Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you gained more insight into afro hair and were inspired today to try something new. I also hope you found this blog informative from the history of black hair to the many varieties of styles black women can do.
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Black women have a variety of hair textures. From curly to kinky hairstyles. Overall black women have such versatile hair. This section will look at the different textures and give you some great ideas for styling your hair and ways to look after your hair. Most black women’s hair ranges from about 3b (but like I said there are a variety of hair textures). 3b would be loose curl texture (Melton, 2013)
3c would be corkscrew textured curls (Melton, 2013)
4b and 4c are similar kinky hair textures but are less defined than 4a. (Melton, 2013) Natural afro textured hair can be linked with black movements that occurred in America in the 1960s that saw political groups like Black Panthers use them as a symbol of black pride. Similarly, the Marvel movie Black Panther. The first black solo superhero which highlighted a lot of natural hair. With black queens such as Lupita Ny’ong as well as British actress Letitia Wright. Find out more about the celebration of black hair https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a16670565/how-the-movie-black-panther-is-celebrating-natural-hair/
Here are my top tips for looking after natural kinky hair
1) Wear a silk scarf to bed – one thing our hair needs is oil and often when we sleep the moisture from our her is absorbed by our pillows and we end up waking up with dry hair. This can prevent growth and cause breakage. To keep the moisture in our hair, invest in a silk scarf.
2) Do not wash your hair with hot water – like the first pint. The hot water strips away the moisture from black hair. The heat as well can cause damage to the roots of our hair. Using warm or lukewarm water to keep your hair happy
3) Do not use too much treatment in your hair – those strengthen protect etc home kits can damage your hair IF used to much. If you want to do regular treatments leave a minimum of two weeks between or longer if you have damaged hair
4) Blow-drying and straightening hair – this can cause a lot of damage, not only will it dry out your hair but it can damage roots and cause your hair strands to split which causes breakage also
5) Regular trims – you should have regular trims to get rid of dead hair and promote hair growth
6) Moisture – you guys knew this one was coming. Dry hair is a no no! Afro and mixed-race hair need to be regularly oiled. I highly recommend coconut oil and almond oil for thick hair growth.
If you’re looking for more expert opinion look no further than Errol Douglas, a UK stylist who has been working with afro hair for over 30 years. His top tips are; “avoid home remedies especially lemon and egg.” (InStyle, 2016) He suggests not using anything that can “clog your hair growth such as coconut oil and when washing afro hair it is best to start with shampoo.” (InStyle, 2016) If you are looking for any more tips you can contact Douglas through his website team http://erroldouglas.com/contact-us.aspx
InStyle. (2016). Errol Douglas Afro Hair Tips. [online] Available at: http://www.instyle.com/ [Accessed 15 May 2018].
Melton, N. (2013). Decode Your Coils: A Simple Guide to Curly Hair Types. [online] Essence. Available at: https://www.essence.com/galleries/decode-your-coils-simple-guide-curly-hair-types [Accessed 18 May 2018].
The hair weaving process was created in the 1950s by an African-American woman named Christina Jenkins. (YouTube, 2016) Like braids or other natural hairstyles, a weave is known for being a protective hairstyle as it allows people to dye, cut and change their style often without damaging their sensitive hair with chemicals and so forth. Below is a video which shows a basic weaving style with a closure. (YouTube, 2016) *are special hair units in which individual hair strands are attached (usually hand-tied) to a piece of material, most commonly lace or silk. * (Princess, 2014)
When getting a weave done you should make sure to go to someone skilful who knows how to do “canerows as a base”. They also must be skilful when sewing as “not to make the weave look bulky”. Another consideration they will have to take into account is the difference between a full head sew in and stitch weave as different techniques will be needed. A full head sew in means that the whole hair would need to be cane rowed whereas, with the stitch weave, the hairdresser would “leave hair out around the crown for the hair to have a natural finish.” Another way to get a natural finish with a weave is by using the bonding method. This means that the “weave is glued directly to the scalp”. However, it doesn’t last as long the “weaving process and if not removed properly can cause loss of hair.”(Sherrow, 2006) I have included a before and after picture of the bonding method. It adds length and body to the hair and gives a natural finish.
Another style of weave is lace front. Diane Shaw who specialises in lace fronts among other hair techniques. Shaw tells us that “lace fronts give the illusion of growing hair and this is why people in the public eye and the media often choose to opt for this style.”(Shaw, 2018) Many popular celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian, Beyoncé as well as tv personality and fashion designer Lauren Conrad. Weave gives women the chance to have versatile styles and always keep their look fresh.
If the weave is not installed properly it can lead to disastrous consequences at best you will be wearing a bad weave at worst you could cause yourself hair loss. A good weave should look like it’s your real hair, a bad weave is “unbeweavable” (to quote Biggie). Experts state that “the canerows underneath the wig have to be completed properly. Meaning they cannot be too tight or too loose, the scalp should be oiled and weave should not be worn longer than 8 weeks.”(Shaw, 2018) I know personally when I have had leave out I HAD to make sure the weave textured blended in with my own hair otherwise it does not look good.
