I am noticing more and more that a vast majority of African American women have started a journey to embrace their own natural hair textures. So many of us have never quite known our real hair texture until making the decision to switch over from using chemicals and excessive heat. Not that anything is wrong with having a good ole relaxer, some of us made the switch just out of curiosity of what our natural hair would look and feel like.
Now that we know what our true textures are, there are some days when we just wanna say, “Curl, Bye!!” At this point, the option of protective styles come into play. I am guilty of being tired of rocking my curls. Yea, I said it!! If you wanna know the truth, the everyday manipulation of styling and the environment can really take a toll on our hair. With that being said, the next time you get frustrated with your hair, just put it away. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.
Some of the advantages of wearing protective hair styles is convenience and promotion of hair growth. Not only that, it’s always nice to have an overall refreshed appearance.
Check out these protective style ideas…
Sheryta Samuel opted for long box braids. To achieve this look, I chose not to cut the bundle of hair in half, giving the style added length.
Autumn opted for long copper tone tresses. (Extensions were already colored.) To achieve this style, I made sure the braid pattern was appropiate for long straight hair. She will be curling this hair for her senior prom.
Amy Williams opted for a short curly bob. To achieve this style, I stacked the crown for fullness, gave her long bangs, and tapered her around the nape area.
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Dang, that’s all!” I thought she was way older than that!” Truth is, sometimes I feel older than that. Let me give you the rundown… I’ve been blind every since 1st grade. Lol! Uh, I’ve had bad knees every since college. That comes from being late for class everyday and bumping my knees on those small desks. What you looking at me like that for…? Ok, you got me… That comes from dropping it like it’s hot!!! Perhaps, I may have a little arthritis in my back and shoulders from standing out in the cold in that long line wrapped around Xanadu’s with hardly anything on trying to be cute. (That was the spot back in the day BTW …Myrtle Beach). I also noticed that I can’t run as fast as I used to. I reckon that comes from my days of hanging out at Solid Gold in Atlantic Beach. It never failed, I always had to run for my life, no shoes or nothing Jesus!! (Sweet Brown) Lol! Well, to sum it all up, I have a patch of grey hair right smack in the middle of my head and laugh lines from here to Cali. I guess that’s all the clues you need right there. I’m officially a grown woman! Happy 40th to me!! #NewYearsBaby #BetterThanBlessed
Not only do I like the look and feel of my natural hair, I am easily intrigued by every woman I see wearing their natural hair. As a service to all of you ladies out there who are contemplating taking the Natural Plunge, here is a slide show of a recent photo shoot featuring myself and two natural beauties, Alnita Reaves-Vaught, and Sade Allen-Steele. I hope you enjoy!!
How They Achieved The Look
“This photo shoot style was achieved with flat twists and just oil. I prefer a flat twist out when styling my hair because it’s less work for me and the style is already in place. This style gives me extra body and volume. When I’m not in the mood for big hair, I will do a tuck and roll. My hair products of choice are…Taliyah Waajid Healing oil, African Pride Moisture Intense Leave-In, and Shea Moisture Hair Milk. I shampoo my hair only if it’s really nasty and dirty with Aussie but the majority of the time I co-wash using Aussie conditioner.” –Sade Allen-Steele
“To achieve this photo shoot style, I used these Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk products: Leave-In Moisturizer, Styling Foam, and Styling Butter. I did smaller flat twists for more twist definition and longer hold. I also like flat twists for protective styles. I shampoo approximately every ten days, unless I’m in the gym during the week. In that case, I co-wash at least once a week using Wen cleansing conditioner. My go-to style is the pony puff when my schedule is tight.” –Alnita Reaves-Vaught
“Normally, I pull all of my hair up to the top of my head because humidity and I don’t get along very well. When I do video and photo shoots with my band, Tru Sol, I can wear my hair down because it’s only a couple of hours. For this shoot, I did a regular mid-sized twist out with a spritz of oily water (olive oil or coconut oil) and my favorite hair product, White Sands Orchid Oil. When I shampoo my hair, I use White Sands Shampoo and Conditioner. These products are sulfate free and leave my hair soft, smooth, and manageable.” –Sheryta Spears