Camping was a foundational part of my childhood. Every summer, my extended family would plan two to three trips to the beautiful provincial parks of Alberta. We would either stay in our tent trailer, an Alpine Club of Canada hut, or tents depending on how remote our campsite was. Access to water was quite limited and we had to pack light, which meant no room for extraneous items like hair care supplies.
Whether your regimen is minimalist or high maintenance, every naturalista needs her holy grail kit to keep her curls popping. But when you've got to choose between packing camping essentials and your fave styling gel, it's a no-brainer: the hair stuff stays home. This generally wasn't a big deal for our shorter trips. My hair would usually be tucked away in box braids or cornrows ― styles that could survive a weekend without fuss. Longer trips took a bit more planning, though. If we were going away for a week or two, I'd try to get my hair done as close to our departure date as possible to maximize the longevity of the protective style. This way, I wouldn't need to touch it up during the trip and could get away with shampooing just once if necessary.
If you're going camping or travelling for an extended period of time, I recommend sticking to the easiest styles and simplest products you can find. The last thing you want to do is spend hours detangling your hair in the woods when you could be enjoying the gorgeous scenery. Here are some suggestions:
Buns are fantastic for short trips because you don't have to spend any time installing them, and they do a decent job keeping your coils out of the way. Big cornrows, flat twists, and Bantu knots are better options if you don't want to restyle your hair every morning, but because they won't last longer than a few days before getting fuzzy, you should consider medium to small ones for week-long trips. Most naturalistas are able to keep braids, twists, and weaves in for anywhere between two and eight weeks, making them ideal for trips longer than seven nights.
Of course, some lucky people get to travel for months and months at a time. Should you be on the road for over eight weeks, I would suggest braids or twists ― but only with your own hair. Taking down extension hair in the wilderness is very difficult and time-consuming. You can literally shave hours off this process by braiding or twisting your own hair, taking it down after a few weeks, giving it a good wash, and reinstalling the style while sitting by the campfire.
If you're wondering why I haven't mentioned twist outs, braid outs, or wash-and-go's, it's because those styles are wayyyy to high maintenance for camping. Moreover, you'll be in big trouble if it rains or you decide to take a dip in the lake! That said, I'm sure many people have no issues travelling with their afros out and you're certainly welcome to try it if you want, but I prefer to keep the number of things I need to worry about to a minimum.
No matter what you decide, make sure you're doing what you can to keep your hair healthy while you travel. Remember to moisturize regularly and protect it from the elements. And try not to worry about it so much! It'll keep growing no matter what, so just relax and have a fantastic vacation.
How do you keep your hair healthy while travelling? Share with us in a comment below!
Because kinky, coily afro hair is prone to dryness and breakage, it's super important for us to keep it well-oiled and moisturized. Regularly sealing in moisture with oils is critical to any healthy natural hair regimen, and the benefits can be super-charged with weekly or bi-weekly hot oil treatments. But many naturalistas complain that they don't have time for hot oil treatments, which can last anywhere from half-an-hour to overnight. If you're short on time but still want to give your hair a boost, keep reading.
WHAT'S A HOT OIL TREATMENT?
Oils like coconut, castor, and jojoba are fantastic for locking moisture (water) into natural hair. They do this by repelling water molecules, thereby trapping them inside the hair shaft. When oil is heated, it helps the cuticles (scale-like coverings) along the hair shaft open up so the hair can better absorb the water and nutrients in the oils.
WHAT'S THE POINT?
As previously mentioned, hot oil treatments encourage our hair to absorb moisture and nutrients. If you use a light enough oil you might not have to rinse it out after, but one of the main advantages of doing the treatment is that it serves as an excellent pre-poo. A pre-poo is a treatment that's done before shampooing. Many shampoos contain ingredients that are very drying and strip the hair of too much oil, which can weaken the strands and lead to knotting and breakage. A pre-poo, such as a hot oil treatment, ensures enough oil remains in the hair and on the scalp to prevent dryness.
