Natural Hair Routine Challenges in College

Before I started college, maintaining my natural hair was a lot easier. However, I did not realize it until I started college. I have faced some challenges in my routine, but I am pretty sure I have it all figured out now.

Hard Water I did not understand that there is a difference in the water depending on where you live. The first time I washed my hair on campus I noticed that the texture was different. My hair felt really dry and brittle. I had not done anything different with my routine, so I knew it had to be the water. The water is considered hard because it has more minerals in it, but unfortunately it does not agree with my hair. In order to counteract its effect, I deep condition my hair before or after I wash it. This allows my hair to soften and gain moisture. Also, after I wash my hair, I apply a leave-in conditioner and olive oil. The hard water is my only option, so I have learned to work with it.

Not Having Enough Time Before college I was at home with more free time. Now that I am in college, my life is being run differently. I am on a different schedule with less free time. In order to solve this problem I had to find where in my schedule I had the most time and used it accordingly. I have learned to split my routine into two days for time purposes. I wash and moisturize hair one day and style it the next. I usually wash my hair at night so that it will have all night to dry. It is also a time where I can be inside while my pores are open. Maintaining my hair is very important to me, so finding the time is crucial.

Not Having Enough Space I was used to having a tub and a whole house to move around in. After starting college, I feel as if I am in a box compared to before. Limited space can be an inconvenience especially when you have a lot of products and accessories. Having a smaller shower has pushed me to limit the products I use and limit my washing process. I have learned to adapt to this situation by only using a cleansing conditioner or shampoo and a regular conditioner. When it comes to styling, I set up a little area in my dorm room with only the things I will be using. Do I feel restricted? Yes, but I make my only option work.

Limited Budget College limits the amount of money you spend. I am not able to buy products as frequent as I would like. I cannot just go buy a new product when I feel like it and try it out. I am limiting myself by only buying a product when I run out of one of them. This helps with my limited storage space as well.

What challenges have you faced with your hair due to a change of your environment? How have you adapted to the changes?

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Study Tips/Study Habits

I am in college now, so I feel as if my job is to my good grades and be successful.  Studying is the key. However, the method to studying is not that simple, but I am here to help.

How do I study? I do not have one method of studying; I have several. The way I study depends on the level of the test. If the test material is very detailed I use flashcards. Flashcards help me relate and associate what is on the front of the card to what is on the back of it. They help accommodate how my mind works. For example, for my survey of Art History class, my professor requires us to know the artist, title, period, and place of the art piece, along with specific details about the artwork. Since she gives us fifty images to study making flashcards is very important because there is so much information to take in. For the tests that are not so detailed and that are lecture based, I just reread my lecture notes and other supplied materials. As I continuously reread the information, it begins to stick with me. For instance, my World History tests are based on factual information. Therefore, my professor lectures using PowerPoint. She also supplies us with passages that are related to each chapter. I take at least two days prior to the test to review the information.

Where do I study? I have to be alone in a quiet place in order for me to retain information. Since I live in a dorm room with three other people, it is very hard to study there. Even if I am in a separate room from them, it is hard to focus because I can still hear them and the walls are “thin.” I try to study during the times that they are not there. If I cannot study in the dorm room, I go to the library. I find the library very effective because I feel as if I am in a homework and study environment.

How long do I study? The amount of time I take out to study goes hand and hand with how I study. For the more detailed material I spend about six hours on it, and for the less detailed I spend about two to three hours studying. If I spend more than an hour studying something in one day, I always take a break after each hour. This allows my brain to rest a bit, so I go either listen to music, eat a snack, or both. My breaks range between ten and fifteen minutes.

Other study tips:

  • Ban social media during study time. From experience social media can be a huge distraction.
  • Don’t procrastinate. I am a big procrastinator when it comes to studying. Procrastination leads to late nights and cramming.
  • Do not study hungry. I know this sounds crazy, but when I am hungry, I tend not to focus as much. My attention goes towards “what do I want to eat?”
  • Develop study habits that are effective for you. Knowing what works for me decreases my study time and allows me to be more successful on my tests.

