Growing Curly Hair Through The Awkward Stage

In Educate by El Rizado29 Comments

You Shall Not Frizz!

We all know growing out your hair is a struggle. It’s a long, tedious process that requires attention and thought. But growing out curly hair takes the awkward stage to DEFCON 7.

The Longhairs have covered a lot of ground about the awkward stage, but there is something especially difficult about growing out curly hair. Whether you need a few practical tips or just a confidence boost to get you through that atrocious curly growth phase, here I’ve shared some of the best secrets I learned while growing out my curly hair.


Accepting It

There are no shortcuts to your end goal, so you just have to accept that you are gonna look like Bozo The Clown for a few weeks, but don’t worry, there are ways to make this process less painful.

My Fro Struggles

I have always wanted long hair, ever since I was a kid, but I repeatedly cycled between two hair styles: the buzz cut and the afro. Growing my hair was something I could not achieve until I had control of my own hair.

I finally started growing it out junior year of high school, right after prom. I had a little “poof” on the top of my head and let that grow while I kept shaving the sides—basically an undercut. I eventually looked like a mushroom, until I could pull it back into a small highball.

I rocked this hairstyle for about a year before I decided I wanted more. Around the same time I discovered The Longhairs and their amazing products, which leads me to our next section.


Oh, The Awkwardness

Growing out your sides from an undercut is probably worse than losing an arm. I had the poof going all the way around the sides and the highball up top until I discovered The Longhairs headwraps, man these saved my life! They allowed me to lock down my side poof while still rockin the curly mane up top.

While the headwraps are great, you come to a point where the poof just beats you down. At this point you pull out your trusty Longhairs Lid (trust me buy a few more). I wore hats almost every day for another year until my hair finally all wanted to go up with the rest.

And don’t forget to experiment, try any and everything to make that fluff stay down, never think that a certain style won’t look good on you.

Growing Out Curly Hair

Still Not Finished

One thing I found that helped me with growing out curly hair was having goals. I had at least five goals while growing my hair out, and still have some that I have yet to accomplish. A few of my goals were:

  1. Be able to tie my hair up;
  2. Be able to tie up all the hair from my undercut;
  3. Be able to wear my hair up while still having flow in the back.

One goal I just accomplished was having my hair touch my shoulders while still curly, and my next one I’m working on is to have my hair come down to my lower chest. Goals keep you going, they help you see the ends to your means.


Ways to Manage

Some of the best ways to manage your growing poof are the simplest ones. You want to not look like you just woke up out of bed and you also want to look somewhat presentable.

I already mentioned a hat, a good lid that can tuck up all that frizz and fluff, so no one knows you are hiding a wooly mammoth up there.


However, sometimes the most effective way is not an option. Let’s say you have to go to church, or a wedding or even just to school, the hat doesn’t work so you have to get a little more creative. In these cases, condition your hair to dampen the frizz as best as you can, then throw on a headband, headwrap or just buck up and rock the afro.

My absolute favorite discovery, however, was braids. As long as you have about three inches of hair, you can find a salon and get your hair braided. These keep the poof in check while offering a neat and presentable style.

Curly Hair Braids

Dude, What Now?

Just stick to it, don’t falter, do what you want to do. If someone tells you to tame that beast, just say your goal is to embrace it.

Whatever you do, don’t give in to the pressure. It’s gonna be tough, you’re gonna wanna chop it all off, but then you will always wonder about what could have been.


Do you have long curly hair?

Share your experiences, or ask me a question about growing out your curly hair.


Yo longhairs! My name is Josef Stark (a.k.a El Rizado). I am currently a sophomore at UNC Wilmington, majoring in Recreation Management. I have been growing my hair since 2016 and have been following The Longhairs since 2017. When I’m not on poof control I’m crushing it on Campus Longboarding, I also enjoy all forms of waterskiing.

Connect with me on IG: @jmstark12



  1. Hey there! It sounds like a hairstylist that knows a lot about texture and curl styling, maitenance, and cutting would be perfect for you! DM me if I can help you on your curl journey! Congrats on all your progress Josef! @jedihairninja

  2. Hey Fellas, I’m new to growing long hair and want to look like John Mayer when he had long hair. Do you have any suggestions on how to get that hairstyle?
    I also don’t know whether my hair is curly or wavy because sometimes, it is straight, sometimes wavy, and sometimes super curly.
    My hair at the back of my head is straight most of the time though.
    I’m also in that super annoying/awkward stage where my hair is just not falling down and I want to know what to do with it. The top part of my hair is falling down a bit but then sticking right back up. Do I just have to wait this out or is there something I can do?

