Fall Natural Hair Trends 2014

Often when it’s time to style, especially in the early stages it’s not easy to come up with what’s next. For many loose hair naturals (not in locs) the fall presents some interesting styling options that keep our hair safe, stylish and function. The temperatures rival the perfect Fro weather that the Spring brings, but the drying air gives the protect, protect, rest routine a faster rotation.

 

I’ve looked around the web, and here are some styles that I think are on trend and will keep you on your healthy hair journey.

 

Style 1. The Twist-Out Up-do

This style provides you the opportunity to have some hair in the wind while still being able to protect your ends. The night-time care or this style should include the application of a Shea Butter based moisturizer and lightly twisting large sections to prevent matting and preserve the curl. This one can go from the boardroom to the ball which means that you can keep your hands out of your hair and still be ready for the occasion. Homecoming time, this is a win especially for the student on a budget.

Stylish Twist-Out Updo From: http://galeriasaharaui.org/

Style 2. The Roll

Retro styling is very on trend this Fall in both hair and fashion. This modern roll with braided sides is perfect for the Early natural with the assistance of Kanekalon hair, or the Vet that has enough to achieve this with her own stands. I love how this particular model was styled with a large geometric colorful earring. This is a style that yields to accessories well and from the looks of it will not fold if we encounter an early sweater day.

The Roll From : http://hairjaz.com/

 

Style 3. Goddess Braids

These are not your old school chunky braids. Long hair styling has become more multi-cultural. These braids have Celtic ties but they look amazing on every type of hair. Below is just one example but the concept is to create your own crown. If you’re a night styler like me and you prepare your hair for the next day each night, variations of Goddess Braids will provide you with maximum protection on windy days and plenty of play time at night. Not a braider? No worries, these also look fabulous as twists. Retro styling with a modern adaptation.

Style 4. Spring Twists

This is a style that works for students and mothers. A spring curl patterned extension is used to achieve this look and the length, color and bounce make this style a versatile all-occasions wake up and go style. I recommend not only this specific style but this shape of hair (When trying to explain it to my mother I called it “Body Guard Curly Whitney with a Natural Twist”). This is a fun length so if you can achieve this shape with traditional two-strand twists its still a win.

 

Style 5. The Stretched Fro

If you want to know what I love the most about being natural I’ll tell you three words sung in my best Pharrell voice *Pinapple and Go* and I’d do the beat. With very low heat and no comb you can take your curl pattern that you’ve grown to love, section your hair with your fingers, apply moisture and anti-breakage product, and blow each section individually gripping your hair and waving the blow drier achieve 2 weeks of fun! You can sweat, it can rain, you can get caught in the wind but a stretched Fro remains faithful like a US Postal Carrier. This is a great style for Vets that know how to keep their ends balanced with the proper moisture and when it’s time to twist down. Consider this the base style with multiple variations available. Styles 2 and 3 can be achieved starting with this style. When in doubt…. Fro it out!

 

 

As usual ask questions when it stops making sense. Click on the pictures to find some other great sites for styles.  Let us know if you try any of theses or if you want me to try one on my hair (Hint, I’m already stretched).

Also tell us how you like the new layout. That logo will be available on T-shirts soon so be sure that you’re on our mailing list because you’ll be the first to know!

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Nappy Out Loud 0.1

So I hope you all rock with me on this. This is the first post of many where I plan to explore the life of being natural in a world that hasn’t quite figured out what that means. These posts are strictly for entertainment/encouragement. I still want it to be easy for you to find the tips and tricks but this part needs to be shared. These will fall under “The Journey” category if you ever miss a story and want to find it quickly.

Currently I’m in Ohio and the natural hair movement here is a bit different. The spectrum ranges from the militant “Overstand me” black is beautiful crowd; to the divas that are along for the trend and the thick swinging hair. Then there are people like me that are in the middle and see the economical, mental and physical benefits of not subjecting oneself to European standards of beauty on African hair and body.

