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hairstyles

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The Perfect Shade: Picking the Perfect Hair Color


Want to switch up your do, with a color that fits you?

Say no more! Choosing a hair color that fits you can be kind of tricky, but we’re here to help!

At times we all get tired of wearing our natural hair color, and we may want to be spontaneous and try something different.

You may not know it, but it’s very important to choose a color for your hair that compliments your overall appearance.

When you want to switch things up for your physical appearance, you have to make sure that it compliments other aspects of your body as well.

Learn how to choose the perfect hair color below:

 

Featured Image: From Pinterest

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The Real ‘Scandal’? Olivia Pope’s Hair

by Amy Klein

I was so worried when Olivia Pope, heroine of ABC’s Scandal got kidnapped at the beginning of the year. How would D.C.’s fictional fix-it lady survive this nefarious plot? Moreover, how would her hair survive?

Kerry Washington’s Pope has always been the beacon of fashion, in her black and white – or all-white – ensembles. And her sleek, straight hair is usually as tightly controlled as she is, the epitome of cool (save her quivering bottom lip). But what would happen to her mane in captivity?

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Locked up in an unknown country, her fancy clothes were of course gone, and soon too, was her fancy blowout….Or whatever is done to her hair to make it so well behaved. For a second it was frazzled, like an electric socket. But then it was curly. As in, really curly, springing up to her shoulders. But not the kind of ‘do most of us sport in such dire circumstances: it was a good kind of curly, one without frizz, one that would probably take a ton of product and quite a few stylists to achieve.

We’ve seen Pope curly before—briefly, at the beginning of the season, when she decamped to an isolated island with one of her love interests. There she had beautiful springy tresses, despite the fact that she was lying on the beach (hello, humidity!), and it was quickly tamed into submission as soon as she returned to D.C.

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What’s Your Hair Type

Whats my hair type?… Am I a 4a, 3b,  or 2c?  Whether you just transitioned to natural, or you’ve been natural for years, knowing your hair type can rule out a lot of unnecessary problems when managing your natural tresses.  Knowing your specific hair type can help you determine what products and styles work best for your texture. This in essence will save you a lot of money spent on unnecessary products and headaches from styles that don’t last.  Experts from the Natura Staff  have composed a chart to help assist you in determining your natural hair type.

Im a 3C.. what are you?

Xoxo

Naturalia

to see the chart click here.

 

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Permed Hair Easier to Manage?

Apart from fitting into the given standard of beauty, another reason for perming our hair was making it easier to manage and maintain. Our natural course hair was capable of breaking a comb and totally unmanageable!

After 15 years of permed hair and over 5 years with natural hair, I look back in retrospect and wonder if permed hair was really easier to manage or  just an illusion passed down from generation to generation.

In order to come up with a coherent answer, I had to analize the two experiences – Permed hair VS Natural hair.

Maintaining permed hair:

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  1. Roots have to be retouched at least every 3 months.  This requires going to the hair salon where you can find an experienced hairdresser. Since perming is “controlled damage” the possibilities of having your hair burnt by an amateur is pretty high.
  2. A visit to the hair salon at least once a week is required to keep your hair looking nice and sleek. That could strain your pocket in addition. But once your perm is nice and fresh, combing is made easy with finger slipping smoothly through your hair.
  3. After a fresh perm or retouch you mustn’t wash your hair within 48 hours. Washing with shampoo ( and even getting your hair wet)  can disturb the hair proteins as they are locking into their shapes in those first hours.
  4. Extra tender loving care is vital to maintain a healthy looking perm- shampooing, extra conditioning, extra oil and protein treatments. This is because perming, forcibly and permanently breaks down the protein in your hair in order to keep it straight.
  5. Permed hair is constrained to simple everyday styles without visiting the salon. There is a limited variety of things you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Maintaining natural hair:

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  1. Regular visits to the hair salon aren’t necessary for a retouch or treatment and the closest you get to burning your hair is bending over the gas cooker!
  2. Natural hair doesn’t need to be washed every day. It’s enough to wash it once a week or every other week with a detangling session. Once detangled and styled, combing every day isn’t neccessary. This guarantees peace of mind throughout the whole week.
  3. Nevertheless, combing and detangling can be an ordeal! You dare not comb your kinky mane when it’s dry. It must be damp with water or leave-in conditioner and sectioned into smaller parts before attempting to comb. Running a comb through your kinks is a no-no.
  4. Protein structure is retained in natural hair. This means, regular oil treatments aren’t a must and can be done in the comfort of your own home leaving you with a few  extra pennies at the end of the month.
  5. The versatility of natural hairstyles are numerous- flat twists, twist outs, high bun, high puff, two-strand twists, frohawk and bantu knots just to mention a few. In addition, you can wear it straight, wavy or kinky curly.