SO HOW DO YOU DO ONE?
There are many different ways you can do a hot oil treatment, but generally you want to use at least one carrier oil and, if you like, one or more essential oils. A carrier oil is necessary to dilute essential oils, which can be so potent they can burn you if used in high concentrations. For this reason, you only need to put a few drops of essential oil into a tablespoon of a carrier oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc.
Speaking of burns, be careful to not heat the oil too much. Ten to fifteen seconds in the microwave or 5-10 mins in a hot water bath should be enough. If it's too hot to touch with your fingers, wait for it to cool down. Spritz your hair with a moisturizer like water and/or aloe vera juice, then apply the hot oil treatment to your hair and scalp. Most people typically leave the treatment in for at least 20-30 mins, and some even wait until the next day to rinse it out.
WHAT IF YOU'RE SHORT ON TIME?
Waiting around for the oils to work their magic can be a deal-breaker for those of us on tight schedules. Here are a few ways you can speed up the process:
This may seem like a lot of steps, but with practice you'll likely be able to do the whole process in under ten minutes. Depending on how your hair is styled, you might even be able to get away with not taking your hair down before applying the treatment. Just make sure you focus on your scalp and your own hair, rather than any extension hair, and rinse it out properly to avoid product build-up.
How do you save time in your regimen? Share your tips in a comment below!
Everybody's into podcasts these days. Whether it's to learn how to start a business or cope with mental health issues, there's a show on any topic for any audience. If you like listening to podcasts and can't get enough of natural hair, check out this list of shows. They're all informative, entertaining, and hosted by super charismatic and smart women. Enjoy!
"Snatched Edges is a podcast all about hair health. Expect to hear tips on how to solve common hair and scalp issues, how to tackle hair loss and the best ways to style your hair. Whether you are loc'd or loose, natural or relaxed you are sure to hear something to keep your hair flourishing."
The Natural Hair Weekly
"Join our Global Editor and Curator Jahdusha V Shines, for a 'natural conversation' (and some laughs) exploring elements of the natural hair lifestyle with special guests from around the world in entertainment, health, wellness, business and life."
Grow it Long & Strong: Natural Hair Radio
"Learn to grow your afro, kinky or curly textured natural hair hair with ancient techniques, modern science and inner wisdom like never before. Discover why the products you have been using have or have not been working, what are the best styles to retain hair length and how to promote better hair health from the inside out for long lasting results."
The Nappturalite Radio Show
"Calling all Nappturalites! Whether your hair is naturally kinky, curly or wavy, this show has you in mind. The Napptualite Radio Show is dedicated to the love of all things related to black natural hair care. We will discuss natural hair topics, interview natural hair specialists, give you the scoop on the best hair care products and share resources that benefit Nappturalites everywhere. Airs M-W at 3pm EST and on Thursdays at 7pm EST!"
Long, Healthy Hair - Natural Kinky and Curly Hair
"This channel is designed for people that have recently gone natural and need a few quick tips on a) how to maintain the health of their hair and b) how to make sure it grows to its maximum potential."
Natural Hair 360
"A weekly podcast about everything that has to do with Natural Hair, its care, maintenance, trends, etc. Review, rate, and subscribe."
Natural Haircare News
"Just two sisters doing our thing! Join us as we have "real" conversations about everything from the perceptions and attitudes that black women and the community have about natural hair - both positive and negative, to natural haircare tips and strategies from A thru Z. Show us some love and leave a review on iTunes if you like our podcast, then check out our blog - NaturalHairCareNews.com"
What's your favorite natural hair show or podcast? Share it with us in a comment below!
One of the best pieces of advice you will receive as a natural is: never do your hair in a rush. When we hurry through processes like detangling and washing, we risk damaging our hair by causing unnecessary tangles, snags, and breaks. However, we're all busy ladies and sometimes it's hard to set aside hours and hours to do a thorough job. That's why I've been researching the quickest ways of maintaining natural hair. Stretching your curls can be particularly time-consuming, but after some digging I've determined the following three techniques to be the most efficient.
