My favorite go to protective style is so simple: flat twist with bantu knots to make the ends curly. I included a picture below. I like this style because it can be worn anywhere and it’s easy to do. It takes less than an hour to do, and after a day of Chemistry and Calculus… you need the least time constricting hairstyle possible!
Here are a few pictures of me wearing this style on my campus (AGGIE PRIDE!)
Do any of you have your favorite protective style that you always go to? If so, share in the comment section below!
“I’m hesitant to say that I have not received length because I have, but not as noticeable as I would have thought, or liked it to be. I also cannot say no because with my type 4 hair, shrinkage is real. But let this not discouraged you, I do believe Hairfinity does work. Patience is key. We all know natural hair can be a pain sometimes, but it doesn’t hurt to try new things.
Once I finish my seventh bottle, in celebration of not straightening my hair or using heat for seven months, I’ll straighten it to see how much growth I have gained. And then I will truly be able to see if I have gained the length I have been striving for.”
This is an excerpt from an article I wrote about a month ago about my experience with Hairfinity. To read the whole article, click here.
So far, I have been taking Hairfinity for 7 months. And during those seven months, I have been alternating between my natural hair and protective hairstyles. Most of the time being in protective hairstyles (my favorite being Marley twists).
Finally the moment of truth, the reveal has come. This past weekend was my twentieth birthday, and I decided to celebrate by straightening my hair. I have used no heat for seven whole months. This is a big deal for me, usually I straighten my hair every time I take out one of my protective styles. Having a perm for two to two-and-a-half years, and then transitioning but still straightening my hair, I developed an admiration for straight hair. Not dependence, but admiration. I did not fully accept my natural, curly, kinky hair until I had to fully learn how to deal with it without the help of my mother when I got to college.
Fast forward to Hairfinity, I started my journey in January 2014, and it’s now August 2014. Let’s talk hair progress:
Length – As I said before I have type 4 hair. When I straightened my hair, I found there was growth, mostly in the back. The back of my hair grows way faster than the middle and front of my hair, so that was expected.
Volume – My hair has been thick my whole life, and Hairfinity has only added to that thickness. My goodness! I thought my hair was thick before, so if you have thin hair try taking Hairfinity.
Texture – Right now, my hair is in an ombre state because last May I dyed my hair bright auburn using the Shea Moisture hair dye line. So ultimately, my hair is two different textures, which is more noticeable when straightened (but only by feel, not look). My hair has been healthier since using Hairfinity, and looks glossier.
Curl Pattern – From using Hairfinity my curl pattern has changed. It’s become a bit looser and more defined, curl wise, which I don’t mind.
Here are pictures for comparison, pre and post Hairfinity with straightened hair:
“There may be a link between hair relaxers to uterine fibroids, as well as early puberty in young girls.
Scientists followed more than 23,000 pre-menopausal Black American women from 1997 to 2009 and found that the two- to three-times higher rate of fibroids among black women may be linked to chemical exposure through scalp lesions and burns resulting from relaxers.
Women who got their first menstrual period before the age of 10 were also more likely to have uterine fibroids, and early menstruation may result from hair products black girls are using, according to a separate study published in the Annals of Epidemiology last summer.”
First, let me start off by defining what uterine fibroids are. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that develop in the uterus, a female reproductive organ. Fibroids can range in size – anywhere from the size of a pea to a melon. Fibroids have become more prevalent in the Black Community among young females. This is an alarming statistic because there are only 3 main ways to surgically remove fibroids, and one of those surgical procedures – Hystorectomy – involves the removal of a woman’s uterus inhibiting her from having kids later in the future. Now if you already have 5 kids, this may not bother you, but when teenagers lose the ability to have children because of a relaxer – something not thought of as harmful – that is a problem!
One alarming thing that I learned from this article is that the hair industry isn’t monitored or regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). This means that no one is determining how harmful the chemicals we put in our hair are and the effects they’ll have on us in the long run.
Good news, on the other hand, is that their is not a direct distinguished correlation between relaxers and fibroids. Researchers say that they have to research more to be able to tell if it’s a direct cause and effect matter.