So what’s the point of starting this series?

Because I still get stared at walking down the street when I’m having a big hair day. Not just from the little old white ladies that you expect to serve you major side-eye, but from people who I think look like me. I know I can’t be the only one.

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I used to make up stories for people when I caught them staring.

“It must be because I’m tall.”

“Maybe I’m wearing something that they haven’t seen before.”

Or my favorite line that I know my man is thoroughly tired of;

“Do I look crazy?” 

The fact of the matter is that there are not many, in this area at least, that are un-apologetically Nappy Out Loud.

Nappy Out Loud: The act of having nappy hair outside, in front of people, on purpose.

Now I embrace the fact that I’m unique, but what I’ve embraced even more are the phenomena that take place (I looked it up, that’s the right word) when I’m out since I’ve just owned my individuality in style. The young girls that stop me in malls or out on the town and start conversations about my hair just when I really start to feel my odd ball vibe turn up a notch.

“I’ve been thinking about going natural.”

“Is that all your hair?”

“How long have you been natural? I just started, what do you use?”

So if you’re out there hiding under a weave, a hard press or just in a state of not being quite ready to give the world your 100% natural self. I hope that in the upcoming weeks (or however long this still makes sense to do) as I share stories of what I’ve experienced you find the courage to be Nappy Out Loud!

Be sure that you subscribe and share with all of your friends (CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON IN THE TOP LEFT). I plan on telling you all the stories that I usually keep to myself, as they occur. From the people who I catch staring and what I say, to the ones that actually have the nerve to touch my hair or say something crazy. (LOTS OF IN-LAW STORIES ON DECK …. They’re not ready).

Join me on this journey, Nappy Hair, Out Loud, In front of people.

-Clutched pearls and twirled curls

 

The Natural vs Nurture

Remember that post a while back about how we still need to do something to our hair and that being natural is not an excuse to just not do anything at all?

I’d like to modify my comments. While I strongly believe that one should refrain from being out in the world appearing that they have completely run out of “cares” to give; there’s a thin line between staying polished and being obsessive. I’ve had the privilege to be a part of quite a few fun and interesting natural hair groups and one thing that I notice is that many have not embraced the freedom.

 

As a former “Processed Princess” (something else I learned in one of the groups) I can remember a time that I could not leave the house without full accessories. I looked like an old school internet chat room avatar when I left the house. Even if I had on a hat, I had earrings and a flashy belt that made the look come together so I thought. I projected a load of insecurity which in turn attracted the wrong crowd of people and for a while I didn’t have a firm grasp on who I was without all of the junk on me.

 

How much of that comes from early childhood?

I am in no way bashing or putting down any of the women in my family, let’s be very clear. However, leaving the house for even the most simple trip was an ordeal everywhere I ever stayed. There were creams followed by lotions, combined with scents and topped with powders and lightly mist with sprays. Anything that wiggled was cinched and any hair out-of-place got a healthy slicking with some product and either an “edge brush” or a fine toothed comb. Scarves/Headwraps were reserved for African garments and most certainly not mixed with any American clothing. Keep in mind that the African garments were all special occasion wear and they too had to be cinched and pulled and tied into place.

There was never a time that I felt comfortable to just throw something on unless I was going out to get dirty (which upon meeting some people who knew me as a very small child, I was exceptionally good at avoiding for my age). In my early days of going natural I felt so unkempt that I was in the salon chair WEEKLY with a TWA(teeny weenie afro). I’d never witnessed anyone that left the house without everything slicked, taped, shined and greased get a warm reception from anyone that I knew.

 

Why would we want this for the next generation?

it’s easy to discuss celebrity kids because they are always on the news and in the public eye. The thing that has disturbed me for the past year is the level of conversation surrounding a particular toddler with extremely rich and powerful entertainers as parents (Yes, Blue Ivy). In the beginning I found myself instinctually on the side of “please do that baby’s hair” but as I’ve worked with so many of you and had an opportunity to observe others as well as think introspectively about this journey…. they are right on point. I have two Goddaughters with natural hair, I take the time to re-style the Barbie dolls so that they can have a toy designed to build female self-esteem that looks like them. Doesn’t it make sense to allow a child to become comfortable with exactly who they are without all of the things that we smooth, slather and sprinkle on them?