What you'll need:
2. Twists + Bobby Pins
3. Roller Sets
What's your favorite method of stretching your hair? Share with us in a comment below!
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Seven Dashing Ladies Who Are Taking Yarn Braids to the Next Level
Nothing is more aggravating than an itchy scalp. Whether it's caused by dehydration, allergies, or tight braiding it can be super embarrassing, and lasting solutions are often hard to come by. It's is an issue I've struggled with for years so I decided to put together this list of tips in case you're also looking to soothe an angry scalp.
It might be a few weeks before you start noticing results, but stay persistent and hopefully you'll get some relief. If nothing helps, though, definitely consider seeing a dermatologist.
Do you have a trick for soothing your scalp? Share in a comment below!
The other day a friend of mine opened up to me about one of her fears. She explained that although her hair is healthy now, she heard it will likely get thinner when she's older. It turns out a lot of people have this concern. Female pattern hair loss isn't uncommon and can occur for many reasons, including natural causes like pregnancy and aging as I covered in a previous post. To some people this may seem like a frivolous thing to worry about, but the state of your hair can actually indicate a lot about your overall health. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to grow stronger hair while taking care of your general wellbeing.
1. Seal with Castor Oil - Many naturalistas swear by the effects of castor oil because of its ability to lock in moisture. Moisture is necessary for both softening hair and strengthening it against breakage. Because it's a thicker oil, it's easier to apply when slightly warmed up. Just make sure you use it only when your hair and scalp are damp in order to maximize its benefits. Castor oil is also known to treat skin problems like acne and dryness. Some people also use it for constipation and menstrual cramps. (HomeRemediesWeb.com)
2. Use Gentle Tools - One of the easiest ways to promote thicker hair is to prevent breakage while detangling and styling. Using your fingers and gentle tools like wide tooth combs and ouchless hair elastics will minimize the amount of tugging and snagging that each strand endures. The less stress your hair is under, the more it will flourish.
3. Practice Protective Styling - Another method of avoiding breakage is to keep your hair tucked away in long-term styles, such as braids, cornrows, and twists. These hairstyles greatly reduce the amount of manipulation your hair undergoes by allowing you to rock the same look for several days or even weeks at a time. Not having to fix your hair each day gives your scalp and strands a much-needed rest, thereby encouraging growth.
4. Get Your Fluids - We're all aware of how crucial it is for mental and physical health to stay hydrated, but did you know drinking water is an easy way to maintain healthy skin and hair? That's because the cells in the hair follicles at your roots require water to function properly. Water also staves off dandruff, itchiness, and other scalp-related issues by keeping the skin moisturized. While you may think it's enough to regularly spritz your hair with a water-based solution, it doesn't hurt to moisturize from the inside out, too, by drinking fluids and eating juicy fruits and vegetables.
5. Eat a Balanced, Protein-Rich Diet - Hair is made of keratin, which is a form of protein. Your body needs to take in protein regularly to grow new hair, and contrary to popular belief, meat isn't your only option. Broccoli, asparagus, kale, almonds and soybeans are all high in protein. (MindBodyGreen.com) You can also opt for fortified foods like soy milk and yogurt that have added protein, or try protein bars or supplements.
How do you keep your hair healthy? Share with us in a comment below!
With all the new regimens, month-long challenges, and novel products constantly being released, we naturalistas are able to enjoy a wealth of hair care knowledge that has never existed before. A few years ago it was impossible to find information online about how to do your own box braids. Now, I can't even count how many braiding tutorial videos are on YouTube. Better access to information about natural hair care has obvious benefits: it allows us to celebrate our natural beauty and indulge in self-love while rocking amazing hairstyles! However, sometimes it can be overwhelming to sift through all the advice －especially when some of it seems contradictory.