Being natural does not always mean wearing your hair in its natural state, whether that’s curly, kinky or wavy. Protective styles work wonders for naturals who choose not expose their hair frequently or at all. Protective styles can include, braids, weaves or twists. In other words, styles that cover and protect your hair from the elements and damage. These styles are also known for assisting with hair growth, if done and taken care of in the right way. Now, I know there is a debate as to whether or not if one wears weaves and such, if they are considered natural. But I bet if you take a look at these celebrities that you may or may not have known are natural, they might change your mind.
Reality TV star and fashion designer, Angela Simmons has never been shy about switching up her hairstyles, or even colors. But most might not know that Angela is natural.She hasn’t been shy about showing her long, natural hair on Instagram. Angela also just recently started her Hairfinity journey as well, a hair vitamin, that is all the rage in the natural hair community nowadays.
Beneath all the wigs, weaves, and gimmicks, Nicki Minaj has beautiful hair! She revealed her real, natural hair to the world last year via Instagram. This rapper is full of surprises. who would have thought that all this luscious hair was under the pink wig.
Tia & Tamera Mowry
The world was first introduced to these biracial beauties when their hit show, Sister Sister aired. And back then, bigger meant better, well in regards to hair. We saw their big, long natural curls, and vivacious personalities. But as with anyone in the entertainment industry, it takes a toll on your hair. Tia & Tamera Mowry are getting back to their roots with their natural hair. Tia [R] big chopped first, then Tamera [L] following suit shortly after. Tia’s son, Cree is even a naturalisto. His hair is amazing.
Keke Palmer is not just the youngest talk show host ever, but she’s also a naturalista! Keke debuted her natural hair a few years ago on Instagram, and of late, she’s been embracing and showing her followers some of her hair secrets. She’s showed them how she wraps her hair, and some of the products she uses for hair care. Let’s just say, this girl is not afraid to show off her hair in whatever state it’s in.
She’s an A-list actress who’s starred in movies such as, Love & Basketball, Brown Sugar, and The Best Man Holiday. Sanaa Lathan has rocked short weave, long weave, curly and straight weave, but it is only to protect her natural hair underneath. Check out her healthy, blown out head of hair.
(P.S. She’s also has famous natural friends like, Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union.)
The queen of media has millions of dollars to spend on getting her hair done, but she chooses to be natural? That’s right Oprah loves her natural hair.
Brandy stepped on the scene as a singer and actress who rocked braids for many years. Well wearing those braids did her some good, as she rocks her natural hair nowadays, well in between her various weave selections. Brandy had also been known for rocking havana twists, and kinda starting that trend in the hair community.
The old myth of working out ruining your hair is just that, a myth, an idea of the past. Now that hair, especially natural hair is becoming a recurring theme in the realm of fitness. I love to workout. It takes the stress of the day away and it keeps me healthy, and my body looking and feeling right. Many naturals also attribute part of their hair growth to fitness and eating right. Now, why should your hair prevent you from getting in shape, and having that great body to match that amazing head of hair? Here are a few tips that might help with your hair and working out.
1. Pull your hair out of your face
Whether your hair is long or short, having your hair flying all over the place while you’re working out is no fun, and distracting. Use a headband (thick or thin) or a “hair tube,” as I like to call them. An example of a hair tube would be a Loc Soc or Sue Maesta hood. I personally use and prefer a “hair tube.” Mine is a Garnier “hair tube” that I received for free at an event I attended.
Another option, whether your hair is straight or in its natural state is Nicole Ari Parker’s Save Your Do GymWrap. It’s especially designed for the gym. And as the name suggests, it saves your hair from looking a mess after a good workout. It’s features “Edge Control Technology,” which minimizes sweat absorption and allows heat to escape while letting cool air in.
If headbands aren’t your thing, you could also do a cute and effortless hairstyle to hit the gym. A bun keeps your hair out of your face while protecting your ends. Also, a high ponytail is another option. It might be boring, but it gets the job done. Or you could go for milkmaid/goddess braids which are flirty and stylish.
