All Articles Tagged "black hair women"
When I first decided I’d try a texturizer, I was in the usual stage of confused, forced transition. I was coming off of three months of kinky twist braids to avoid the summer humidity’s affect on my hair. Once back in Chicago, braids out, my sturdy Nigerian hair (NAIJA!) had grown immensely and I didn’t know whether I wanted to keep up a straightening relaxer or go au natural. But I had also been thinking about texturizers too. I had seen the artificial lustrous curls of black women on the outside of Pink Shortlooks boxes and as a person who prefers cropped hair, loved the look. So I went to the shop and sacrificed my locks (cause I’m trying to put less importance on my strands) and by the time I left, texturizer leaving my hair in waves, I hated it.
The beautician had literally put a razor to my head (which I doubt was necessary to make the curls hold best) and I had less hair than my dad. But as its grown over the months, I’ve grown to love it. Coming form someone who’s actually done it and not just talking about it, it’s easy to do, taking about 10 minutes each morning, as all you really need are moisturizers and some water. And people might say it leaves your hair dry–not true. If you condition it well and keep your locks well oiled (not greasy) you’ll be surprised how soft it can be. While I know texturizers aren’t for everyone and you should always do what works best for your own head, texturizers, dope for both sexes, are ways to play with the texture of short and long hair, perfect during cold and hot weather. But here’s what you should know first.
You feel at peace knowing that you can embrace your natural black hair. From an afro to straightened hair, a part of you has settled in the traditional way of doing things. However, the proverbial issues you may have faced at work or on job interviews could contribute to some feeling that natural hair is socially unacceptable. If you’ve been told to abandon the kinky look for more relaxed do or have received odd behavior from opposing figures, then maybe you should refer to these helpful hints to show a good impression while wearing natural locks.
Take a look:
Step #1: Wear a headband over dreadlocked hair
You have walked in the presence of coiled of hair such as the dreadlocks or locked hair for months to years it seems. The matted look itself may have prompted some glances in a professional workplace, but no part of you is going to rule out the dreads any time soon. If you open yourself up to a set of presentable styles for dreaded hair, you could wear a headband for a sleek look. Stay away from multi-colors or semi-colored braids that draw attention. Find ways to upkeep them without going bright, bold or untidy.
Step #2: Stick with a trimmed, yet conservative afro
There is a lack of sophistication when it comes to big, messy hair that garners public attraction. To gain your worthiness and self of respect in a professional setting, you should be reluctant about wearing certain styles of dress. Being conservative as possible means sticking with a trimmed, yet conservative afro that is properly cut, maintained and clean. Scaling back on the amount of hair you have, is something you should consider if you want to be seen as a serious competitor.
Step #3: No mess, no fuss with short curly hair
The curly hair may have carried you through thick and thin, but suggesting that it will always come across to your business associates is not always the case. There is a requirement to wearing short curly hair just as there is to showing up on-time for work or a job interview. Casting an impressionable look to your peers means using less hair gel or oil in your hair or minimizing excess curls, so that its composed and befitting to your role. Plus, the time given to upkeep the style is less to deal with.
Step#4: Demand different styles with a curly or straight hair of all lengths
You have tended to your curly or straightened hair so much that its grown out of proportion. At this rate, its probably the best option to shorten it or get it back to its natural state, especially in the work force. As a black woman, your personal fascination with hair growth shouldn’t outweigh your competitive edge in the field. You should be able to regulate it with different styles such as pinning it back, adding more body or waves to a flat hairstyle. If you have curly hair, you can straighten it with a flat iron or a creative touch without going overboard.
Step#5: Get braids every once in awhile
There are certain styles you get used to, and others you don’t. But finding a style that ties into your personal interest as well as donning one for the office is a responsible nature to have. If you request braids, for example, you should be aware of the dress requirement involved to wear such a style that’s classy and appropriate for work. A simple word of advice is wearing small to medium braids that you can tie back or rest on your shoulders since they don’t detract from the overall outfit. Refrain from big braids or extra long braids that can get easily tangled in your regular routine.
Step#6: Short bobs are presentable too!
You are free to add simple bobs as a career look. Of course, this is just another way to ensure your equipped for the office and steering clear of a mishap, which won’t go unnoticed. Common sense should tell you that there is no incorrect way to wearing short bobs, unless you burst out with a colorful or unkempt do. But in the regular skeem of things, you can add some curls or waves to it, or have a glamorous set that compliments your overall appearance.
Many of the products marketed towards Black women are not actually suitable for Black hair. Our hair is particularly susceptible to dryness and breakage, which can be the result of using some of these “ethnic” products that are heavy on harsh chemicals, fragrances and Afrocentric packaging, yet devoid of the ingredients we require for healthy hair.