Take, for example, the issue of detangling natural hair. For the longest time the afro pick was the universal tool for getting tangles and knots out of kinky/coily hair. In fact I remember my Mom using an afro pick for all sorts of purposes. After detangling, she would use it to create parts, and while she was styling, she would even use it as a clip to keep stray hairs out of her way. Despite the incredible usefulness of the afro pick, it (and other similar combs) face growing competition from another school of thought: the finger detangling method.
Finger detangling is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of passing through your strands with a comb to remove knots and tangles, you instead create small sections of hair and gently pull each apart until, theoretically, every strand has been separated from its neighbours. If done properly the results of combing and finger detangling are pretty much the same, but not everyone agrees that these two methods are perfect substitutes.
As you can see, it's a bit of a tossup between the two. It's up to you to know what your curls need and to decide which option is best to maintain healthy, happy hair. Of course no one is forcing you to pick one, either. Many naturalistas (including me!) alternate methods depending on the circumstances. Regardless of what you choose you'll need the right tools to get started.
TOP DETANGLING COMBS
TOP DETANGLING PRODUCTS
Do you prefer to comb or finger detangle your hair? Why? Share in a comment below!
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How to Keep Your Scalp Squeaky Clean Between Washes
How to Find the Best Blow Dryer for Curly Hair
Do You Need a Hair Mask?
If you think Nicki Minaj is to thank (or blame) for the growing popularity of wigs, you'll be interested to learn that humans have been actually been wearing wigs for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians were known to shave their heads and instead wear wigs to protect their scalps from the blazing sun (Encyclopedia). In the 1600s, men of status donned enormous powdered wigs to signify their wealth and virility (Cracked).
While the wig once symbolized power and prestige, today it's mostly considered a costume item. People don't really take wigs seriously anymore, and the practice of doing so has even become contentious in the natural hair community. Some people argue that wigs shouldn't be considered natural because they mask the wearer's true curls much like a relaxer does. Conversely, others state that if the wearer's hair is unprocessed and free of chemicals underneath, then s/he is natural regardless. No matter which side of the debate you fall on there are indisputable benefits to wearing a wig.
In order to enjoy these benefits, though, you've got to make sure your wig is installed and maintained correctly. Here are some tips:
What's your stance on wigs? Are they a staple in your wardrobe or just a Halloween accessory?
Share your thoughts in a comment below!
It can be tricky to switch up your look if you have short to medium-length natural hair. Many styles like cornrows and Bantu knots are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve with only a few inches of hair to work with. It's also frustrating waiting for your hair to grow out just so you can have more styling choices. You should be able to enjoy your hair while it's short and experiment with a variety of styles!
Enter the hair brush sponge. This clever invention has been rising in popularity, especially as more people opt for the big chop and locs. By design, it's incredibly simple: just a sponge with small, evenly-spaced circular indents that catch and coil the hair into neat little sections. Depending on how you use it the sponge can provide a different texture to your afro, create neat coils, or even help you start your dreadlocks. Although hair brush sponges generally look the same, there are some differences you should be aware of. I've taken the liberty of scouring through the options and narrowed it down to the following three.
Cherir Premium Hair Sponge
Magic Barber Sponge Brush
Magic Twist Hair Brush Sponge
If I had to choose one of these sponges I'd definitely go with the Cherir Premium Hair Sponge. It's incredibly easy to use and because it's made with such fine materials, it provides salon-quality results. The sponge is also covered by a one year replacement warranty, which means you'll be able to use it for far longer than any other brand.
Have you ever used a hair brush sponge before? Share your experience in a comment below!
With all the misinformation out there about afro hair being naturally dry and frizzy (shoutout to Ouidad), it's easy to start thinking there's something wrong with kinky/coily hair -- even when it's perfectly healthy. This misinformation can prompt us naturals to buy products that aren't suited for our hair. Even companies that cater to afro-textured hair get it wrong sometimes so it's important to be diligent when shopping for your hair, otherwise you might become what I call a hair hypochondriac.