How do you study? What is most effective for you? What isn’t so effective for you?

 

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Working Out With Natural Hair

Between school work, extracurricular activities, working and having a social life, going to the gym can seem to be a tedious task and having to consider your hair can also make it pesky. As someone who avidly and likes to work out multiple times a week (I try for daily but no promises), I an assure you that working out and keeping your hair clean and healthy is not as difficult as it may seem. It’s taken me a while to figure out what works for me but figuring what works out for you and your hair is always a trial and error process. Here are some things that have proven to be successful for me in balancing hair and body health:

  1. Stay Organized: In order to incorporate gym trips into your weekly schedule, you will need to know how your week is going to run. If you have a planner, map out what you plan to do each day and see when and where you can fit in times to visit the gym. Once you have that set up you should consider your weekly hair routine and what hairstyles will last the best throughout your gym trips.
  2. Keep a Moisturizing Hair Mist: Your hair will be more prone to dryness due to your sweat so creating a DIY or buying a moisturizing spray is highly recommended. If you want to make your own spray, mixing water, your favorite hair oil and a cheap conditioner to mist your hair with after each workout will keep your hair hydrated and fresh.
  3. Tie Your Hair Back: A loose bun or ponytail or even braiding or twisting your hair back to keep it out of your face will prevent your hair from getting frizzy and tangled from your workouts. It will also stop you from playing with your hair or constantly brushing it aside which causes breakage. I personally like to keep my hair twisted back into a low ponytail because the style that I wear my hair in most of the time since it’s shorter now. When my hair was longer I would always go with a bun. Be sure to use ouch-less ponytail or satin ponytail holders!
  4. Hair Rinses: The most that I ever wash my hair, whether with shampoo or with conditioner, is once a week. If I find that my hair has gotten really dry or just needs to be completely refreshed after a workout, I will simply rinse my hair with nothing but water. This helps clear my hair of sweat and restores moisture into my curls. After a hair rinse, I usually style my hair in bantu knots or flat twists with a light conditioner and style my hair the next day.

All in all, your hair health shouldn’t take precedence over your overall health. Working out often has caused me to keep a simple hair regimen that doesn’t require a lot of time or products. Let me know which tips helped or what you found to be a better alternative!

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Meet The Interns: Kiana Ward

Hello! I am Kiana Ward, a current student at North Carolina A&T State University and I am expected to graduate in the year of 2018. I went natural January 2nd, 2014, and I big chopped.

My deciding factor on going natural was that I just wanted healthier and more even textured hair. I had grown tired of the straight ends and the breakage and I just needed something different. Still today, my perception of myself varies depending on my social group. Some like my curls and others do not. When I receive compliments on my curls, I love them. When there’s criticism, I find myself trying to change my look. I have definitely experienced a difference in treatment since going natural…especially with the guys. But I enjoy my hair either way. It’s mine!

My favorite part of my hair routine would have to be deep conditioning. I love the feeling after you’ve detangled and shampooed. It is amazing. My top three hair products would be Coconut Oil (any brand, honestly),Aquage Seaextend Ultimate Colorcare with Thermal-V Strengthening Conditioner, 16 Ounce( love it! live by it), and Shop CurlyInCollege© – Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer for Unisex, 8 Ounce.

My top three hair tool…I don’t really use any tools. However, I do use my paddle brush whenever I wear my hair in a bun. Bob Pins are very useful also.

My #MCM has been and will always be A$AP Rocky, and my #WCW is the beautiful Jade Kendle from Youtube. I love you guysss.

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Meet The Interns: Hana Ford

My name is Hana Ford. I attend Temple University and I am apart of the class of 2018. I went natural June 29, 2012, so I have been apart of the natural hair community for approximately two and a half years. I was attempting to transition however I simply did not have the patience so I just decided to do the big chop.

