This topic has been on my mind for quite some time... the dreaded "Awkward Stage" aka medium length hair stage. All of you long hair naturals know what I am talking about. Short hair naturals be prepared to embark on this stage. Ladies in this stage, well I feel your pain! You can get through it. Just hold on and you will be out of it in no time! Do not make the awkward stage your make or break stage in your journey to long natural hair!
I believe this stage is when a lot of naturals choose to either remain natural or go back to the perm (yes I said perm and not relaxer). Why? Well change can be hard and you already did the difficult thing of becoming natural and the short hair was a breeze. You also overcame the feelings of not feeling feminine enough with short hair (of course not everyone feels this). You may have also started to feel comfortable with seeing your real hair curl pattern and density. Now this?
Your hair is too short to do the styles you see on blogs, TV, or even YouTube, but it also is too short to just get up and go. So, your mind may wander back to the hair you were accustomed to, relaxed hair. It is not that relaxed hair was any easier, but you were used to it! You may reminisce about the first time your mother let you style your hair all by yourself. It was so easy and liberating. Of course, your mother still took care of the heavy lifting with relaxing your hair herself or you went to the beautician, but after that you were responsible for styling your hair. As for me, the first time I was tasked with relaxing my own hair came when I went to college and I rarely did that.
Rarely perming my hair and not having my mother around just made the decision not to perm ever again so much easier. The mid-length stage in the beginning of your journey, however, brings you back to the throws of your being an eight year old girl tasked with taking care of all of her hair needs, except you had to complete all of it. However, now you don't perm anymore and you don't have your mother or beautician there to help you! Maybe you do have a beautician to help you, but you still have to style your hair yourself. Oh the discomfort, the discomfort.
I am here to tell you that you can make it and be content during this stage. So ladies, here is what I did. I protective styled. I luckily had the natural hair community, which included my close friends to help me. They kept me in check when I wore those protective styles too much or too long. I also had my sibling and guy friends who would compliment me to death and ask to see my hair. They all loved me through it and well it made that awkward stage much easier to fly by. Right now I am back in the awkward stage again. I big chopped my hair again (third time) in December 2013, however I only big chopped the front part of my head. I also had to wean myself from being scissor happy (another discussion for another time), so I am back to the mid-length again. This time it is easier and I know for sure this too shall pass. I want to enjoy this mid-length hair--my naturally God given hair.