Fashion has been a part of my life since I was a young girl. I always cared about what I wore to school and would get so upset when my mom would pick out my outfits for the day. When I got old enough I started picking out my own outfits and a few years after that I was doing my own hair. Outfits and hairstyles correlates with one another so well. This blog post is going to be about how I manage to style my hair for my OOTD (outfit of the day). Continue reading Style Your Hair for Your OOTD
I know TWA’s can sometimes be a pain because there isn’t much you can do with them. It’s either twist-out or…twist-out. Yes, there are different versions of the look you can achieve, such as the three strand twist out, the braid-out, or even Bantu knot-outs. I’ve tried all of these, but the two and three-strand twist outs have to be my favorite looks to showcase. I’m going to show you all, step-by-step, how I get my best TWA twist-out. Continue reading Step-By-Step to Your Best TWA Twist-Out!
Since I was a little girl my mom would always put relaxers in my hair because of how thick it was. My mom would style my hair with the typical little black girl plaits and twists with the colorful balls and barrettes! She thought that having my hair out was a bit too grown at my age. I can remember wanting to wear my hair out so bad because all my friends had theirs out and it would flow so nice and pretty in the wind during recess. I used to beg my mom to let me wear my hair out but she was not having it! Continue reading Jasmine’s Natural Hair Journey
When it comes to protective styling, I have a very hard time choosing what I want to go for, whether it be twist outs, box braids, bantu-knots, flat-twists, etc. My hair is super short now in the front so I always have trouble finding cute protective styles that will flatter my face. I started YouTubing women who struggled with having natural short hair and there is one way of protecting my hair that I completely fell in love with.
Wigs. That is right ladies, my favorite go-to protective style is wigs. After researching and finding some methods, I just did not have the patient to perfect a twist-out, or the energy to even try to attempt a bantu-knot. I follow a specific YouTuber by the name of Arnell Armon, who happens to be a short curly haired queen just like myself. Arnell started her channel doing a lot of styles to protect her curls, wig reviews and demos on how to style them and I immediately grew interested in learning how to do it myself.
The first wig I bought was a disaster. I didn’t know what to do and I looked like a clown. I instantly was embarrassed and wanted to give up on my hair as a whole but I stopped and told myself, “Alana. No, you will push yourself to learn the techniques so you can slay.”
With the first wig I bought, I sat in front of my Macbook watching Arnell on YouTube plucking the middle part so that your hair wouldn’t be so harsh to look at. After 2 hours of trial and error, I finally got my part to look just as if it was hair.
My next step was to perfect my cornrows underneath my wigs so that the wig wouldn’t look as if I had two knots in my scalp. I had to learn how to braid my short hair down with extra braiding hair so that the wig cap would be secure. It was a struggle at first but I didn’t let tedious mistakes get to me. I kept trying and trying and after a few tries, my not so presentable wig went from “Hot mess” to “Oh yes honey!”
I didn’t stop here of course. My love for wigs has grown and my collection is expanding. I like to switch it up between curly wigs, straight bobs, wavy bobs with different colors and more. If you are definitely a lazy person when it comes to taking care of your hair and you’re always on the go or in the rush to go to an event, wigs are the way to go for you.
I wake up in the morning to take part in my daily routine and instead of having to stress about how much time you’re going to have to do your hair, you just pop that bad boy on, lay those edges and go. You can get a stylish wig from your local beauty supply store that will only retail for about $20-40 dollars. Trust me, you won’t regret that deal.
Growing up, I always wanted long hair, waist length to be exact. Unfortunately, my hair never grew that long or that fast even. Before I went natural, my hair was about armpit length, and even after 4 years of being natural, my hair is barely armpit length. I never did the big chop when I decided to go natural, I transitioned because I wanted to retain some type of length so all I did was trim my hair between washes until all the damaged hair was gone. While on my natural hair journey I have come to love my hair, regardless of its length (or so I thought). I love my curls and the fullness of my hair. However, I have come to a point in my journey where I believe I need a change. I will honestly say that my hair growth has been stunted for the past year and a half almost.
I have always been afraid of cutting my hair because I’m not sure if the look will fit me. I’ve been proclaiming for over a year that I will cut my hair but I always convince myself not to do it, and everyone always tells me “You have good hair, don’t cut it,” but they don’t know my personal struggle.