The main thing that made go natural was the overall health of my hair. I was starting to experience lots of breakage and I tried everything to fix the problem, but I just was not successful in doing so. Every since I cut my hair I have become so confident in myself and I have started to value myself for the queen that I truly am. I think other people definitely perceive me as a much more confident and outgoing individual since I went natural.

Since I have cut my hair I think people have subconsciously placed me in a group with all the other women and girls who have natural hair. I have much love for the natural hair community, but I have an identity outside of my hair and each person with natural hair is different in their very own way.

My favorite part of my hair routine is styling my hair because there’s always numerous options. My top 3 hair products would have to be coconut oil, Cantu Leave In Conditioner, and Organix’s extra penetrating Argan oil. My top 3 favorite tools are my fingers of course, a Denman brush for detangling, and a wide tooth comb so I can pick out my fro from time to time.

My current #WCW is the model Wakeema Hollis. She’s absolutely stunning and she rocks her natural hair in photo shoots which I absolutely love. My #MCM would have to be Pharrell because he is both timeless and ageless and he’s an icon in the music industry.

 

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Real Talk: Relationships, Sex, and Reputation

We are all so pumped, excited and ready to embark our new journey entering college. We come in full of expectations that may go unmet, a mind unopened to things that we’ve never faced, and a stranger to so many new personalities. Everyone that you meet will not come from the same walks of life as yourself.

So real talk, coming in as a teenage girl our minds are naturally engaged to the variety of the men around us. Let me just remind you that everything that looks appealing, may not be good for you. Every guy does not have your best interest in mind…even if he claims otherwise. Sex is a big deal in college. For many guys, that is all that they really want…or nothing at all. Good relationships are rare, and commitment is scarce. It is really difficult to build a relationship with someone within a semester when you’re meeting so many new faces each and every day. I will not say that it is impossible, but it is certainly unlikely. It is up to you to distinguish that in the guy that you are dealing with, as it is extremely important.

Body count, a term created in reference to the number of partners you have had, can make or break you. It is not logical to sexually encounter every guy you meet, so, when your body count begins to peak, your reputation begins to decline. You have to be mindful of the fact that what people think of you, sometimes matters more than you may want it to. You would never want information regarding your one-night stand getting back to someone who has any form of authority over you. Also, a misrepresentation of you can easily become the representation of who you are. You have now become that person, whether it is who you really are, or not.

It’s all about branding yourself, how people perceive you, and you have to be mindful of that. Your reputation is something that you should value, because it can and it will affect the legacy that you leave behind. Carry yourself accordingly. Don’t focus too much on building relationships with these guys that don’t want anything more than sex, and build more with those wanting to impact your life positively. Be mindful of the legacy that you want to leave behind, and maintain reputation that compliments your interest and what best represents who you are.

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Naturalista Spotlight with Aliya Jones

Name and Age?

Aliya Jones, 20

Why did you decide to go natural?

I decided to go natural because I got sick of relaxers breaking my hair off.

How has your natural hair journey been? (childhood til now)

My natural hair journey has been interesting to say the least. The first six years of my life I was natural but my hair became too thick for my mom to handle so she relaxed it. My hair then broke off and when it grew back it stayed the same length all the way through high school. When I graduated high school, I cut my hair to a cute bob and began transitioning for six months. Because my natural roots and permed ends became hard to manage, I braved the big chop. Now I am about a year and a half in and loving it.

When was the moment you fell in love with or accepted your natural hair? Explain.

I began falling in love with my natural hair around March of 2013. After the big chop, I had family members and so-called friends who hated my hair and it took a toll on me big time. I began to watch natural hair videos on youtube where women who don’t necessarily have “fine” hair loved their hair and weren’t afraid to show it. I realized being natural was liberating and fun!

What have you learned about your hair since you’ve been in college?
Since being in college, I’ve learned that my hair is very versatile. I can do so much with it than I thought. I love it!