Black Product Lines vs. Black Owned Product Lines
Just because a product is called ‘African Magic’ or ‘Black and Beautiful’ does NOT guarantee that it was made by a Black company; in fact, the vast majority of the products in the Black hair care aisle were made by the same manufacturers that produce the products in the other hair care section. Some 3,500 hair care products feature the American Health and Beauty Aids Institute (AHABI) “Proud Lady” symbol on the packaging, which lets you know they were made by Black companies. However, not all Black owned hair businesses belong to AHABI. And, as you know, Black owned does not guarantee quality, nor does is it a requirement for being a great product for Black hair.
Know The Black Hair Killers
Regardless of who the manufacturer is, beware products that contain harsh sulfates, which are particularly damaging for Black hair; ammonium laurel sulfate, TEA laureth sulfate, TEA laurel sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate are some of the worst offenders. Shampoos containing these ingredients should be used no more than once a month to remove heavy product build-up, if ever. Sulfates that are less damaging include polyoxethylene fatty alcohols, PEG 80, sorbitan laurate, cocamidopropyl betaine and sodium laureth sulfate. Also, relaxers containing lye are a death wish for Black hair.
To weave or not to weave? There is a lot of back and forth discussion over Black women and their love/hate relationships with hair extensions. While they can be a fab styling option for the girl who wants to change her style, color or even texture from week to week, simply put….they aren’t for everyone. Considering hair extensions for your African American hair? Here are some things you may wish to consider.
-Hair extensions provide flexibility in styling that would be impossible to mimic with real hair. Attempt to change your own hair from red to blonde to black in the course of two weeks and you’ll be wearing weave sooner than you planned, trust me.
-Much of the taboo surrounding Black women and weaves has gone away. They are so commonplace now that you’ll even see the occasional man walking around with a ‘hair bag’ after picking up his girlfriend’s new extensions.
-Can you change your extensions often? Sure. But it’s gonna be costly. And if you aren’t a skilled weave-master, the last thing you want to do is put your own tracks or pieces in. The streets will notice, honey. The streets will notice.
-Like braids, hair extensions can cause stress to your own hair. Which is the worst thing you can do if you plan to wear your real tresses out in the future.
-Not everyone can keep up $300 trips to the salon every few weeks, but some will get those fancy extensions knowing full well they can’t replace them in an adequate amount of time. The result? The unfortunate sister sitting in front of you on the bus with a head full of matted Remi and a faint mildew smell.
If you choose to try a weave, make sure you are prepared to deal with the costs and upkeep associated with it! Hair extensions can be uber fab…but you have to do your part!
One of the great benefits of choosing to go natural is the ability to eliminate your need to visit a salon on a regular basis. Healthy and fabulous natural Black hair can be maintained quite easily at home, so long as you know what you are doing. Proper washing is one of the most important steps to keeping your tresses looking good and growing strong.
Do NOT Wash Your Hair Daily
Frequent washing strips Black hair of vital natural oils, particularly if you are using a harsh shampoo that contains sulfites and alcohol-based fragrances. Depending on the amount of product you use, wash your hair no more than two or three times a week and always follow up with some sort of conditioner (leave-in or rinse out).
Many stylists specializing in natural Black hair advocate co-washing: using conditioner to cleanse the hair as opposed to shampoo. This allows you to remove product build-up without stripping the hair. Use a traditional shampoo once a month .
Comb Hair While Washing ONLY
Combing natural Black hair while dry can be painful and destructive. Use a wide tooth comb in the shower to de-tangle hair as you shampoo, co-wash or condition. Natural Black hair is very fragile and improper combing will lead to major damage over time.
While many Black women use extensions to achieve looks that call for longer hair lengths, one can also take steps to help her natural hair grow long and strong. While it may not be possible to mimic the super-lengthy tresses of your favorite R&B singer (who is undoubtedly wearing hair extensions), most sisters can have a head of healthy and beautiful natural hair that is all their own.
Choose The Right Shampoos and Conditioners
Many of the shampoos designed for Black hair have harsh sulfates (i.e. ammonium laureth sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate) that are designed to remove heavy product buildup; unfortunately, they also strip the hair and cause hair damage. Choose a mild shampoo with natural ingredients instead and follow up with a good conditioner. Trader Joe’s Nourish shampoo and conditioner are excellent choices for Black hair If you are wearing hair extensions while growing your natural hair out, make sure that you consult a stylist about any shampoo or conditioner that you use.
Minimize Heat Styling
Blow dryers and heat styling tools are incredibly hard on Black hair. Blot excess water from freshly washed hair with a towel and, if you can’t air dry, use the lowest setting possible. Use curling and flat irons infrequently as possible.
Use Protective Styles
As Black hair can be particularly damage prone (especially when attempting to grow out a relaxer), consider wearing buns, french twists and other styles that protect the ends of the hair from being exposed.
Choose Wigs Over Hair Extensions
Sew-in weaves and other hair extensions can cause Black hair a lot of stress. If you are attempting to grow your own hair, but are unwilling to sacrifice your long or versatile looks in the meantime, consider wearing wigs instead. Hair extensions tend to provide Black women the style choices they want, but the damage to hair can be costly in the long run.