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The Versatility Of Styling Natural Hair (Video)

The Versatility Of Styling Natural Hair is a video that represents women who are choosing to embrace their Natural Hair!
Created by Natura Magazine featuring educator and natural hair salon owner Lisa Fuller Of naturalstylesbylisa.com

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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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Confessions of a Passively Devoted Natural

I was very curious as to how long it would be for me to mildly take care of my hair before my hair started showing that I was only mildly being taken care of.

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My natural hair journey began as my child, I was giving it constant attention – I mean an overabundance of attention, multiple hours daily. As life has begun to pick up and I’ve gotten busy with internships, committees, clubs, dance teams, jobs, school work, etc. it has begun hard (hard being an incredible understatement) to keep up with my hair. Even now, with it being summertime and my being home from school for the summer – I imagined a life with daily treatments, weekly deep conditions, daily co-washes etc. but I have not at all been able to achieve that. As unfortunate as it is and as much as I don’t want to believe it, I think my hair is finally suffering from the neglect it has been facing. I went from spraying water day, night and in-between to soaking it while in the shower once, sometimes twice, a day. Using leave-in conditioner everyday to sometimes throwing coconut oil in my hair after I got out of the shower.

I have hit a wall in my natural hair journey. I’m not sure what it’s from. I still love my hair so much – I wouldn’t perm it for anything in the world, I love the journey and every curl, but I just can’t find the motivation that I once had. I think my hair has stopped growing as much as it was – even though I maintain a completely healthy diet, but also shrinkage could just be getting me down.

 

Is there anything that you all do when you hit a rut?

So far I’ve gotten “trim & new protective styles”.

Comment below!

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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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My Testimonial As A Natural College Student

When I initially cut my hair, I was obsessed and protective, as if it were my child. I didn’t realize how time consuming my hair, TWA at that point, is until I came home the summer after my first year of college. I spend my first semester of college with braids, and once I took them out I was elated to play in my hair again. Second semester, because of my dance team, I had a two sew-in weaves as a protective styles, and in-between the two I was elated to play with my hair and the new growth. Now that we are in the summer, I have consistently had my hair out and it has been difficult to keep up with my hair. I have nothing but time, but I am learning just how time consuming natural hair is. (Duh, right?)

I havealso realized a few things: natural hair is expensive (if youre not careful), time consuming and easy to get off track from. My current challenge is that I have to be frugal with high maintenance hair. I will have to keep up with my schoolwork, dance team, organizations, friends, networks, professors& my HAIR. It’s hard. It is so easy to begin slacking with your hair if you are a college student with your hair, but you have to find that inspiration to keep your momentum going. Remember why you first started.

 

Some possible steps we can take:

Buy things that have multi-use:

Vitamin E – removes dark marks, also promotes healthy hair.

Olive oil – Can be cooked with, but also is a very essential oil for the hair.

The list goes on

home-made-conditioner

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Stick to the basics:

Moisturizer, Oil, Sealant, Conditioner, Shampoo.

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Dedicate a certain time to do you hair:

Scheduling is hard as a millennial, but you will if you love and care about the health of your hair.

Budget money for your hair:

It seems so adult-y, but it really will be beneficial to make sure you aren’t overspending on natural hair products!

 

What are some tips you have, or things you can do to devote yourself to your hair as a natural hair student?

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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

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Tips & Tricks for the New Natural

These are little tips I have acquired during my time as a natural and during the research I did before my big chop! I wish I had a list like this for me, so I thought I’d provide one!

  1. Dry your hair with a t-shirt, instead of a towel, for less frizz when your hair finally dries.
  2. While we are on the topic of drying hair…….Pat dry don’t rub dry, to avoid frizz.
  3. I thought this was a myth, but no, really, invest in a spray bottle for your water – They were not kidding.
  4. You won’t need to clip your ends as much as you probably think. Trimming, if you are properly caring for your hair, should come as much as a blue moon. To retain length, trims should be very few and far between.
  5. Finger detangle because combs should be your last resort. We have pretty little combs attached to our wrists thanks for the Man above, use them!
  6. You really only need water, a butter, an oil (and possibly a gel) — All of the rest of the products are excess.
  7. Beware of the product junkie lifestyle, it is so easy to slide into if you don’t do you research first and control your habits.
  8. Take pictures of your hair, trust me with this, because you eventually will see the progress and be so happy you did! Staring at yourself in the mirror everyday you won’t notice growth as much as if you document with photos!
  9. Develop a routine, but know that eventually this will have to change. Be willing to adapt.
  10. Heat damage is not a myth. That is all.
  11. Denman brushes are a beautiful thing. For some reason, brushing through my hair with a Denman accentuates my curls and I get to look and adore them every time.
  12. Do not overuse shampoo. It dries your hair out, use sparingly.
  13. Be careful with those edges! Especially when doing buns and pull back styles.
  14. Coating your hands with an oil while taking down protective styles will reduce frizz.
  15. Get enough water to drink throughout your normal day, it helps with, not only your body, but also your hair.
  16. Though you want to protect your entire hair strand, focus on the end, which is the oldest part and most prone to breaking.
  17. Condition and wash the hair while they are in twists to be time efficient.
  18. A good way to judge if the water is too hot for your hair — If the water is too hot for the back of your hand, it’s too hot for your hair.
  19. Figuring out your hairtype can be mildly stressful, expect this and mentally prepare.
  20. Take your twists out at the bottom, then unravel, to reduce frizz.
  21. Take the time to learn when it is time to clip ends: I  mostly know by when they cant be tamed, are always puffy and dry, and I see physical splits.
  22. When you shampoo, it is 80% scalp and 20% hair strands. Once again, shampoo will dry your hair out, be weary.
  23. Experimentation is healthy. Be brave.
  24. Look for water based products.
  25. If I haven’t said it enough already: Water, water, water.

    For more stories such as this click here!

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Super Cute Havana Twists Tutorial

Now that I am over 9 months into my transitioning, I’ve been getting really tired of having to re-twist, or re-braid, or re-do my hair so often.  I’m getting worn out and I need a break.    I have discussed several different styles with my hubby and we decided on Havana Twists.  They look the most natural, and you can install them yourself.  They’re very cute, can be worn for at least 3 weeks and give your hair a well deserved break!  Natural benefits very well from low manipulation, so this style is both safe and healthy.

I found a YouTube video by Jouelzy that I love because her method only took her 4 hours, and she has type 4 hair, which is the type of hair I think I have coming in.  I’ll be doing research around my town to see whether or not they have Havana hair available here and at what cost.  If they don’t, I’ll order it online from fingercomber.  Either way, I thought I’d share this tutorial because I hope and pray that mine turn out this well. Hers are really nice.

Happy Viewing!

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Is It Okay for Strangers to Touch Your Natural Hair?

By Nicole Marie Melton via essence

I have big, fluffy, type 4 hair, so when I read about the “You Can Touch My Hair” exhibit in New York City, I wasn’t particularly shocked by the motives behind the topic.  It appears I’m part of a small minority. Since its debut last week, the exhibit has actually become a hot-button issue and come under fire as a “petting zoo” of sorts.  To be honest, I don’t see it that way at all.  In fact, I can easily relate to people wanting and asking to touch my hair. All. The. Time.

I’ve had my hair stroked by complete strangers, Black and White, wishing to cop a feel of my kinky halo. And every time this happens, the gesture is accompanied by compliments on my hair’s soft texture and unique style.

To continue reading click here

 

Check out the video here

Would you allow a stranger to touch your hair?

Xoxo
Naturalia