I've been wearing my hair in braid-outs lately. They are easy and don't take much time!
I alternate between a middle and side part.
All I do is spritz with a little water and section my hair into 8 parts. I add a drop of Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and shea butter mixture and flat braid each section.
I've also tried it with leave in conditioner.
Here are the results:
"How sexy hair is born! I added a little leave in conditioner to dry hair, sealed with oil and flat braided my hair into 8 braids. I bobby pinned them on the opposite side to stretch it more."
Lately, I've been hearing natural hair referred to as, 'a look'. This is something that occurred before, but since I'm a rookie in the game, I'm noticing it more and more.
To me, a look implies something that is created. One does not decide to wear their hair natural to appear a certain way. If they did, their decision was for the wrong reason. Being natural isn't a style or a fad-- it's a lifestyle.
Some people wear their hair natural to nurture their health. Your hair shouldn't be left out of your health routine. For many, it is easier to have natural hair rather than worry about 'sweating out your edges' when you workout. Wearing your hair in its natural state may also encourage better health. You can't expect your hair to grow and thrive when you are putting toxic in your body. My decision to wear my hair natural was influenced by a combination of things. Health was an important factor, but self-love was the main determinant.
I decided to love myself entirely. Regardless of what society thinks, I am sufficient, my hair included.
Sporting your natural curls, kinks, and coils isn't for vanity. A little piece of me dies inside when someone says, 'Not everyone can pull off the natural look'. It only shows how far we have to go as a society. Natural hair is beautiful. Don't get discouraged if people don't agree with your choice to wear your hair in it's natural state. Show them with your actions why natural hair is a great decision.
Confidence looks good on anyone. Many people didn't like my hair when I first went natural. Instead of replying to the nonsense, I showed them by caring for my hair. Now that my hair is longer, many people don't have much to say, but that they love it!
"It doesn't matter what anyone says; all that matters is what you think of yourself." -India Arie
$5.87. That cost includes 6% tax. I bought 2 bundles of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn. I used 1 1/2 bundles. I used 3 strands of yarn for each braid. There are many YouTube tutorials on installing the braids. It took me 13 hours.
I wanted to try these braids for over a year ago. I had watched a few YouTube videos, but never got around to making the dream a reality.
I needed a long term protective style and decided this would be the perfect opportunity.
I started by washing my hair. I also conditioned my hair and added a leave in. I then finished with a mixture of oils to seal my hair. Most people deep condition but I only plan to keep them in for a month.
After installing the braids, I wet them with hot water in the shower. I burned the ends as I went and made sure to layer the length. They are mid-back length.
I spritz with a mixture of water, leave-in conditioner, and olive oil every 3-4 days. I add oil to them in the mean time, in between time.
Overall I am pleased with them. They aren't too heavy and are pretty easy to maintain. The braids give me a different look. Plus, it looks like I have locs. I have been playing with the idea of having locs for a while. I love my hair free, so it is a struggle to keep them in.
Let me know if you try the style and how you like it!
I've gotten many questions on how I achieved this look. I think it is an appropriate time to do a post about it. It's very simple and doesn't take too much time!
Step 1: I started with DRY, stretched hair.
This is what it looked like the day before:
Step 2: I sectioned my hair into about 20 sections, 10 on each side. I then added a little bit of Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie to each section, focusing on the ends. I followed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and two strand twisted each part.
Step 3: I let my hair sit for about 30-40 minutes and took the twists out. I think the key with this style is not letting your hair sit too long! Plus, it's super humid where I live so when I go outside my hair swells!
There is one question that I hesitate to answer every time I hear it. I wouldn't ever lie, but I also don't want anyone to be lead astray. What is that question?
Is being natural hard?
Honestly, being natural is what you make it. It doesn't have to be a time consuming, daunting task. Can I just get up and go without doing anything to my hair? No. You also can't do that with relaxed hair.
Those who like experimenting with products and styles may spend more time with their hair; it is a pleasure. For those who don't, there are many quick and low maintenance styles. As with most things in life, you have to work for what you want. Your hair will require time, but don't be afraid to research and use the blogs and vloggers that are out there to find a routine that works for you.
One of the most difficult times can be learning your hair. I think this is where many new naturals and transitioners get frustrated and revert back to straightening. In the beginning you don't who your hair is. By that, I mean that you don't know what products and methods work for your hair. You'll have to use trial and error to find out what your hair likes. Honestly, many things that you try will not work. Don't be discouraged. You will find things that you love in the process.
I, too, had that awkward stage of finding what worked for my hair. After many trials, I found a regimen. I couldn't be more happy with how my hair feels and behaves. I shampoo once or twice a month with Terressentials mud hair wash. I deep condition with Anita Grant Rhassoul Deep Condish Cubes once a month. I use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie as a moisturizer. I follow with a mixture of shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and a little vitamin E to seal the moisture in. I also found that natural products are the only things that keep my hair healthy and feeling great. The longer my hair gets, the less time I spend on it and the easier it gets to manage.
So, does being natural take work? Yes, of course. Is it a time consuming monster? It doesn't have to be. If you are considering going natural or are already natural and are stuck, I encourage you to use the resources available to you. There are too many blogs and Youtube channels for you to use the excuse that you don't know how to take care of your hair. Don't be afraid to try new products and methods. If you don't try, you'll never know what works. Take a leap of faith!
Are you considering going natural but think it will be too hard? Are you newly natural but thinking of relaxing because nothing is working?
So you want to go natural but don't know where to start.
There are two ways: Cut all of your relaxed ends off immediately or grow your natural hair out to a length you are comfortable with. Either way, it will involve cutting your ends off. Many people choose to grow their hair out and cut when they feel comfortable, which is considered 'transitioning'. This is the method I chose. That could be anywhere from 2 months to 2-3 years. I transitioned for 11 months. Even if you choose to wait to cut off your relaxed ends, you still have to protect and preserve your natural hair. Weaves, wigs, and extensions are an option, but they shouldn't be the only protective styles you use.
Kinky/Curly hair can be fragile and heat often damages it. There are many beautiful styles you can do without heat. I found a few video tutorials for basic styles for people with relaxed ends.
Hope these help!
Helpful Tips for Transitioners:
For Short/Medium Length Hair:
All of the above styles can be applied to longer hair using the same methods.
Sorry! Couldn't get the video to post but here is the link to a braid out for longer hair. It is similar to my method during my transitioning period.
I wish I would have documented my transition period, but I didn't. Here are some pics that I did come across for styles without heat. Please excuse the bad phone lighting and awkward poses.
Flat Braid-out: 5-7 flat braids to the back of the head. I spritzed hair with water, added Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and sealed with oil (olive, castor, and/or jojoba).
Twist-out: Same method as above, but with flat twists. Flat twists and two strand twists were not a good transition style for me because my ends always came loose. Adding rollers at the end is a great idea!
Roller Set: I didn't do this myself, but there are tutorials on how to roller set hair.
Okay, so I admit, I got off of my protective style challenge. I plan to do protective/low maintenance styles, but I love my hair out in the summer. Also, after after I deep condition with the Anita Grant cubes, my hair just looks new. I love it and have been wearing my hair out for the past 4 days. All of the pictures are of 4 day old hair. It looks amazing to me. Plus summer and sun, it doesn't get any better than this.