I used to have a perm for over fifteen years and I had a difficult time sticking to the rules of maintenance. I guess that’s why it stayed at shoulder length and never grew beyond.

I have been natural for over five years and hardly visit the hair salon. My hair has never been this long! It’s now bra-length and still growing. Keeping my hair moisturized seemed to do the trick. In my opinion, the myth of permed hair being easier to manage has been crushed. Natural hair rules! It’s easier, cheaper and more fun to manage! What’s your take on that?

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The Bigger The Better?

As a teenager, I had always wanted hair like Scary Spice from the girls band “Spice Girls”! Big, thick and most importantly curly!

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With my permed hair at the time, little did I know that deep in my roots was the answer to Thick, kinky curly hair. Out of ignorance, I had my hair texturized into “Jerry Curls”!

Gone are those pitiful days.

Today, I’d like to share with you a few tips on how I get my hair into a big curly afro!

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  1. Start with shampooing and deep conditioning your hair (some find it a good moment for a detangling session).
  2. Towel dry then add your favourite leave-in conditioner (for others this is a good time to detangle hair).
  3. Divide your hair into two sections. With your head facing the floor, take one section and braid a two-strand cornrow up to the top of your head, then finish off with a three-strand braid. Do the same to the second half. This is very important for a full curly afro look
  4. When your hair is at least 70% dry, carefully undo the two braided sections.
  5. Finger style and then use a diffuser to totally dry your hair into position.
  6. The final styling step requires an afro pick comb. Pick your hair from the roots to make your afro as big as you desire.

These 5 simple steps should give you this full curly afro look. In my opinion, the BIGGER the afro, the BETTER! How big do you like yours?

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The Natural hair X-Files unveiled

Afro-textured hair is unmanageable, never grows long and needs to be relaxed. These are some of the many myths which have fortunately been busted!

Black hair IS manageable, black hair DOES grow long and doesn’t need to be relaxed at all.

But there are a few peculiarities about our natural afro-textured hair that I think belong to the X-Files.

Density illusion. Despite relatively fewer hair shafts compared to straight hair,  Afro-textured hair appears and feels thicker. This is due to its unique structure. This means that its density and fullness is very deceiving. What a trickster!

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I always thought my afro-textured hair was stronger and hence could withstand harsher conditions. Investigation revealed the truth was otherwise. Its unique spiral shape makes it more prone to breakage when combed or brushed, making it more delicate than straight hair! What an eye-opener!

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How does it feel to defy gravity? Any afro-textured girl should know. When combed up-ward, natural hair stays up (you dare not leave your hair out on a windy day). This is because the cuticles on afro-textured hair tend to be raised, and do not lay flat against the hair shaft. This gives it yet another illusion of gravity defiance. How cool is that!

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Do you know the best absorbent of moisture and the worst retainment of it? Just like a sunflower, afro-textured hair grows towards the sun and easily absorbs heat and moisture. Raised cuticles act like receptors and will suck up moisture like a sponge. This advantage works as a disadvantage at the same time. Afro-textured hair doesn’t retain moisture, hence leaving it dry and matte. Hair cream and leave-in conditioner usually do the trick of locking in the moisture. Smart!

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100 of styles to choose from! One Caucasian colleague made a joke about how lucky my husband was to have a “new woman” everyday! From Monday to Friday, I had a different hairstyle starting from braids into a twist out, then an up-do into a high puff and finally into an afro!  Some were in disbelieve and thought I had a wig on!

Many myths have been busted, but we must admit afro-textured hair has a lot of secrets which have been revealed. The beauty of it all is the continuous exploration and discovery of our afro-textured hair. Got and more cases which belong to the X-Files?