As naturals, we're always being told how fragile and brittle our hair is. "Breakage" has become this big bad B word that has sent us running to stores in frantic search of products that will protect us from the horrors of thinning edges, single-strand knots, and split ends. We're bombarded with advertising that suggests our hair could be thicker, longer, shinier, and most fallaciously of all, straighter. The funny thing is even if you have superbly healthy hair, you've probably felt compelled by these claims too. I for one can admit to second-guessing the health of my edges whenever I see certain advertisements. (Are these normal baby hairs, or am I balding...?!) Obviously, this doubt inspires me to purchase some cream or gel that promises to restore my edges to their former glory. It's not until I've tested the product and had zero results that I realize I had been paying more attention to the advertising than to my own hair! I'd fallen victim to clever marketing that made me believe my hair might be damaged (is my hair dull, or is it just bad lighting in here?) and I lost sight of what my hair truly needed. I'm a much savvier shopper now that I have a few tricks to avoid becoming a hair hypochondriac.
I hope you find these tips helpful and remember them next time you're shopping for hair products. Unless you're a huge fan of the flat iron and you dye your hair a new colour every two days, chances are your hair is doing just fine! Be sure to listen to what it wants and forget all the corporate noise telling you otherwise.
Have you suffered from hair hypochondria? Share your experience in a comment below!
What's your secret to improving your hairstyling skills? Share in a comment below!
Have you ever wondered how your hairstylist got so good at what she does? Regardless of whether she went to cosmetology school or learned to do hair by observing friends and relatives, at the end of the day she definitely put in endless hours of practice to perfect her skills. Many hairstylists practice for years before taking on their first client because it takes a long time to develop speed and muscle memory while maintaining a high standard of quality. When you think about the amount of effort required to master a relatively complex style like tree braids or crochet braids it's easy to get discouraged and resort to helplessly depending on your stylist.
Admittedly, I've been relying on stylists for most of my life. It's just always seemed more convenient to let someone else deal with my hair while I watched TV or got some studying done. However, it wasn't until last week that I discovered a foolproof way of practicing tricky hairstyles without sacrificing a tonne of time or money. Using this new method I've been able to improve my braiding skills while keeping my hair looking great. I stumbled upon this trick when one of my box braids fell out the other day. Normally I detangle the newly-exposed section of hair, coat it with a moisturizing cream, and then twist it. This time, though, I found myself with some spare time and an extra pack of synthetic braiding hair - and I was feeling adventurous.
Instead of leaving my hair out, I took a shot at redoing the extension braid myself. I only had one tiny section to braid, so I wasn't stressed out by the idea of having to finish it quickly and move on to the next one. I could just concentrate on getting the technique down, and if I messed up it was easy to undo the braid and start over. Having the professionally-done braids right there for comparison was also a huge help. I knew immediately when my braid was too loose or too fat because I could hold it up against the other braids. This meant the final product was always nearly perfect; a vast improvement from when I tried to braid my whole head from scratch!
Another benefit of this method is that it keeps your style looking fresh longer. As more braids become loose over time, I've been able to replace them with new, clean braids that suddenly make the style look like it was recently installed. This allows me to continually improve my braiding skills while boosting the lifespan of my protective style. And the longer my hairstyle lasts, the more money I save! Seriously, the benefits just keep piling up.
To summarize, if you want to become a protective styling guru the secret is to maintain your hairstyle incrementally. Replace individual braids or twists as they loosen and not only will you find yourself saving a bunch of time and money, but you'll also always look like you've just come from the salon!
I really do love me a good hot oil treatment. By coating my strands in rich, nutrient-packed liquid gold and letting the warm oils soak in, I'm ensuring my hair stays as strong and healthy as possible. I like to heat up a blend of coconut oil, grapeseed oil, castor oil, and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sit with the mixture in my hair for thirty minutes to an hour. I rinse it out afterwards and either shampoo or co-wash.
