Alternatives to Dying & Bleaching Your Hair

I think it is pretty safe to say that the only thing more beautiful than a big bush is a big bush with a vibrant pop of color. Around my second year of being natural I started to get really bored with twists outs and braids outs, and I wanted to do something different with my hair. I looked into different hairstyles that I could try out, but nothing really sparked my interest. I checked out natural hair blogs on Tumblr and that’s when it hit me, I could dye my hair! I was so excited about dying my hair until I realized I had to strip my hair of its natural color and potentially damage it. I refused to settle for a plain brown bush, so I immediately started looking for other alternatives.

One of the very first options I came across was eyeshadow. I know it sounds crazy but eyeshadows serve as great alternatives for dying your hair. You just rub the palette across a strand of hair and Viola!They’re quick, easy, fun, and most importantly they do not damage your natural tresses.

I was extremely excited about discovering the versatility of eyeshadow, but not long after I was using it on a daily basis I realized that it tends to get everywhere. I immediately went searching for other options and I came across hair chalk. Hair chalk comes in so many fun colors and they work perfectly for people with naturally dark hair who do not want to risk damaging their hair.

I played around with different brands of hair chalk, but my favorite by far was Anastasia Beverly Hills. They had colors in lots of different shades and hues, so if I ever wanted to achieve a certain look it was almost always certainly possible. As of lately my favorite go to product for when I want to dye my hair would definitely have to be ProShots and ColorMe. I purchased both of them from a professional beauty supply store, but I’m sure they are available online.

IMG_6811 I love ProShots and ColorMe so much because the color you see on the bottle or the label is the EXACT color you get. I have to admit that these are both a little more expensive than a eyeshadow palette or hair chalk, but it is completely worth every penny. The other really great thing I loved about ProShots and ColorMe was the precision I could achieve. The design of ColorMe is similar to that of mascara, so you just take the “spooly” and apply the color directly where you want it. ProShots is pretty similar when it comes to precision because you pump the dye onto your hands or an applicator brush and there you have it!

I honestly believe the only “down side” to eyeshadows, hair chalks, and ColorMe and ProShots is that you won’t really be able to achieve a “natural” color so to speak, but wouldn’t you much rather have popping purple highlights rather than boring blonde ones?

So as you can see there are lots of options out there if you’re interested in dying your hair, but you love your hair a little too much to risk damaging it. What are you waiting for? Go and grab an eyeshadow or two!

 

 

Related Post

“Why don’t you comb your hair?”

I love big, wild, curly hair. I always have. Watching old(er) school actresses like Tia and Tamera Mowry from Sister, Sister and Tracee Ellis Ross from Girlfriends was probably a big part of that. But, it was not until recently that I found the courage to wear my hair that way. Up until a short time ago, I thought the only way to wear my texture hair was in a slicked back bun or in two-strand twists. Even though these women were a part of what I saw often on TV, I never thought that my hair was “pretty” enough to be let down like that. In my mind, those styles were for the mixed girls with “prettier” hair.
 tia_tamera
It was not until my final year in high school when I started my hair journey that I was able to let go and let it out. I had been researching a great deal on natural hair; how to care for it and how our hair differs from other textures. I was also looking at different twist out and braid out techniques and saw how beautifully some of them came out. It was a couple months before I finally decided to try one.
I prepped my hair over night: moisturizing and sealing and meticulously placing the hair in chiney bumps (or bantu knots as Americans call them). Then, I took it down in the morning. It did not come out exactly how I wanted it to, but I worked with it and wore it to church. The whole time I was walking on the road and sitting in church I felt incredibly self conscious, like everyone was staring at me (mostly because they were).
At the time, the natural hair movement had not really hit my section of Jamaica yet. Many persons still believed that you either had relaxed straight hair, or you control your natural hair so it looks relaxed. I was one of the first girls in my town who did not have loose, silky ringlets to dare to wear my hair out.
After church, one of the older ladies took me aside and asked me “Why didn’t you comb your hair before you came to church?” My face fell. I was already self conscious and this lady was not helping at all. I mumbled some lame response about trying something new and scuffled away.
All I could think was “I spent hours on this hairstyle, it is combed!” I was genuinely hurt. I had gotten a few complements throughout the day about how thick and nice my hair was, but this was the only one I remembered. As much as it hurt my 18 year old self esteem, I did not try to tie my hair up to make it look more “presentable”.
For the rest of high school, I tried different protective hairstyles that I found on YouTube and more than once persons who asked me “You couldn’t comb yuh hair?” To be honest, my first tries at many styles were not too hot, sometimes they would come out frizzy or lopsided, but I was trying. Eventually, I started getting the hang of it and I felt more confident. It was worth it though, because the moisture and the new found care I had with my hair had it growing longer than it ever was before.
When I got to college, I realized that there were so many other naturals wearing their hair out and wild and I loved it. I was able to accept that my hair is beautiful and now I wear my hair out more often than not. Every now and again there is a noob that asks me why I don’t comb my hair, but now it does not even affect me. I love my wild mane way too much for that.

