about neck length). I can’t decide on whether I should transition or do the big chop. And how to style a TWA.

  2. Milah

    Very beautiful and inspiring. I did the big chop and am looking forward to My journey. And I’m ready for all it will bring emotion wise.


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