2. Use the right products
Products are essential when it comes to preserving your hair while working out. Using the right products can maintain and eliminate frizz, and have your hair looking sleek.
A product I like to use not only for the gym, but on a daily, is EcoStyler Gel. I’m telling you, this stuff is a holy grail product; I use Krystal or Olive Oil. EcoStyler Gel will always have your edges laid (what more could a girl want). This gel comes in eight different varieties. There’s even EcoStyler Sport! The Sport gel retains moisture, imparts shine and gloss, and maximum hold for active lifestyles.
Also, any anti-frizz products should work well to help maintain your hair, and reduce the chances of it becoming frizzy and puffy while working out.
3. Be Free
And so what if all this fails. You got a good workout, and health is more important that poppin’ hair, right? Maybe your hair didn’t hold up like you wanted it to, but it wouldn’t be natural if it didn’t do its own thing. So just let it rock. Curly girls can be fit too!
I keep hearing misconceptions about natural hair and false beliefs about all of the new things one can do with natural hair – well I’m here to set the record straight! Here are 5 things that most naturals hear about natural hair:
– Natural Hair Is Stronger Than Processed Hair
– Good Hair vs. Bad Hair
– To Have Hair Types 3c & Above, One Can’t Solely Be African – American
– Natural Hair Can Handle More Chemicals Since It’s Not Relaxed
– Natural Hair Isn’t Seen As Acceptable In The Workplace
Natural Hair Is Stronger Than Processed Hair
There is a technicality when it comes to this subject. Natural hair is stronger than processed hair simply because the protein in processed hair strands is broken down – therefore making the hair straighter. Natural hair, however, is not strong itself. It takes great attention and proper hair care for natural hair to nourish and grow. Natural hair in its dry state can be very fragile if not properly moisturized and sealed with some sort of oil or cream. On a hair strand, there are places where each curl begins and ends. Each place on the strand where the curl begins and ends, is a point of potential breakage. That’s why different hair types have to be treated differently.
Good Hair vs. Bad Hair
Since slavery, there was always a dispute about which hair had less kinks and which hair “resembled” the heads of those in Africa more. I’ve heard of some hair shows that wouldn’t allow naturals with certain patterns to model hair products because it’s not “natural enough” or it was “too nappy.” Whether your hair texture can’t hold a curl, or can mold to a 2-strand twist in an hour… CurlyInCollege believes that your hair is beautiful and don’t you ever forget that!
To Have Hair Types 3c & Above, One Can’t Solely Be Of African Descent
A lot of people – even some naturals – believe that to have a more defined curl pattern where the curls are elongated and more visible, one MUST be mixed with other races besides African- American. Although your ethnicity can affect your hair’s texture and curl pattern, it doesn’t always. Sometimes DNA just predetermines things for us. Whether it’s your skin color, curl pattern, eye color, etc., some things you just have no control over. It’s our differences that make each and everyone of us special. Be proud of your hair pattern and texture, and never let dissatisfaction ruin your happiness on your natural hair journey.
Natural Hair Can Handle More Chemicals Since It’s Not Relaxed
Just like we discussed earlier, natural hair is only stronger because unlike relaxed hair, it’s not processed- however, that doesn’t mean that you can flat iron your hair everyday and color it 20 times in a year. A little hair dye or heat here and there won’t harm at your hair, but try to limit things things that chemically alter or dry out your hair.
Natural Hair Isn’t Seen As Acceptable In The Workplace
A lot of college freshmen are in school getting an education so that they can one day work in corporate America, and a lot of naturals already work in corporate America. Somehow they all seem to have one common question – “Will my hair be accepted in corporate America?” I can’t 100% guarantee that your hair will be accepted by EVERYONE at your job, but I can guarantee that most of the time, the only person that’ll initially look down on your hair is YOU. Most of us are so paranoid of people’s initial opinions about our hair, when in reality they might not even notice our sudden change of style. If you are proud of your hair, others feed off of your positive views on your hair and will begin to love it as well- but the love of your hair starts with YOU.