That was my weekly routine until about two months ago when I got box braids. Knowing how messy hot oil treatments can be even on short hair, I asked one of my hairdressers what she thought about continuing the treatments with the extensions in. She stated, "I wouldn't recommend it." I figured this made sense because the oils would probably be wasted slipping down the length of the extensions rather than focusing on my hair. So when it came time for me to do my regular hot oil treatment, I skipped it and instead went straight to co-washing.
I did this for about two weeks, but then I noticed my scalp was starting to dry out. It was flaking without the boost of nutrients and moisture from the oils. Even regular spritzing couldn't alleviate the problem. Despite getting professional advice against doing a hot oil treatment I couldn't ignore what my body was telling me, so I gave it a shot. I did tweak some things, though. First, I used much less castor oil than usual. This is because castor oil is incredibly thick and I was worried it might be hard to wash out of the braids. To make up the difference, I added a little more grapeseed oil and EVOO; they're not as viscous. When applying the oils, I focused more on my scalp and first inch of hair. This allowed any excess oil to travel down to the ends of my natural hair without bogging down my braids.
Unsurprisingly, I noticed relief within a few days. My scalp retained more moisture after co-washing and soon the flakes were gone. I'm glad I figured out a way to continue my hot oil treatments while protective styling, otherwise I'd probably have to take down my box braids after only a couple of weeks!
How do you switch up your regimen when protective styling? Share in a comment below!
It can be really tough to find a natural hair stylist. Depending on where you live, there simply aren't enough professionals who understand natural hair to go around. On top of that, getting your hair done by an expert can be hella pricey and time-consuming. If you're thinking of taking matters into your own hands, here are some pointers:
1. THE STYLE IS ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR PARTS - It might be time for you to purchase a rat-tail comb if you don't have one already. They make it so much easier to create straight lines and precise sections, which will help your final look seem more polished and professional. You can definitely still part your hair using your hands or a pick instead, but you may not get the same results.
2. KNOW HOW MUCH HAIR YOU NEED - This goes hand-in-hand with the quality of your parting. If you use too much extension hair for each section, you'll put too much strain on your follicles, which could cause hair loss. On the other hand, using too little extension hair can make it tricky to make your natural hair blend in.
3. THERE'S ALWAYS AN ALTERNATIVE - When I first started, I tried to mimic everything I'd seen my hairstylists do, from fluffing out and sectioning strands of extension hair to applying oil on my scalp as I went along. All these tricks proved invaluable for the most part, but YouTube quickly showed me that there are several different approaches and none is necessarily right or wrong. This was welcome news, as I was growing increasingly frustrated with one method of starting a braid that seemed physically impossible for me to achieve. The technique I eventually settled on was far simpler and more intuitive than the first, yet garnered the same results.
4. DETANGLED AND MOISTURIZED HAIR BEHAVES BEST - I'm not a newb. The day before commencing this entire endeavour, I luxuriated in a hot oil treatment, cleansed thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner, t-shirt dried, detangled, and spritzed with a mix of aloe vera juice and oils. In other words, my hair was in prime condition to be styled... but this wasn't enough! As I broke each section into smaller and smaller sections, it became clear that more detangling and moisturizing needed to be done. A good chunk of my first braids were a hot mess. Giant puffs of hair poked out every which way as if the style was pushing six weeks. Unfortunately it wasn't until I reached my ears that I remembered the sight of my beloved hairstylist in Edmonton, Loius, running a fine-toothed comb over each tiny section of hair before wrapping the synthetic hair around it. Before that she would moisturize my hair with some sort of oil, which I now realize is what kept my ends from popping out like a ghost in the night.
