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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99 Problems And A Kink Ain’t 1

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So I have to say this. I know I’ll probably get a few wild email responses but I’m prepared to defend my opinion.

There are many things within the community of those of us that have curly and kinky hair to be upset about. Crime, Wealth disparities, Police Brutality, Educational gaps, the Prison Industrial Complex, the Military Industrial Complex, Lack of a cure for Ebola, AIDS, Diabetes, Lupus…. the list goes on.

Why on Earth do we choose to fight and get crazy with one another about hair? We go all out to put one another down for our choices, “you use heat?”, “You use color..”, “Do you finger detangle?”. We actually waste energy getting upset about hair. We talk about people’s children (You know exactly who I’m talking about) pop off catching attitudes in Natural Hair forums and other exhausting counter-productive efforts.

Here’s a quick tip. Smile more.

Do you know that it’s hard enough to walk into the board room/ muster/ formation/ interview with confidence and a head full of hair that is still not considered the “norm” without finding that the places designed for support (Our own TV networks, groups, forums, and conversations) are filled with some of the same negativity we feel we receive from others.

We can’t change the world all at once, but we can individually pledge to be a little nicer to one another. When that angry bug starts biting the back of your neck making you want to say something snarky or mean, look for the light. Find where your experience and expertise along this journey can actually help someone more than hurt them.

Remember, there’s plenty of places that you can put that mad energy and use it to garner some positive results….

But hair? We talking about hair…. Not the struggle that people have put everything on the line for. We sitting up getting mad about hair.

*Allen Iverson Practice Voice*

 

Love 🙂

On another note I am still working on the product line with the development team. You can purchase the first product Growth Formula no.76 on Etsy.com but we are developing a full line.

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 Decision

I listen to The Breakfast Club every morning on iHeart Radio, and since it’s Monday, I thought it would be appropriate to title this post after the famous segment that sometimes feels real, but there’s no way that it is because the stuff is just so extreme, “The Decision”.

I chose this name because all weekend long people have been discussing in the different hair groups about what it means to be natural. I’ve shared my story on my decision, this time I’d like to take a look at the mentality behind a couple of the comments I’ve read and let you decide how you feel about what was said.

 

1. “It ain’t for everybody”

I’m a weirdo, so every time I hear that phrase, the above is what pops into my mind. This is a phrase that people have complained about/ celebrated in the hair community at large. Going natural is a personal choice to return to dealing with your hair as it grows from your head. That’s all. It’s not a calling to a higher purpose, it’s not a callback after an audition, it’s not the red or the blue pill. It’s a choice. It calls on your self-esteem, confidence, resolve, independence, and style preference for an answer… but it’s still just a choice.

There are two things that I don’t like regarding this comment.

A) The old head veterans like myself that take on that phrase is if returning to natural prior to 2003 put us on some conscious crusade in which we have survived the front lines, and anyone that comes along later has to get initiated into the sisterhood.

“Have you had your co-wash today?” *Insert Natural Hair pseudo-Greek step*

B) The select members of the relaxed  that use the term as a distancing phrase. As if they could not bare the thought of waking up one day just like God made them…as if it would diminish them to a level that only YOU the natural that clearly doesn’t care how the world sees them can exist comfortably.

There has to be a better way for us to convey that we are all beautiful any way that we decide to wear our hair. Any words akin to a “Girl, I don’t know how you do it” coming from either direction helps no one.

2. You say you’re natural, but what does that mean?

So we’ve got the Natural Hair Mafia that comes out to challenge anyone claiming their set.

“Well do you weave? Then you ain’t real.”

“How are you natural with that blonde in your hair?”

Your return to natural is your own journey. Nobody can define that for you. If you decide that your journey includes wearing a weave as a protective style so be it. If you decide that you just want your original curl pattern and not the color, that is also your business.

Don’t fall victim to the bullies that question your affiliation. Support is the key to this going from a fad to a movement to a lifestyle. The truth of the matter is: The curriculum availability is low, black people the world over are the only people who I have encountered that do not have a solid grasp on what it takes to style and care for our hair exactly the way that it grows from our head. In my opinion I believe it’s because we have the most versatile hair in that we can do either curly or strait, sculpted or free. It’s alarming but once you cross the line from relaxed to natural, lots of us rely on YouTube for answers.

You may have come here looking for some motivation to stay or return to natural. I hope that this brightened your day when you get hit with the situations above. Being/going natural is simply a decision. Knock the wind out of the big bad wolf and do what you feel is best for you. Women have survived for centuries as beautiful both with and without chemicals…. Ancient Egyptians were putting lead and copper on their EYES for crying out loud, we don’t need to try to get anyone on one side or the other, how about we just let one another live.

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

 

Why wait for a new post?

Now you can find out what you want when you want.

How so?
I’m proud to announce that Ooh My Hair is one of TWO Google Helpers available for live video assistance on helpouts.google.com

Helpouts are the latest addition to the Google family of helping you find the information you seek. This does not mean that I will blog less, in fact your session may inspire a post. Check out my profile and schedule a time. I’m excited and honored to have this opportunity to share the information that I’ve gathered on my journey with an even larger audience. I appreciate every single reader that has liked and followed this blog and put US (because face it we’re a family at this point) in this position.

THANKS & SEE YOU LIVE ON HELPOUTS 🙂

Protect, Protect, Rest, Repeat

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Growth has been the hot topic as we transition from Winter and work our way ever so slowly into the Spring. We all have visions of ourselves gracing the beaches flaunting either our giant Afros or our outstanding two strand twists that do not contain a single strand of Marley hair.