Transitioning can be the hardest phase when going natural. Here are a few tips to keep you encouraged along your natural hair journey.
– Line of Demarcation Definition
– First Look At Your Natural Hair
– Don’t Join The “Natural vs. Relaxer War” Train
– Accepting Your Hair Pattern
– There ARE An Abundance Of Transitioning Styles
Line Of Demarcation
The point where natural hair and relaxed hair meet is called the Line of Demarcation. At this point lies the weakest part of your hair. Don’t be freaked out when your relaxed hair starts breaking off from your natural hair. Some people can keep their relaxed hair throughout their natural hair journey until they’re ready to cut it off, and some can not. The way to cut down on this type of breakage is to treat your relaxed hair just like your natural hair. Deep conditioning treatments will especially help! Your natural hair needs this much attention and your relaxed hair will benefit from it as well.
Don’t Join The “Natural vs. Relaxer War” Train
Countless times, I’ve heard “ natural isn’t for everybody.” Now does this make any sense? How can something that naturally grows out of someone’s head not be for them? Even if you’ve said this without intentionally meaning to tarnish someone’s view on their own natural hair, don’t discourage others who are trying to go natural or are considering it. Also, whether you’re a new natural or a long time natural, don’t talk down on people who choose to wear their hair in a processed state. Everyone has a choice and as a natural hair community, we should support each other no matter what.
There are plenty of styles to test out before you fully go natural (meaning to big chop or occasionally trim off your relaxed hair.) I recommend you to actually wear your hair in natural styles so you can get a glimpse into what being natural is all about. It’s better you know before your natural hair journey what you’re getting into instead of finding out later and becoming discouraged on your hair journey.
First Look At Your Natural Hair
You’ll never be able to fully see your natural hair until your relaxed hair is cut off, although you will have a good idea of what it’ll look like. When your hair still has relaxed hair attached to the ends of it, the relaxed hair weighs down the hair therefore stretching the hair pattern out making the curls look more elongated. The fact that the relaxed hair weighs down the natural hair is a reason why the hair experiences breakage sometimes. Also, a lot of new naturals want to see their hair pattern immediately and choose to big chop. Not every natural wants to big chop their hair – which means cutting off all of the relaxed hair – but some choose to.
Accepting Your Hair Pattern
This subject may be touchy, but it needs to be discussed. When some people go natural, they have expectations of how they want their hair to be and how it should be. They see other family members and think their hair will turn out just like their family members’, etc… Don’t be discouraged when you don’t have the kinkiest or curliest hair. All textures of hair can achieve the same styles, even if different methods have to be performed.
Constantly I hear the pros and cons of people raving about co-washing your hair vs. shampooing and conditioning your hair. In this article I will discuss the my point of view on co-washing your hair vs. shampooing your hair.
Why I Support Shampooing Natural Hair
Some people only wash their scalp with shampoo and allow the shampoo to clean the rest of their hair when they rinse their hair and the water/shampoo slides down the hair shaft.
Eventually you have to do do something to decrease product build up on your scalp whether you use shampoo or a cleanser.
Why I Support Co-Washing Natural Hair
Who doesn’t love the idea of constantly conditioning their hair?
With this method you may not experience that squeaky clean feeling you have after washing your hair with shampoo because the essential oils in your hair, produced by your sebaceous glands, didn’t get removed.
Might promote hair growth by increasing length retention.
People On YouTube That Only Use 1 Of The Methods Above & Their Results
Using the Co-Wash Method only or the 2 step process of using Shampoo and Conditioner, is completely your choice. Some people experience product build up quicker when using only cowash method and some people experience tangling and more knots when using shampoo. As long as you keep your hair’s moisture and protein levels balanced, choose whatever method suits you best.
There comes a point in every natural’s journey where they must visit a salon. Some people choose a salon that offers Dominican Blowouts, some choose all natural salons that cater specifically to naturals, and some will only enter a salon just to get their ends trimmed. Whatever the reason may be, knowing what you want when you walk into the salon is key. Continue reading Natural Hair Stylist: First Visit Tips