  3. Its about 12 at night doing a security job here in the north west of england all of a sudden thought am gna do what i always wanted to and grow my hair. Which is a bit hard for my hair type hard curly fuzzy all at once. However after reading your post am more then confident i will be able to achieve my goal. Thank you will write again once i have what i desire.

  4. If I grow my curly hair out and decide to cut it, will it mess up my curls? I’m asking this because when I was little my hair was straight then about 6/7th grade my hair started to grow curly and I like them curly.

    1. Same thing happened to me when I was around 14, I think it might be a puberty thing, went into the barbers with straight hair and came out again with curly hair and had a hard time convincing all my friends I didn’t just get a perm

  5. Thank you man ! you have no idea how u helped me (well at least for now lol) accepting the challenge and agreeing to continue this ! and man can’t wait to jump over this mushroom and clown look 😩

    1. You can embrace the clown;
      but you must become the mushroom.

      In other words KEEP LETTING IT RIDE! Glad to help you Ali!

      1. I’m a girl but growing my Mohawk, and it really helps reading someone else’s experience growing their hair down. It’s been such a long process and I’m looking wild at the moment but better than before, the hardest thing is that I want it to be even but my sides need to grow a bit more, I have been growing it up since summer hahah, have curly hair which makes the process a lot slower, but anywaysss I can’t wait for it to grow so I can give it a nice trim and shape! This blog made my day

        1. Glad to have you here Mei! Keep the mohawk rocking, would love to see it!

  6. I have long curly hair and you’re right there’s no shortcuts and the awkward stage is on the next level when it comes to curly hair and the best way to get through it is embracing it. I started growing my hair out on July 9 2016 and I wasn’t gonna grow all of my hair out I just wanted to get that topknot with an undercut and I used to cut the sides and the back every month and grew out the top for a year and then I found out about The Longhairs that’s when I made the decision to grow all of my hair and tie it all up and my goal was to grow the sides and the back and connect it with my topknot and so I started growing the sides and as it gets long it started looking really awkward and what I did was I styled my hair in a middle part and I tuck the hair behind the ears and tied it in a low ponytail. So the hair on the sides and back are under the hair on the top so it looked clean but I looked like a nerd but it was better than looking awkward so I pushed through another year with that hairstyle and the top became two years long and the sides and the back because one year long. That’s when I finally achieved my goal of connecting the sides and the back to my bun ( it wasn’t a topknot anymore because my hair on the top got really long so I started to put it on a bun) since then my way of styling my hair was a full messy bun and still is and this July my hair on the top will be 3 years long and the sides and back will be 2 years long and the hair on top is past my nipples and the hair on the sides and back goes down my shoulder. I’ll go another year with this and after that I’ll trim the top to the same length as the sides and back to get a layered look but my ultimate goal is to get that butt-length curly hair and I’m going for it

  7. Great advice, Josef and longhairs team. Where were you guys when I needed you most; back in ’93?
    In that year I was going through the “clown” and “mushroom” looks you describe.

    The hats and bandanna thing I’ve known about for a while, but I didn’t know about braiding (great idea for formal situations). If I ever decide to chop off my 18 incher and donate it to charity, I have a strategy for getting it all back, and hopefully looking respectable in the long process.

    If I ever discover time travel I will be sure to send this info back to my 13 yr old self.

  8. Good article! I have curly hair that I’m very lucky to be able to control with a hair dryer and it’s instantly gone. It basically turns wavy and then I can straighten it or have my wife do it really straight. Glad to see you won the battle.

  9. I have a question Josef.This is Aunt June and my question for you is in you’re opinion what would be the Best Shampoo And Conditioning Prouducts to purchase for my Curly Hair

    1. for curly hair, you need a not too greasy conditioner with a quaternary compound for detangling and avoid frizz hair ( XXXium or a XXXmidopropyl dimethylamine)
      for a shampoo, you need a one with a mild tensive ; the better are sodium cocoyl isethionate or sodium lauryl methyl isethionate
      as you buy a cosmetic product, it is necessary reading the ingredients ( or inci) list

    2. Hey Aunt June, I like to use whatever helps me detangle my hair to best, what I am using right now is the product that the Longhairs sell on the website, it just came in so ill be sure to tell you about that later. I also just started using Sun Bum Curls & Waves, that works really nice for detangling.

      1. If I grow my curly hair out and decide to cut it, will it mess up my curls? I’m asking this because when I was little my hair was straight then about 6/7th grade my hair started to grow curly and I like them curly.

    3. Great article, thank you. I lost my job due to covid this year…silver lining…I finally got the chance to grow my hair out! In the mad professor stage at the moment, but hanging in there despite occasional negative feedback – articles like this really inspire me to keep going!!

  10. You’re awesome Josef! Thanks for sharing your secrets:). Great article!

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