Ironically it seems that everyone around me has just been chopping their hair off and enjoying life, and they make it look so easy. A couple months ago, I came across this page on Instagram called The Cut Life (@thecutlife) and I was instantly inspired. They also have a website (http://livethecutlife.com/) and what they’re all about as they have said is promoting “a lifestyle space for stunners with short hair”. I think that is really amazing and beautiful, encouraging females to embrace their short hair. I want to believe that there is a story behind every cut. Also, no cut is exactly the same as another, each cut is unique to the individual and that’s what really caught my attention.
I think I’m starting to fall out of love with my hair, I spend more time being dissatisfied with its length than admiring everything else about it, so I think it’s time to re-write this love story. Yes! I will soon be cutting ALL of my hair off, and hopefully falling in love with it all over again regardless of its length.
I want to thank The Cut Life for creating such a warm atmosphere for young women to love and embrace their short hair. I also want to specially thank two young ladies I personally know for inspiring me as well. Below are their stories, please read them. Maybe you’ve found yourself to be in a position similar to mine or maybe you just want to try something new, I hope they inspire you to go for it! The truth of the matter is, its hair! Long or short, it will grow back. It may take you longer than it takes the next person but no two stories are the same.
Meet Janai Kiristen (Instagram: @janaikristen Youtube: JanaiKristen)
“Okay so first, I big chopped because my ends were so dead from dying my hair so much. Honestly, I never intended to go natural, but then I kept cutting my hair shorter and shorter because I’ve always wanted hair that was very short but I was always scared. Then I ended up cutting it because I got more confident as time went on and going shorter and shorter as opposed to cutting it all off was easier. Now I keep it short because it’s different and eye catching and not many people can pull it off. Pretty much, short hair just makes me feel bold and it’s really a confidence booster once you stop caring about what people think of it/you when they see your hair.”
Meet Eunice Abimah (Instagram: @emefa_)
“April-June were the hardest months for me to get through this year. I went through a lot of stress and pain. I was lost in every way a person could possibly be lost. I felt alone, rejected, unloved, unnoticed, betrayed, and I was angry as hell. With nowhere else to turn to, I started this journey with God, and as the days went by, I grew closer and closer to him. I began to hear his voice literally and understand who he truly is. I began to experience his love by being put in situations where I would see it clearly. So, all the time that I felt alone and rejected, unloved and isolated, God was there with me. He was the only one who truly understood what I was going through, and he has shown me a love that is incomprehensible. When people I called my friends turned their backs on me, God hugged me, comforted me and showed me that everything I needed was in Him. Then one day, I decided I wanted to cut my hair… it really just came out of the blue and I became so pressed to cut it the next day. When I cut my hair, I became a new person. I feel more confident in myself and in the way I look now, more than ever. I know it sounds cliché but after all I’ve been through, cutting my hair made me feel like I cut off all the dead ends in my life, all the hurt and the old habits and here I am… a new creation! Glory be to my Father.”
I know some, or most of you, may look around and ask yourself, “What do you mean is natural hair for everyone? As black women, then it’s definitely for us!” And I get where you’re coming from, I do. You would think, being black women, natural hair is part of our heritage, part of who we are.
Having been relaxer and chemical free for almost seven years now, I can say that I’ve had my share of natural hair experiences with myself and those around me. And with that being said, I can truthfully say that natural hair isn’t for everyone. And I know it sounds bad, but it’s not meant to be taken in the way that you think.
There have been countless posts on Twitter with certain “naturalistas” insisting that girls ditch the creamy crack and learn to love their coils. But I agree with those relaxed women when they say that the natural life, though it’s something that could come with little to no effort, may not be for everyone. And that’s perfectly fine.
Many, if not most of us, have all dealt with relaxed hair; including weaves. To go from something that you run the flat iron through or wrap up in literally 45 seconds at night, to carving out an hour or two every night for a few flat twists, isn’t comfortable for all black women.
I hope no one thought going from relaxed hair to natural hair would be a piece of cake. I mean, you learn as you go, but the beginning can be trying. Once you transition, you begin dealing with two different hair textures; and one of them you’re seemingly unfamiliar with.