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My Solution for Humidity…Wand Curls 101

I don’t know about you, but the level of humidity outside always poses an issue for me in styling my hair. In the summer months, before even attempting to do my hair, I promptly check the weather app on my phone to see how much of a challenge humidity is going to be for me on that particular day, and I style my hair accordingly. For those of you who face this same issue, you already know that straight hair, and high levels of humidity do not mix. So on days where the humidity level is in my personal danger zone, I always choose to curl my hair instead. Two of my favorite ways to curl my hair involve the use of the curling iron and the increasingly popular wand. Although they create completely different looks, they are both excellent options for switching up your look.  Below, I’ve included a chart that outlines my opinion of the pros and cons of each (click to enlarge).

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Since I use the wand everyday, it never quite occurred to me that other people might not know how to actually use a wand. My personal wand is a CONAIR Infiniti “Power of the Pink” wand (breast cancer edition). However, there are many other brands that also make similar models.

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The wand is composed of two main parts, the handle which allows for temperature control, and what I’ll refer to as the barrel; the part of the wand that gets hot, that you’ll wrap your hair around to create your curls.

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As described in the chart above, one of my favorite aspects of the wand is how quick and easy it is to use. You simply tilt the barrel of the wand downward and wrap sections of your hair around the barrel. When using the wand on high temperatures (I always set mine to 400 degrees) be sure not to leave your hair wrapped around the barrel for longer than about six seconds, to avoid heat damage. As I also mentioned in the chart, the wand is great for creating tight curls. Although you have the option of leaving the curls as they are, and combing them out, I always comb mine out using a wide-tooth comb. I suggest curling your hair in small sections as seen in my demonstration below. Using larger sections creates curls that are less defined, and in my opinion…less appealing; however, everyone is entitled to their own preferences.

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Now for the final look!

 

Here is a recent picture of my hair after I wand curled it…

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Below is a picture of my hair using the curling iron…yes, it appears that I was in the middle of a serious hair flip.

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As I’ve said, the two methods create two very different looks. Although most people are more familiar with the curling iron, which has been around for decades, hopefully I have introduced a new curling method that can find its way into your hair styling repertoire.

 

Kisses, Hugs, and Lots of Love,

-Kiana

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @kdotw to keep up with all of my shenanigans!

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Wig Chronicles Part 1

…And so begins my wig chronicles.

After weeks of attempting to convince myself that wigs were normal for people my age, I started to do my research and naturally it became obsessive. I looked at YouTube tutorials of what a “quick weave” was (essentially glued hair onto a cap for a quick wig), and “How-To Make a Wig” tutorials. It looked pretty simple, so I went to the local hair store. I’d decided a bob with a bang was the cheapest most do-able option for a first time wig-maker.

When I arrived at the hair store, the employee was completely taken aback by my lack of knowledge on everything that had to do with weave, I mean I am natural so she tried to be as not-frustrated as possible. She pointed me to the cheapest, but best quality 8”/10” hair, provided me with a pack of wig caps (2), 2 bottles of 30 second wig glue (as per my best friends instructions, and i trust her expertise)Wig & glue,a mannequin head (which I should have known… But we will get to that later) and a pat on the back for good luck.

My brave friend and I went back to her houseto get started and the excitement was buzzing. We pulledup multiple tutorials in multiples tabs, watched them for a little, but were overtaken by excitement and got started. We should have noticed all these women made their caps on their own heads. We did the first two tracks with one glue cap upon my natural headed braids, 1st mistake. We decided to move to the mannequin head, and it’s good we did (or was it?) because while attempting to take the cap off of my head the part of the cap where the tracks were glued was also, cruelly enough, stuck to my braids. After a couple minutes of peeling carefully we got the cap off of my braids with little to no damage.

This is where the first lesson in making a wig for you. Rule #1: If you are going to make a wig for yourself, protect your own hair.

Back to the story, so begins the long trek of gluing tracks to the cap on the mannequin head. We literally put the cap on the mannequin head and started gluing. We did four tracks on the base of the head then began going in a circle as to close at the top. It was easy enough, I cut, she glued, I laid on the head, repeat. We had laid a good amount of tracks to where it was clear this adventure was a good decision. Here is where things go sour….

Remember earlier, when I said you have to protect your hair from the glue? You have to protect everything from the glue. We struggled for 20 minutes, at least, trying to remove the cap from the mannequin head. The cap came off, withStyrofoam residue, of course. Rule #2: If you are using a mannequin head at any point, protect the mannequinhead, so your cap isn’t permanently glued to the mannequin.