Related Post

My Go To Protective Style

 

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!

20140718_043807

 

Here are a few pictures of me wearing this style on my campus (AGGIE PRIDE!)

 20140709_105226   20140709_105220 (1)

20140709_14291620140709_143020
20140712_231703 20140712_231734

 

 

20140709_004922 20140712_204147

 

 

Do any of you have your favorite protective style that you always go to? If so, share in the comment section below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Aftermath of Braids As A Protective Style

After taking my braids to the beach, graduation, the country side, and now a college campus for my summer enrichment program… I decided that having braids was too much for my busy life – and there’s only so many cute/practical hairstyles you can do – so I decided to take them out. Here are a few tips that you will find helpful when taking out your braids.

Photo Source: http://api.ning.com/files/NcRwxlTNJ1Mgip-HX22vl5LvZnsEdpHNI8BzW3zSvmD3ktvvhHeaxZKB7qYClrYq9F9y4weJoCv0cBnuRySl-hzdOjK6Vnqf/IMG_4101.JPG

Neck Strain

It’s good that friends and family want to help you take out your braids, but don’t let your neck get strained in the process.


 Pulling Out Hair

Hair can get tugged out or pulled out when you or the people taking out your braids are frustrated and stop carefully taking out your hair because they’re ready to get the process over with.


 Detangling/Separating Shedded Pieces of Hair Before Washing Hair

Your hair sheds up to 100 strands a day.Most people leave their braids in anywhere from a time period of 2 – 3 months (90 days = Potentially 9000 strands of hair.) If you don’t detangle your hair you’ll experience massive amounts of hairballs in your hands and on your shower floor.

I skipped this step and days later I was still picking shedded pieces of hair out of my head, it was horrible honestly.

Photo Source: http://www.extensionsbycarline.com/Afro-american-woman-detangling-hair%202.jpg

Shampooing, Conditioning, & Detangling Hair in The Shower

When you get in the shower make sure you scrub gently (not scratch) you hair effectively, removing dirt and grime embedded on the scalp. Condition hair to rebuild/balance te moisture and protein levels in your hair.

Detangle your hair in the shower as well. This step is optional depending on whether you like to dry detangle your hair or not. Personally I’d detangle before and during my shower (maybe even after) just to make sure I didn’t miss any shedded hair becuase shedded hair that is not found eventually tangles up with other hair and causes knots and tangles in the hair (which inevitably leads to more problems)


Have Product On Hand

Don’t be a product junkie but have at least one natural ‘on the go’ type product that you can whip out when needed. My natural hair ‘on the go’ product is 100% African Shea Butter.

Photo Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_va-SHQZhEs/UWWRzw-FHZI/AAAAAAAAEvo/G41MSBJMfj4/s1600/box-braids-hairstyles5.jpg

Hopefully this article helps you as you protective style. Do you have a tip for other naturals taking down braids or twists as a protective style? If so, share them with us in the comments below!


Hidden Naturals: Celebs Who You May Not Know Are Natural

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.

Angela Simmons

Photo Source
Photo Source

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.

 

 

 

Nicki Minaj

Photo Source
Photo Source

 

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

Photo Source
Photo Source
Photo Source
Photo Source

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

Photo Source
Photo Source

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.

 

 

 

Sanaa Lathan

Photo Source
Photo Source

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.)

 

 

 

Oprah Winfrey

Photo Source
Photo Source

 

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

Photo Source
Photo Source

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.