Some decide to skip the transitioning stage altogether and jump straight into the “big chop,” but no matter the route you’re still bound to run into issues. But it’s nothing you can’t get past with a little coconut oil and some patience.
Mental preparation is the only thing that comes to mind when I think of working with natural hair. If you’ve been conditioned to deal with relaxed hair, you may not be as eager to work with the unfamiliar curly stuff growing out behind it. And if you decided to big chop, you have to instantly adapt to the natural hair that took the place of those straight ends.
Some women aren’t willing to take the time and energy that comes with it, so they fail and go back to what they know. And there’s nothing wrong with that, per se. It just means that if you’re only willing to be natural when you can cover it with a weave, then it may not be for you.
Now that I’ve gotten more into it, I don’t think that “natural hair isn’t for everyone,” but more so not everyone is ready to adapt to their natural hair. And that’s OK. The journey is a beautiful one; even the days when you have no idea what you’re doing or if your hair is even growing.
For most, it’s a physical change, but for me, it was something within. It was a new confidence, something that I needed. Whether you’re loving the creamy crack or relishing in your newfound love for your curls, enjoy what makes you happy.
Are you a girlie that uses relaxers?
I believe that the majority of us can live without relaxers. Although relaxers make our hair flow straight and pretty, that is only what it gives to the outside appearance. So lets go more in depth about what a relaxer technically does to the hair!
What is a hair relaxer, and what does a hair relaxer specifically do to the hair strand?
A hair relaxer is a manmade chemical with a lotion or a cream texture that is used to make the hair easy to straighten and manage on a daily basis. It reduces the beautiful curl pattern by altering the curl structure of the hair. It makes the hair resistant to returning to its original curl pattern.
In most relaxer instructions, it suggests that you leave the chemical lotion or cream in your hair for about twenty minutes. (I know some of you may leave it in a little bit longer to make sure it fully takes well). So as it is sitting in the hair, it is causing your hair cuticle to burn every time it touches your hair. Consistently using relaxers, we often start to physically see the stress and weakness that our hair is slowly transforming into. The hair will start to grow at a slower rate and it is known to cause split ends and hair breakage.
- Damage Follicle: When the hair is relaxed, the scalp becomes burnt leading to a damaged follicle.
- Scab Hair: The hair from the damage follicle continues to grow but not in the proper way, therefore a new follicle will start to grow.
- New Follicle: The damage follicle then sheds and dies off while a new follicle with normal hair growth takes over.
In conclusion, this sums up what a hair relaxer actually does to our hair. How do you feel about relaxers?
Photo via bellemocha.com
I think we can all agree that one of the major problems with having natural hair is styling. Taking care of natural hair can be very hard and tedious; or maybe it’s just me. However, over time as you learn more about your hair, you figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. some styles look better or are easier to maintain on certain textured hairs than others. So, we often cannot simply mimic styles that we see on others or online. I’m not saying it’s always impossible to get your hair to look a certain way but you may have to do a thing or two in addition to what the other person did, depending on your hair texture.
I have a head full of 4c hair, very kinky. Imagine having to comb and style my hair every single morning… no thank you! (haha) Over the course of my journey, learning and loving my hair, I’ve come across some hairstyles that I love, love, love, and they are really simple and save me about a week or two of having to style my hair, depending on how I choose to maintain it. For all my 4c ladies, you can definitely try these out and let me know how it works for you, and if you don’t have 4c hair, definitely feel free to try and manipulate the style to get it to work for you hair texture.
I like to call these my signature looks because these are my absolute favorite go to and easy to do hairstyles, and they’re not time consuming whatsoever (well, maybe one of them). So, whenever my hair is not in a protective style (box braids, crochet, etc.) you’ll find me rocking these styles.
Above is a flat twist out, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. I put some flat twists in my hair and then took them out the next morning. For my particular look, I did about 8-10 flat twists. As you can see in the pictures, I have a part on the left side, allowing my hair to fall toward the right side of my face. I did two twists across the front, toward the right, two on the left side and the rest straight back. I also did bantu knots on the ends because I wanted the curls to be defined.