So what’s the regimen?
As you can tell from the title. Protect, Protect, Rest.

1. Protect- Cleanse and add moisture to your hair with the least amount of chemicals possible. This sets the foundation for rapid growth. Refer back to the post regarding Label Reading to be sure that your arsenal of products are free of lanolin, mineral oil, petroleum, etc. these products either close off the shaft of hair or create a dependency on the product meaning that the only way that your hair feels nice is if you continue to use that ingredient. Shea Butter and Coconut oil are my Go-To products and I often blend the two with other oils to achieve my personal blend.

2.Protect- This refers to the styling. Now a protective style is one that allows your hair to go on vacation. This is not a style that puts your hair in traction. Click on the link to get more information on protective styling. My personal favorite has been the Havana twists without the use of the anchoring braid. I find that the amount of shed hair is significantly less than when I braid my hair.

3. Rest- Give your hair a few days of rest between protective styles. At the end of wash day, add moisture your scalp and ends with a great conditioner and if you must wear a puff, be sure that any band you use is lined with satin. Rest is also a great time to incorporate coconut water smoothies into your diet if this is your first cycle of the regimen. Hydration is the key to increasing hair elasticity, and reducing the amount of external product needed to maintain moisture balance. Water is key, but coconut water adds a boost for those that fall behind in adequate consumption.

Employ these techniques and tag me on Instagram with your progress @Marri76. I hope to have an initial video posted on YouTube @marri76 and I’d like to journal my process and keep you up to date with any changes that I make to my routine.

 

As always, ask questions when it stops making sense!

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Yarn Twist Attempt #1

So if you follow me on Instagram @Marri76 you know that I do not keep a hairstyle too long. I love to play in my hair and try new things. Well the latest attempt was Yarn Twists. They were very easy to do…

HOWEVER
You ever walk into a room and feel like the wallpaper? Well that was me in the yarn twists. Very unimpressive, didn’t evoke any conversation at all. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, unless you’re the type of person that likes to put on a show when it took you 7 hours to finish a style. (THAT’S ME!) I’ll walk around the grocery store fake shopping until I get a “Ooh that’s cute” especially if the style deprived me of my precious sleep.

EXTRA REGULAR
Is my favorite phrase to describe those thing in which I am not impressed to the point that I’m surprised how unimpressed I am. That’s where I’ll leave you. Enjoy the video. If you’d like more videos from me, be sure to hit the like button.

Do I even need to tell you that they’re not in my head anymore? OK

What Just Happened?

 

There I was just minding my own business following the instructions on some random video about how to dry my hair using the “banding” method.IMG_20131229_221815

Fast Forward to me Looking Like Homie the Clown, which I was forced to rectify in a public bathroom like MacGyver. So you Know the first thing I did was Fix my hair. Followed by analyzing what went wrong.

1 – I don’t have just one type of hair. Even more the combination doesn’t Show up in neat sections So my 3C is right in the middle of my 4a and my 4b.

2 – I didn’t check her resume . I was in the middle of a natural hair Love fest and got Got. I have no clue where she’s from, how long she’s been natural or what doctrines she follows when it comes to hair.

3 – I failed to follow my instinct. There was a small still Voice that Said. “She don’t know what she’s talking bout” … because my inner voice speaks Confused broken English. From the sheer number of products she slapped in her head I should have known she was a Kitchmatologist.

I shared this to let you all know that even an 11 year Veteran in this Natural Hair world is susceptible to being ”Had” Don’t let those moments discourage you. Hold your head high, do what you can to fix it , and move on!

Happy New Year !
Follow @marri76 On Instagram to watch my hair journey.

 

Ooh My Holiday Protective Hairdos

For those of us that are in the baby fro phase it’s hard to find what works. Braids to the scalp with shorter hair tend to grow out less gracefully than longer hair because our lovely ends want air and will stop at nothing to wiggle out. The vets with over 6 inches of hair also find the struggle in coming up with something that we can keep for a while and still play.

There’s hope in the two strand twist.

Two strand twists are great to discover and embrace your hair’s curl pattern while rocking a style that just gets better with time. If you can use the Marley hair it’s a life saver. This hair will grip itself in a twist as well as hold on to your hair. I’m not a fan of twists that require an anchoring braid as it creates a very unnatural grow-out line of demarcation and if your remember from previous posts, you want to keep the curl pattern consistent from scalp to ends to avoid weak spots and breakage.

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The technique I use incorporates the hair in a manner that relies on the integrity of the twist itself to stay connected to the natural hair (I just resize Havana Twists).

Then the fun begins. The styles that are posted below are all achieved in less than 15 minutes starting from a head full of twists and they are inspired by African head wrap techniques to create shape and dimension.

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This style is achieved by taking the twists and using the fishtail braid technique loosely then securing the end with and elastic and tucking it away on the inside of the braid. (Style Time: 10 min)

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This style is achieved by using the flat twist technique loosely and in an S pattern starting at the front and completing the pattern in the center. Secure the end with an elastic and hide the hair underneath the twist. (Style Time: 15) It only takes longer because as you can see on the picture on the right there’s detail work needed to be sure the style is smooth.

The Holiday Season is where we can have the most fun with different protective styles and up-dos. It’s the perfect time to hide your hair away from the harsh cold to maintain moisture and these styles are really warm. I couldn’t see trying this in the Summer. It got warm this past weekend which is what allowed me to crank out two quick styles.

As always, ask questions if it stops making sense. Happy Holidays!

Enjoy!