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What is your biggest hair challenge?
My biggest hair challenge is keeping it moisturized. My hair literally eats up everything!

Why do you love your hair?
I love my hair because it’s mine. All of the different textures in it and the way it grows is my very own. It’s a part of who I am and I show it off proudly.

Who is your hair crush?
My hair crush is none other than Whitney (Naptural85 on Youtube) I just love her!

What are your go-to or staple products?

My go-to staple products are water, shea butter, and Cantu leave-in conditioner.

How do you feel about the natural hair community?
I love the natural hair community! I feel that we all are embracing our natural beauty concerning our hair and we’re all willing to help one another out. I wish we could stray away from trying to figure out which hair type is better, though. That’s something I can really do without.

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Clothing Haul On A College Budget

Recently, I had this random idea to spend all of my money on clothes that I found online and just KNEW I had to have! When I say “spend all of my money” I didn’t literally, I only spent about $200 that I had been saving up for months specifically just to shop at my favorite store. I went on a haul! A haul is basically a shopping trip where you stock up on anything ranging from clothes to jewelry.

My favorite stores are:

  • Forever 21
  • H&M
  • Dazzle Up (located at Northlake Mall in Charlotte,NC

Other Shops I shop at include Jones New York, Off Broadway Shoes, Ross, and Old Navy. In this article I’ll discuss where to buy the outfits that I’ll show in this article and how much they cost.

 


 

Outfit Number 1

   I actually bought this baby doll styled dress from Ross for $12. The thing I love about Ross is their vast collection of clothes for cheap! I admit, some of their clothes aren’t made out of quality material and will rip or tear, but the clothes I buy from there are durable and last for college and nights out with friends. Other items I paired with this outfit are a purse from Pacsun for $24 and Jack Rogers Sandals for $110. I bought the purse and sandals from a prior purchase.

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Outfit Number 2

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The cover up I am wearing in this picture is actually a swim cover up that I wore both to the beach and out for a night in the town. The color of this cover up is off white and is crocheted into flowers – it’s perfect for a beach vacation! I bought this coverup from Forever 21 for $25. With this outfit, I paired a blue bandeau top from Wal-Mart for $5 and Old Navy shorts for $25.   20140616_012646


Outfit Number 3

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I bought this heart blouse from H&M – my new favorite store! I bought it for $29. I paired it with a pair of green capri pants I bought from Jones New York for $40. I bought my shoes from Off Broadway Shoes for $15 – the brand of the shoes are Steve Madden.

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 Outfit Number 4

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I bought this black chiffon shirt from H&M for $27. I paired it with jeans I bought from a prior purchase at Forever 21 for $9. Yes, $9 jeans! Although the shoes I paired with this outfit are sparkle leopard print Toms (which cost $45 at the store Nordstrom Rack), you can pair them with black Jack Rogers sandals.

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Outfit Number 5

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This top is the same black chiffon top from the post above (H&M, $27). The only thing different is that I paired it with a maxi skirt from J.C. Penney for $5 and my black Jack Rogers sandals.


Outfit Number 6

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These shirts that I bought from Dazzle Up, a store at Northlake Mall in Charlotte, NC cost $16.99 a piece. The thing I love about shirts like these are that they’re trendy yet they’re not sold on every corner shop! They also express my cultural beliefs and background.

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Have you shopped anywhere interesting lately?!  If so, comment below and tell us where!

 

 

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The Life of a Curly Graduate

Naturals go through many phases, especially when we decide to make the transition in college.  I decided to cut off all my relaxed ends during at the start of my Junior year of college. Needless to say, during undergrad I was often busy, stressed, and broke which aren’t exactly the best ingredients for getting to know your hair.  Although I could not dedicate a lot of time to taking care of my hair, I made my way and figured out the basics to take me through the next two years of college. Continue reading The Life of a Curly Graduate

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