5. TIME IS MONEY - The last thing I learned is that the longer you spend doing your hair, the more it would've made more sense to just have it professionally styled. I spent a few hours over the span of three days installing my braids, and admittedly they look terrible. If you're trying to save money by doing your own hair and you haven't got much experience, trust me, you might be better off paying someone who knows how to glam you up.
That's not to say there's no value in learning to do it yourself. While your results may not be ideal in the short run, knowing how to do simple styles like twists, cornrows, and bantu knots can be a lifesaver once you get the hang of it. As for me, I don't mind walking around for the next couple of weeks with this semi-disaster on my head because A) my hair actually is being protected, and B) I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish. Even though it feels like I spent a decade on it, I'm already looking forward to my next attempt so I can apply everything I learned.
Have you ever tried putting in your own extensions? Tell us how it went in a comment below!
In two minutes and fifty-six seconds, a vlogger on YouTube named Eskimohair has managed to create quite a stir with her tutorial video entitled How to make straight hair into Afro hair tutorial. In it, she demonstrates an admittedly ingenious method of using tin foil and a flat iron to add some major texture to her otherwise silky tresses.
Personally, I see this as a breakthrough. FINALLY someone other than a progressive Black college grad thinks afros are cool! It's so refreshing to see our hair being considered desirable, fashionable, and worth spending the time to attain. Whether she means to or not, Eskimohair is reaffirming in her video that kinky hair isn't something to be corrected; it's a beautiful hairstyle in its own right.
The tragedy is that many people still don't realize this truth ﹣ even and/or especially Black people. While the sale of relaxers has been steadily declining in the past five years, the mentality that straight, sleek hair is the only form of "good hair" prevails. Thank goodness we're not burning our scalps and giving ourselves cancer as readily these days, but human hair wigs and weaves* have crept in their place, occasionally with horrid consequences. So if one white girl can convince even a handful of folks that the afro has gained wider acceptance, I think we're all better off.
Don't get me wrong ﹣ I'll be the first person to admit how frustrating it is to see white models going down catwalks in du rags and cornrows when Black models are nowhere to be seen, but this situation seems different. As far as I can tell she's not making any money off these videos the way fashion designers often benefit from exploiting Black culture. Whereas the fashion industry completely fails to acknowledge the Black contribution by shunning our natural-haired, dark-skinned models, designers, etc and instead chooses to turn our culture into costumes for Katy Perry music videos and spring/summer runway collections, this girl is celebrating a part of who we are through imitation in her own personal life. The difference is that when someone wears something in a music video or on a runway, the purpose is to amuse a crowd. I don't think Eskimohair is trying to entertain anyone. I don't think she's trying to make money off anyone. I think she's just showing us a fun new look for her.
Do I hope for every white woman to follow her lead and rock a massive afro? Of course not, but I also don't want every Black woman to do that either! All I'm sayin' is everyone has the right to wear her hair however she wants, free of judgement, and that the world would be a better place if we all gave credit where it's due.
What do you think of white people wearing their hair in traditionally Black styles? Share your thoughts in a comment below!
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What the "100 Years of Beauty" Video Can Teach Us About the Natural Hair Movement
Why You Should Never Go Natural Alone
*I have nothing against wigs and weaves when worn as protective styles. I've worn weaves several times and love the break they give my hair. I'm also fine with people relaxing their hair. However, sometimes these styling options are used as a tool for assimilation, and that's what I think is problematic.
Like a fine evening gown, kinky hair neither requires nor can handle frequent washing. Most naturalistas recommend cleansing no more than once a week, and some go as long as four weeks between washes! Personally, I need to at least co-wash my hair every seven days otherwise the itching drives me bonkers. It must be a combination of product slowly building up coupled with the gradual drying of my scalp, because by the end of the week all I can do is fantasize about what new oil mixture I'll use in my deep conditioning treatment. But what if there was a way to extend time between washes?