Fro vs. Foe: The Battle Between Hair and the Gym

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.

Photo Source
Photo Source

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!

 

Tips For Transitioners

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

 

Photo Source: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/9r7xSdr72_w/0.jpg

 

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.

 

Photo Source: http://ublushmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Keep-Calm1.jpg

 

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.

 

 

Photo Source: http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/10-300×300.jpg

 

Transitioning Styles

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.

 

 

Photo Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_9SNMz2P9vBc/TQkTGLvAOOI/AAAAAAAAARM/NWV1mKaiHw8/s1600/Relaxed-To-Natural-Transition-Picture.jpg

 

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.

 

 

Photo Source: http://paowmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/beach_girl.jpg

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.

 

Protective Hairstyles for Summer

There are two times of the year when natural hair seems to not know how to act (other than the regular, everyday struggle), and that is winter and summer. These two times of the year, many naturals find it helpful to switch, change, and try to new products to help their hair acclimate to the harsh weather changes. The winter brings dry hair because of the cold air. And summer brings frizzy hot messes because of the heat. It is a lose lose situation in these seasons if you do not have to right products or the patience to deal with your hair. I have worn my hair out in these two seasons, but I typically prefer to wear a protective style, just so I don’t have to deal with the craziness, that is my hair, during summer and winter.

Protective styles are just alternatives to wearing your natural hair, that are supposed to protect your hair underneath, and stimulate growth because of low manipulation. Personally, I like to get braids or twists, that’s just my style. In the summer I like twists or braids because they are low maintenance, and require little style effort, unlike weaves (This is my personal opinion). There are other types of protective styles, such as weaves and wigs.

Here are different types of protective styling that you can try this summer:

Kinky Twists

Photo Source
Photo Source

Kinky twists are usually the shortest of the twists. They can be done with kanekalon hair for your desired look. Also, to differentiate these twists from others, they usually are spiraled or curls at the ends as opposed to being straight.

Marley Twists

Photo Source: Brianna M.  Williams
Photo Source: Brianna M. Williams

Marley twists are one of the longest desired length twists because they are supposed to emulated dreadlocks. Marley twists are named after the famous reggae artist, Bob Marley. Marley twists are done with Marley braid hair, and are straight all the way down to the ends. They can be done in the invisible roots style method, which allows the twists to look like your actual hair.

Havana Twists

Photo Source
Photo Source

Havana twists are similar to Marley twists, as they are often grouped together. Havana twists are thicker in volume than Marley or kinky twists. They are usually medium length (in between kinky and Marley twists). They have a more effortless and carefree look. Even Solange has rocked havana twists!

Senegalese Twists

Photo Source
Photo Source

Senegalese twists are the thinnest in volume of all the twists. They can also be as long as Marley twists. Senegalese twists are done with kanekalon hair for a more sleek and polished look, and are straight all the way down to the ends.

Box Braids

Photo Source
Photo Source

Box braids are one of the oldest protective hairstyles in the book. They can be long or short, whatever length or volume one desires. Some people have even brought back the box braids, a la Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice.

Cornrows

Photo Source
Photo Source

Now, who didn’t get their hair cornrowed when they were a child? It’s a simple solution to a protective style if you don’t have the time to get one of these other styles, or if you want to be really low maintenance. You can cornrow your natural hair, or you can add hair for length.

Sew-in Weave

Photo Source
Photo Source

A weave is another protective style alternative. It gives you the chance to have a more versatile look, a little more fun. Weaves can be straight, wavy, curly, long or short.

Wig

Photo Source
Photo Source

Who said wigs can’t be natural? Just like weaves, they give you a different look to play around with. Wigs are the easiest to install if you do not want to wait hours to have your protective style done.

 

Tips For Maintaining Natural Hair While Wearing Braids Or Twists

 

Photo Source: http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lu216ekMqc1qb3zbpo1_500.jpg

 

This summer, plenty of naturals are giving up their weaves and extensions as protective styles, and are wearing braids. Not only are braids easy to manage and versatile, but they are trendy and unique to each individual’s preference. Although braids are an easy protective style, after enduring the long hours it takes installing them, your natural hair still needs to be taken care of. This article will give you tips on how to get braids and how to maintain your natural hair under braids.