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Once we finally got the cap off, we attempted to put the cap on my head, and here is where things went ridiculously, murphy’s law, anything that can go wrong will, type of sour…

My head is not the size of the mannequin head. How about this, Rule #1: Make the wig on yourself unless you know for a FACT this mannequin head is exactly the size of your head.

With that being said, the almost-finished wig did not fit; not even close to fitting. We turned to Google frantically hoping there was a solution of how to stretch it and after about five minutes I’d realized that we would have to start all over. We had spent 1.5 hours on a wig I couldn’t wear and I tried not to show my face of defeat while I packed up my things to go home.

Tip: Oil sheen hair spray takes anything bond-glued right off. Tracks peel right off if sprayed with oil sheen and let sit for 30 seconds.

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When I arrived home, now 12AM, I spent about 30 minutes removing every single track from the cap and thanked the Gods the store employee convinced me to get two glue caps. I ended up using paper towels and a washcloth to block the cap from my hair while I glued the tracks on carefully and methodically. After about an hour I was finished, with my wig! I cut my bob and my bangs, which I’d had endless experience in because that was how I wore my hair all through middle school into high school; bangs were my thing back then.

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I hope this post allows you to learn from my mistakes and brave the storm of the wig-world, but since I made my first wig I have brought three more and am growing my collection. I absolutely recommend wigs as a quick style and a protective style. They have yet to let me down!

 

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The “un-talked about” Mental Process of the Big Chop

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To say I thought I was going to feel completely liberated is an understatement. I expected the warm family-like embrace from the people around me, I mean… It was just hair. Right? But no, I felt bald, and I was. There was no fuzzy feeling, no warm embrace from my family and no instant love of my new haircut. My mothers jaw dropped close to the floor, my grandfather just stared and my dad wrote off the haircut as another one of my “teen” phases. Later that night, I stood in the mirror tugging at the half inch strands, some curlyand some straight, wondering what made me cut it all off. It was then that I realized I could have done all of the research in the world and none of it could have prepared me for the drastic change in my perception of myself.

A little background about my hair….

I truly did have wild kinky hair when I was a child, it was braided and styled once a week which ended up making it down my back, but I was tender-headed, and this frustrated my mom. Eventually, like most, I submitted to the creamy crack. I kept my hair permed all throughout middle/high school, but it was incredibly unhealthy, broken and didn’t go past my shoulders until my 11th grade year.

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During senior year, I came across a naptural85 video on YouTube, and the rest is history.

Before I made my visit to the hair cut shop, I researched, which most of us do, and is probably how you ended up here. I spent hours on YouTube, curly Nikki and all of the popular natural sites finding products and reading testimonials. They all told of the struggle finding product and things of that nature, but no one told me what I needed to know; no one told me if I would regret my decision, or if I would ever be able to ignore the stares. It was a true test of self-love that I was less prepared for than I expected to be.

At first, you’ll feel ugly, but no one tells you this. Your face will look bigger, but trust me it’s not. You’ll notice bumps and marks you never even knew existed and you’ll start trying to find accessories that remind people you’re not a boy. You will be forced to point out flaws within yourself and then forced to do something about them, but you will learn this makes you a better person. You will officially be able to see yourself objectively, not covered in hair, and it will allow you to not only start your hair journey, but also start a journey to a better you.

The first month was difficult, but only when I realized that I did this big chop for me, could I be happy, could I ignore the stares and embrace my baby hair. It was so much easier to love my short hair when I thought of what it was going to be in 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and so on.  I say this all to say, it quickly becomes worth it all; theunknown, the experimentation, learning your pattern, learning your face, seeing yourself as your are, everything becomes worth it. You have made a decision that most women could not even dream about, you are fearless, you are bold and you should be nothing less than proud. 

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(me at one month after the BC)

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Revolutionary Invention: Make your pledge today!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1855194586/cwk-straight-plates-straighten-hair-without-heat

“Wait. Does this say what I think it says? That can’t be right.”

At that point I decided to watch the video to see if it matched with the clearly misleading title “CWK Straight Plates-Straighten Hair No Heat (AIRDRYING TOOL)” but it turns out it was not a misleading title at all. This invention is absolutely groundbreaking and is completely safe for our hair. This tool can be used with or without heat, but leaves hair soft, shiny and straight.

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The straightening plates, as shown in the video are extremely simple and leave your hair straight from root to tip through stretching.

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This is definitely a cause worth giving to! Will you make a pledge?

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1855194586/cwk-straight-plates-straighten-hair-without-heat