Diane Shaw gives us a couple more tips to maintaining our underneath weave or extensions. She recommends different things, for instance, she says that “a lace wig should not be worn for longer than 2 weeks if possible as lace front puts pressure on the edges of the head.” (Shaw, 2018) The main thing Shaw stressed is “your hair will naturally grow underneath the weave or wig as long as you regularly maintain your hair routine and do not put too much pressure on the hair.” (Shaw, 2018)
Princess, E. (2014). Full Weave with Closure | Pros & Cons – Longing 4 Length. [online] Longing 4 Length. Available at: http://longing4length.com/advantages-full-weave-with-closure.html [Accessed 15 May 2018].
Shaw, D. (2018). Hair Blog.
Sherrow, V. (2006). Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History. Greenwood Publishing Group, p.198.
YouTube (2016). A moment in black history:Christina Jenkins. [image] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI4I0nAmFjo [Accessed 19 May 2018].
YouTube (2016). Full head weave w/closure – sew in – step by step. [image] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im4AP1IbMMI&feature=youtu.be [Accessed 17 May 2018].
The history of braiding goes all the way back to Africa, where braids were used to identify a person’s tribe. Braids were also used during slavery times as maps for black people to use to escape slave plantations. “The women would weave the maps in their hair, carving out paths with their cornrows. Some patterns were even utilized to deliver secret messages.” (James, n.d.) Like many hairstyles, braids can be and are used as a symbol of liberation and creativity.
Braiding hair is also a convenient style for those on the go. Great for hair growth and a huge summer look. It gives you the chance to soak up the heat during the warmer months. Braiding hair splits up into several styles from extricate plaits, twist and cornrows, as well as afropuffs styles done to the hair.
With the amount of different braiding styles available out there it might be hard to choose. When summer comes round I always find myself in the same predicament, what will I do with my hair? Well for this summer, I have put together a number of suggestions for you to try out or get inspired. Below is a list of celebrities who have had a super stylish braid look. Each of the women mentioned below has used their own hair as a way to express their creativity.
Here’s my top 5.
1) Keke Palmer: American actress wearing a braided style. Keke is often seen changing up her hair often from weave to braids. The actress, however, likes to take care of her natural hair. Palmer stated that when she has “extensions in she makes sure to wash it every couple of weeks or every three weeks, depending on how much product I’ve been putting into it.” (Campbell, 2015)
2) Brandy Norwood: American singer-songwriter wearing a twisted braid hairstyle. Brandy Norwood who also does acting part-time loves natural hairstyles “I love braids and twists, and I love the natural expression, that’s my thing.” (Marketplace, 2013) But also stated that she had to be versatile for acting jobs.
3) Mel B: Spice girl singer rocking cornrows. Scary spice signature hair look is usually short and natural but often switches between weave and braids. (Black Beauty and Hair, 2014)
Yaya Dacosta: American actress stunting with her natural afropuffs. The actress and part-time model usually rocks hair natural hair and wows everyone whilst she does it. (hair?, 2014)This style gives the hair rest and allows growth plus it is a low maintenance hairstyle too!
5) Nicki Minaj: American singer. The singer often rocks braided styles when returning to her homeland Trinidad and Tobago. This particular hairstyle is called single plaits and takes a number of hours to complete due to length and size of plaits. If you are someone who is patient, it is a highly recommended style as you can see from Minaj in this picture.(Natural Hair Care | Rayann410, 2016)
In terms of haircare, Crystal who works as a stylist at Afrotherapy London states that “before you even get your hair braided you should deep condition your hair”.(Williams, 2018) This means that your hair will be moisturised and your roots will be strengthed during the braiding process. Crystal specialises in natural hair, weaves & extensions, creative colour on weaves & styling as well as relaxing and styling services.
Black Beauty and Hair. (2014). Hair Crush: Mel B. [online] Available at: http://www.blackbeautyandhair.com/hair-crush-mel-b/ [Accessed 19 May 2018].James, D. (n.d.).
Campbell, D. (2015). KeKe Palmer Reveals Her Hair Routine and Explains Why She Relaxes Her Hair. [online] Essence.com. Available at: https://www.essence.com/2015/07/08/keke-palmer-reveals-her-hair-routine-and-explains-why-she-relaxes-her-hair [Accessed 21 May 2018].
hair?, W. (2014). Who said there isn’t any versatility in Natural hair?. [online] ROCKIN’ IT NAPPTURAL!!. Available at: http://www.rockitnapptural.com/2010/09/who-said-there-isnt-any-versatility-in.html [Accessed 18 May 2018].
Mapping Out Freedom: Escaped Slaves Used Braids For Direction. [online] HelloBeautiful. Available at: https://hellobeautiful.com/2877570/braids-cornrows-maps-for-slaves/ [Accessed 18 May 2018].
Marketplace, B. (2013). Brandy Reveals her Fro on Instagram!. [online] BGLH Marketplace. Available at: https://bglh-marketplace.com/2013/07/brandy-reveals-her-fro-on-instagram/ [Accessed 23 May 2018]
Natural Hair Care | Rayann410. (2016). Nicki Minaj Slays the Feed in Braids!. [online] Available at: https://www.rayann410.com/blog/nicki-minaj-slays-the-feed-in-braids [Accessed 18 May 2018].
Williams, C. (2018). Hair blog.
Discover the world of beauty today.
With warm weather around the corner, many of us will be asking ourselves what am I going to do with my hair? Will I go colourful? Will I go long or short? Maybe I’ll try that style that my favourite celebrity was rocking. With so many options it is often hard to find that one style. Well whatever you are looking for, this e-zine will provide you with tips and ideas throughout. I hope you feel inspired today!
“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” Ralph Waldo Emerson