 

A Tip When Getting Braids Or Twists

 

Make Sure Your Edges Aren’t Braided Too Tight

– A lot of us feel that when we get braids, our edges should be slicked into a braid and that the hair braider should braid up hair we didn’t even know we had! Not only is that painful, but it’s harmful to your hair. If you look at the braids along your hairline and see hair with little white bulbs at the roots, then your braids are too tight and you’re unintentionally pulling out your hair- causing you to not retain length and potentially setting yourself up for central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (which centers on the crown, or hairline, of the scalp and spreads along the edges).

 

Photo Source: http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m02r5bVHmR1qjkq4lo1_500.jpg

 

Tips For Maintaining Natural Hair With Braids & Twists

 

Don’t Neglect, Just Modify, Your Hair Regimen

– Yes, being able to get in the pool, or going to the beach for a day, without having to worry about styling your hair the next day can be fun – and a relief- but don’t forget your regimen. A hair regimen is basically just a routine you follow when it comes to your hair. Some people’s regimens include detangling, conditioning, hot oil treatment, etc… Well when you have braids, you can’t particularly do everything you did to your hair in it’s natural state. Find out what’s best for you, and stick with it. Only you can determine what works for your hair and what doesn’t.

Photo Source: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/b0/9d/7e/b09d7e0b0f22aa6518316855306cafd2.jpg

Moisture! Moisture! Moisture!

– Seawater and Chlorine can dry your hair out. Salt, which is abundant in seawater, automatically dries out your hair. Sebum is a natural oil produced by the hair, and chlorine, commonly found in swimming pools, removes the sebum from your hair causing your hair to not be protected by natural oils, inevitably leading to split ends. Ways to tackle the negative effects of seawater and chlorine are to shampoo and deep condition your hair as often as you do when its in its natural state. For those of you who don’t use shampoo, practice the co wash method. As long as your hair is maintained, and moisturized, you will retain length and  experience hair growth while protective styling for the summer.

 

How To: Curl Form Your Hair Using Curlformers

 

 

1. Wash & Condition Your Hair  

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/1jlZEAK

 

 

 

– If you don’t use shampoo, just practice the no poo method and co wash only. The objective is to get the hair as clean as possible without any products because you’ll apply products later in the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Detangle Your Hair

 

– Detangle your hair thoroughly to get all of the knots and tangles out that you can. The less knots and tangles in your hair, reduces hair breakage when you pull your hair through the curlformer later in the process.

 

 

3. Part Your Hair In Small Sections

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/1oh6JOX

 

 

The kinkier your hair ( I have 4a – 4c hair) the smaller your sections should be. The curlier your hair, sections can be bigger but don’t make your sections too big because if they are too big they won’t pull through the curlformer very well. When you part your hair into sections, twist the root just a little bit so the curlformer stick that comes with the curlformers can latch on to the twisted root of your hair. After latching the hair and stick together, pull your hair through the curlformer and you should have have a head full of curlformers when complete.

 

4. Anti-Frizz & Anti Humidity Products

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/1st17Fo

 

 

 

Use product on your hair that you normally use, although I wouldn’t use some hair gels because it might flake up and make the curls hard and limp. I suggest using a product that reduces frizz and protects the hair against humidity so that your hair doesn’t puff up as soon as you step outside.

      

 

 

 

 

 

5. Allowing The Curl To Set

 

Allow your curlformers to dry thoroughly under a hair dryer. If you don’t want to dry your hair under a dryer, sleep with the curlformers in your hair although it might be very uncomfortable. Sleeping with curlformers in your head might make you want to abandon your hairstyle throughout the night in trade for a good night’s rest.

 

 

6. After The Curlformer Dries 

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/TQD32Y

 

In the morning, slowly remove the curlformers and you should have big curls in the morning.

 


 

Curlformers come in different sizes and can be found at Sally’s, Ebay, Amazon, etc…

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/TQD86H

 

 

After trying out curlformers on myself, here are my results:

 

20140503_171043      20140503_171009    20140503_171024

– My hair became frizzy over time because initially I put no anti-frizz or humidity proof products in my hair and I didn’t let the Curlformers dry fully. Overall I like the results of the style, but it is time consuming.

 

If you decide to try Curlformers on your hair, share it with CurlyInCollege on Instagram under the hashtag #CurlyInCollege