The first two pictures are the first time I did this hairstyle and I fell in love but as you can see, compared to the last picture, the curls are a bit looser. The reason being that, in the first two pictures this style was done on old hair (meaning, not freshly washed), whereas the second picture my hair was freshly washed and a little air dried. I personally prefer the first look because I’m not a big fan of super tight curls, I like my hair to be a bit stretched.
This next style I call “my puff puffs” which refers to the pictures on your right. As you can see, there’s one puff then there’s two. I find it hard to pick between them because they both have their good and bad days. Like I mentioned earlier, I prefer my hair to be a bit stretched before doing anything to it, because I want it to look a lot fuller and have some length to it (because shrinkage is real!). So, one of the ways I stretch my hair is by doing bantu knots on freshly washed hair, leaving it in for about a week and combing/brushing it out. As you can see in the first picture, my bantu knots are a week old. The second picture is my hair combed out and put into a high puff using a head band, about 3 or 4 days after the first picture was taken. The last picture is about a week after the second picture and I simply applied conditioner to my hair and parted it into two. I don’t comb my hair all the way out because I like to see the curls defined at the ends as you can see in the pictures. I do a lot of finger combing and hand fluffing.
Here is just another way I stretch my hair before putting it into a single puff or two, using the flat twist method. The only difference is, the puffs are a bit rounder; these pictures were taken four days apart. Ultimately, there are different ways to achieve the same look, it’s whatever is best for you!
As African American queens, we have all had a specific thought run across our minds; “Should I go natural?”. Some of us have accomplished, attempted, or kept it as a thought. If you fit into the “attempted” or “kept it as a thought” category, this post is specifically for you! As far as my accomplished sistas, don’t worry, if you need some reassurance, this is for you too!
Here are 5 amazing reasons why you should go natural:
- Self Acceptance
First things first, accepting your natural hair is not as easy as it may sound for everyone. However, I can almost promise you that it is a beautiful experience. Accepting and going through the transition stage can be a pain but it is super interesting to see what your hair transforms into! You would almost think your hair is consistently playing the “she loves me, she loves me not” game, as much as you may switch from loving your hair one day and hating it the next! However, with time you learn to feel liberated! You feel free from trying to impress and fit in with society.
What is more fun than having more options? Perhaps nothing! Being a natural allows you to have so many style options. I have nothing against relaxers. However, you don’t get to experience anything other than straight hair. When you’re natural, you can rock the bush, afro, puffs, twists, and don’t get me started on the protective styles! There are endless to choose from! With that being said, versatility allows you to stay interested in your hair!
It is always better to take the healthier route! Going natural is the healthiest option to choose for your hair. Harsh chemicals can damage the hair now or later, sometimes both! Healthy hair will only allow your strands to flourish like a pretty flower. No more damage from hair glue or heat! You are now in your natural state and it feels so good!
- Debunks European and Western standards
In the past years, straight hair was the only hair accepted in society. Straight hair was known to be the hairstyle and texture to give you beauty and poise. Kinky and coily hair was known as unprofessional and inappropriate. However, you don’t have to worry about your hair getting ruined in the rain because you have a weave or a relaxer in your hair. Natural hair is becoming more and more visible in today’s society. Companies want to be apart of the movement. The fashion industry is becoming more supportive of the movement too! Going natural allows you to support and expand on what is defined as the “beauty standard”.
- Unique and Special
Being natural is so unique and special. Not only to you, but to other people as well! You could be walking down the street and all eyes will be on your hair! You will get questions on what you do to your hair, what products you use, and some people may even ask to touch your hair! That is how special and interesting natural hair really is! Natural hair is subconsciously praised believe it or not. Natural hair has a wide range of textures, which is another reason why it is so special and interesting.
So ladies, I hope these five reasons convinced, and reassured your thoughts on going natural!
CurlyInCollege is so excited to be on our Homecoming Tour! We hit Florida A&M University last week and we’re headed to North Carolina A&T State University this week.
Tomorrow, we will be outside of the cafe at NCAT from 11am-3pm.
Shea Moisture has graciously powered this tour. That means every student that comes to visit our table will receive FREE Shea Moisture samples.
But that’s not all! Two students have a chance to win FULL SIZE Shea Moisture products.
We are looking forward to meeting all the students at NCAT this week as we strive to support students who are bold enough to navigate a life with curls on campus.
See you there!