Think of the difference it would make in how some of these women that we see on television that degrade themselves just to become popular and in turn set horrible examples of being rewarded for being everything except who you were made to be. If we concentrated our efforts on not placing the same passed down insecurities that we’ve received from generations before us, what would the world look like in 15 short years? Would we start to see more Willow Smith and Blue Ivy imitators than our current situation of plastic, distorted body image, emotionally damaged women? Would Mona Scott have to find a new demographic to exploit because the ones that we would foster in this new generation cannot be bought because they know their worth and recognize their own face and hair?

 

I’m not saying that we should all just stop doing our hair and stage some Happy to be Nappy protest. This isn’t Occupy the Beauty Supply Store. I just want more for the young girls coming up now. They have a chance to be so much more powerful upon their formal introduction to adult-hood than my generation and the ones before. Powerful in a sense that they can learn to love and accept one another and not be as catty and judgmental as many of us have learned to be.

Learn to Love Your Natural Curls and Kinks….and One Another’s

 

Recovery Motivation

The wedding is over, it was absolutely gorgeous, and I get my hair back. There’s a phase that we all go through on the wash day after we know we’ve been acting funny towards our hair.

I went into instant heat damage detection mode. I watched every single strand that left my hair and freaked myself out. There’s no amount of knowing that your hair has a natural shed process that stops you from blaming yourself with every loose strand when you know you’ve done wrong. You reflect on every time you used the flat irons, every non-natural product you used, and every time your scarf fell off your edges while it was in such a delicate state.

I can laugh now because I’m looking at the extension on my diffused Fro, but last night I was sweating. I’m writing this knowing that there’s someone out there that feels like they are in a “backslidden”(made up church word) condition and you’re dreading that upcoming wash day to survey the aftermath of that crunchy up-do or that bone straight press that you touched up every morning all week. Here are a few words of encouragement for this point of the journey.

1.Be kind to your hair on the recovery and don’t freak out at shedding that seems a bit heavier than normal if you know you’ve done weird stuff to your hair. Use quality products with as little harmful ingredients as possible.

2. Try not to abandon your vitamins, but if you do (like I did, because I didn’t need my hair growing out like crazy) a couple of days before Wash Day get back on your normal dose.

3. Detangle with care. It’s ok to baby your hair. If you take your time you can avoid any further damage.

4. Forgive yourself. Every now and then we are called to pull up (get fancy) in a different way than we normally do and it’s alright to try different looks. If it’s not the creamy crack, you can always come right back.

TEAMMOH (2)Fro

 

Be Encouraged 🙂

I unlocked…. kind of

Those of you that follow @OohMyHair on Twitter know that a couple of weeks ago, I jumped off the loc wagon. It took some concentration and a half a bottle of: Taliah Waajid- The Great Detangler

There are thousands of videos and blogs on how to do this, so I will get down to the WHY behind my decision.

There’s a piece of me that blames you. 🙂 In this time of sharing what I’ve learned and love about having natural hair I began to miss my hair like crazy. Even the business cards that I’ve been covering the world with have a great big fluffy, perfectly imperfect Afro. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

The versatility of loose natural hair is what made me fall in love in the first place. Even in the in-between stages, there are so many styles, twists and pin-ups that keep you feeling cute and sassy. I felt like I looked like Celie (Color Purple) every single day I woke up. I have very strong Motherland features, so it doesn’t take much to make me look like Addy (American Girl).

The individuality of loose natural hair was another love point. It’s hard to find someone with my “hair style”. Even if we are styled the same, my texture brings in my own flavor. I walked around with my locs, and it seemed like everybody in the world had not just my hair…. but a better version of what I was trying to do. It drove me insane.