I've been researching ingredients to figure out what can combat the effects of product build-up and dryness, and it turns out there are quite a few. The best part is they're all natural, so you don't have to feel bad using them as often as you like - or even eating them if you dare! So without further ado, here are the top six scalp refreshing ingredients that you can add to your spritzes, deep conditioners, and salads.
I should mention that an oily scalp can still be considered clean. That's because your scalp needs a certain level of moisture in order to be healthy and facilitate hair growth. A clean scalp has just the right amount of nutrients to encourage growth without being so oily or full of product build-up that it starts to get itchy or flaky.
How do you keep your scalp clean between washes? Share your tips in a comment below!
My hair was inexplicably lush when I was a child. Each individual strand was imposing in its thickness, and they were all so densely packed together that my hot-combed afro was nothing if not newsworthy. Unfortunately, that's not the case today. While it's still a total jungle at the crown, my nape looks like it's been weed-whacked and my temples are in even worse shape. It's taken me a while to piece together what has changed in my life to transform my hair so drastically. I didn't pick up any bad habits in adolescence or adulthood, so I can't point to the usual lifestyle red flags as potential indications. So if it wasn't binge drinking or harsh narcotics that messed up my mane, what was the problem?
In a previous post I discovered that one of my fatal mistakes was over-manipulating my hair. Towards the end of the year 2013, I ignorantly and daily combed my hair without respecting the laws of moisture retention. Although this hair loss was relatively recent, it shed some light on what might've been at least a couple of ongoing issues. Fortunately the hair faithfully grew back just in time for my partner's brother's wedding and I was able to have gorgeous Marley twists installed for the big event.
I was super pumped to check out how much my hair had grown after taking down the twists a few weeks later, but to my horror it seemed to have stayed the exact same length! #BreakageAlert. I had been moisturizing it religiously and obviously there was zero manipulation going on, but alas, something more sinister was afoot.
In despair, I thought back to how I had cared for my hair while it was in extensions over the past decade (which was pretty much 99% of the time) and made the following realizations:
With all this in mind, the answer to my hair loss woes was suddenly apparent. My hair was at its healthiest during my childhood because that was the only time I absolutely never wore extensions! Without all these potential issues to worry about, it was able to flourish with relatively little care. It hadn't had a break like that since the days when I collected Pokemon cards. Don't get me wrong; I still think protective styling with synthetic hair extensions is perfectly fine. In fact, I've heard many people say their hair grows best when it's in extensions. But to be honest my hair is thriving now, and so instead of relying on extensions (as I have for the majority of my life) I'm going to start celebrating and nurturing my natural hair.
Have hair extensions been more helpful or harmful in your experience? Share your thoughts in a comment below!
Not sure if you've seen posts of me on our Instagram page, but my hair is short. It's currently a hybrid between ear and neck length due to a recent mishap with the scissors. Dealing with kinky strands of varying lengths is rather frustrating, and has resulted in my utter dependance on bobby pins. I use them for everything from stretching my hair to hiding my ends to keeping my twists or braids down. They're actually a fantastic tool in this sense, providing a tonne of versatility and functionality when I need it most. However, I'm finding that I need so many of them that by the time I'm finished styling I've got as many bobby pins on my head as braids!
I don't know about you, but I can't stand the sight of bobby pins - unless they're strategically placed as accessories. To me bobby pins are scaffolding. My hairstyle is a performance and I'd rather people didn't look backstage! But alas, many of my strands are too short to even reach the ponytail so what's a girl to do?
The answer is tucking! Instead of pinning my ends down wherever they stop, I've started tucking them underneath adjacent braids / twists so they lie flat. Sometimes this involves creating twist made of twists or a braid made of braids, which usually morphs into a very sleek and elegant look provided the sections don't get too big. With tucking, I've gone from using seven or eight bobby pins in any given updo to only two or three! It's also better for my ends because they aren't exposed to the wind or sun at all.
What's your secret for taming and protecting your ends? Share in a comment below!