Lastly, I had a bad case of Hand in Loc syndrome. I’ve styled and played with my hair ever since I can remember. (There’s a few photos of me at age 4-6 standing on the bathroom counter with my hands in my hair… I’ll try to get Mom to dig them out.) I hate to know what I’m going to look like day in day out. I need to be able to match my mood with not just my outfit, but my hair. It’s hardwired into my DNA, I’m certain.

Great big deal:  most of my outfits were selected with the Fro in mind, so the locs just messed up the lines visually and detracted from the over all Stun factor that I was going for. I spent my excursion in Toronto feeling BLAH. That’s no good.

In all I appreciate what I was able to learn from my 6 months. I had to just deal with my insecurity and own it. I found a way to activate my inner Diva, even though I never felt like the outside matched. I didn’t hide away in the house. I traveled and met new people both things that I used to have a hard time getting comfortable with, believe it or not. My locs made me fearless and for that I’m grateful.

I just needed to have my hair back.

As always, ask questions when it stops making sense. Thanks for staying on the path with me. I’ve had a chance to work on the product line more and my test subjects are in LOVE. Still working out a few kinks 😉 but I hope to bring you something that you’re going to absolutely LOVE. Because you deserve it.

“I need a perm”

I’ve been gone for a while travelling for the summer. I had an opportunity to take in Caribbana in Toronto, Ontario and I’ve gone down south which wasn’t as much for travel, but I got kidnapped for a day by my crew in Atlanta and taken on a whirlwind vacation for a day.

In this time, I had my camera and business cards ready to capture some awesome natural styles and bring back some great things to share with you. I was sadly disappointed. There were considerably less hot natural styles in Toronto than I anticipated. This seems to have been the summer of the weave. You, our loyal reader, know that we are not on the anti-weave bandwagon here at OohMyHair, but it would’ve been nice to see a few hot braided, twisted-out, funky Afros.

So I did some observing via social media and gravitated towards posts about hair just to see how the conversations went. On multiple occasions I found women at a loss for what style to attempt next, being recruited by some of our fellow sisters in kinks and curls. The responses were mind-blowing:

 I just can’t..” “I have to get a relaxer my hair is rough…” “Girl, not this mess perm me up NOW!

 

 

Who told you that your hair wasn’t manageable? Who made you believe that what grows out of your head is unacceptable? Why do you keep selling this idea to yourself? Please understand that a natural is not only an Afro or braids.

As stated in many previous posts, there are professionals that are able to show you how your hair works. There is no difference in the learning curve, your relationship with the rain will most likely not change much. If any of the answers were simply “I like it this way.” I wouldn’t have the same reaction, however it’s time to break through the lies that society would have you to believe about your hair. There are so many things that you can do with your natural curls, and it’s beautiful! It all comes down to the beauty of the strength in character that is displayed when you’re comfortable in exactly who you are. Don’t let people’s opinions steal that away from you.

 

As usual, ask questions when it stops making sense, we love and support you.

 

 

 

Heat and Hair

English: Hair Iron 日本語: ヘアーアイロン

English: Hair Iron 日本語: ヘアーアイロン (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Got a question from a reader this week that I thought would make for a good post.

“…is it ok to put heat in my hair if I’m trying to go natural? My last perm was 6 months ago…”

At the six month mark you should have at least six inches of new growth. This is a good time to consider clipping the ends and starting an Afro, as this is the fun length. Heat in natural hair is the same situation as heat in relaxed hair, you cannot un-burn your hair, so heat should be used in moderation. When it comes to building on your curl pattern, be aware that the more you straighten your hair, the more it will train itself to not curl. That exact situation is what caused my second/third “Big Chop” because although I did not have any relaxer to cut off, my ends became used to my straightening routine and my Afro went floppy. I suggest testing some low/no heat styles to see if you’re able to stay away from heat if your goal is to maximize your curls.

Keep the questions coming the answers may help someone else along their journey so don’t be shy. Thanks for reading!

What would you like to see?

We would hate to just hit you with information that you don’t want or need so now is your chance to determine the content on this site. We have a few ideas of how we would like to answer some of your natural hair questions, but we’ll leave it up to you to. Take the poll and forward the link to your friends. We’re here for you!

Hair Won’t Kill My Vibe…

English: Birch Bay has some of the warmest wat...

English: Birch Bay has some of the warmest water on the Pacific Coast, making the crescent-shape bay a favorite place for swimming during summer season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the Summer season approaches there are some things to remember that will let you make it all the way to Fall without dry-outs or breakage. We’ll keep it short and sweet (We’re vacationing as well).

1. Water- Of course you need to drink it and often, but tis the season for getting in pools. Both chlorine and salt water pools will dry out your hair, but don’t let that stop your from enjoying yourself. Prior to getting in the water, take that Shea butter that we talk about and love and coat your hair well. Giving your hair this oil barrier will help slow the drying effects of the pools, lakes and oceans.

2. Riding- Plane, Bus or Car if you’re traveling this summer season, your head is on a seat and the moisture is being slowly sucked out. Stop by your local drug store in the hair aisle and next to the satin scarves you should be able to find a satin pillow case. Add this to your travel kit. We understand that you can’t always have on your scarf, sometimes the style is just too cute to keep under wraps, so place that pillowcase over the headrest and arrive in style.

Keep it simple, don’t think so much about your hair on holiday that you forget to have fun. Hair should not be a chore, just add a few good habits at a time. As always ask questions when it stops making sense. Enjoy!

Natural but versatile

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Have you ever stood in the mirror and noticed that your hair was winning the fight? The answer for me is yes.  I decided that I was going to win the battle a long time ago.  I have been natural for 3 years now.  At first it was hard for me to make this choice because almost everyone I knew that was natural was rocking an afro or twists.  I must admit I wasn’t sold on actually going natural.  A relaxer or (perm) was the life for me.  Unfortunately my hair said otherwise.  Ever since I was a young child I have had psoriasis. In case you are wondering what psoriasis is, its dry white patches or lesions that are found on the scalp.

Symptoms of moderate to severe scalp psoriasis include:

  • Reddish plaques
  • Silvery-white scales
  • Dandruff-like flaking
  • Dry scalp
  • Itching
  • Burning sensation or soreness
  • Hair loss

I actually didn’t get my first relaxer until I was 15.  I thought was my hair was so pretty when it was relaxed.  It was straight, I could get updos, and it didn’t shrink back down to my head when it was raining outside.  About 4 months later I noticed my hair started falling out and the relaxers were burning.  So my hairdresser started perming my hair every 8 weeks instead of 6 and used a kiddie relaxer.  My hair did a little better but it was still dry.  I would grease my scalp at night and the next morning when I would wake up it seemed as though I hadn’t did anything to my scalp.  I decided to take a break from relaxers and get braids. I tried micros, box braids, and senegalese twists.  I decided to try the relaxer one more time once I got to college and I cut my hair very short cut.  I loved the cut and I even tried some color too.  My scalp was not having it. I turned to braids once again.  I wanted a new look so I tried sew-ins.  I love sew-ins.  I quit relaxing my hair 3 years ago.

The choice I made to go natural was not for fashion or even to release my natural curl pattern. I know that because I have psoriasis I am not able to rock a relaxer any longer because I want healthy hair. My hair has not broken off since I quit relaxing.  I feel that it is stronger and thicker.  I have a nice curl pattern, however I am not comfortable rocking an afro.  I will blow dry my hair and flat iron it or just put it in a bun.  I think India Arie said it best ” I am not my hair.” My hair doesn’t define me.  I am strong, confident, and I like to look nice when I go out into this crazy word.

Please share your comments or questions below!

Until next time this is mspilar85.