Natural Wedding Hair and I Don't Care

Natural Wedding Hair and I Don't Care

2015 has been a busy year. What with moving house and giving birth to our third daughter there has been enough excitement for a good while. I've also been working on a few natural hair projects one of which was doing a friend's hair for her wedding at the end of the summer. This was an excellent experience but nerve wracking to say the least. I thoroughly enjoyed the time experimenting with styles and discovering how my friends twa 4C hair reacted to different products and techniques.

During one of our hair consultations I mentioned how I really admired her for going against the grain and wearing her natural hair for her wedding day, I wish I had done the same for mine! We got onto the subject of how some people around her reacted to her decision to wear her natural hair. Sadly there wasn't much encouragement. "Aren't you going to get a weave?" Some asked. When my friend refused a weave, others even suggested that "You could get a natural looking weave?". I personally thought this was very rude as it implied that her natural hair wasn’t good enough. 

What a shame. Despite these discouragements my friend went ahead and commissioned me to work on creating a simple wedding style with her natural hair without the use of extensions, weaves or wigs. She really wanted to feel and look like herself on her special day so she didn't succumb to the pressure to conform to what other people thought was the 'appropriate' type of hair to have for a wedding.

So here was the finished style. She chose a perm rod set with a loose flat twisted bang. Her beaded hair band and pearl bobby pins were from Accessorize. I used Cantu Shea Butter as the leave-in, coconut oil for sealing and shine and Creme Of Nature’s Moroccan Argan oil Foaming Wrap Lotion for the set. For a little edge control I used ORS Olive Oil Edge Control.

So are you thinking about your wedding day hair?
Here are three things I would consider:

1. Make Sure You are Comfortable with Your Hair on the Day

Don't let others tell you you must not do this or that because it's your wedding day. If you're someone who always wears a weave or wig because you're unsure about how to adequately care for and style your natural hair (because you’re new to this natural hair stuff) then perhaps doing an all natural style for your wedding day may not be for you at the moment. 

Although, if you have the confidence, I would of course encourage you months before the wedding to at least try some styles on your natural hair to see whether you can make it work for you and feel at ease with the styles. If not, then by all means wear your hair in a style YOU are comfortable with, and if that means using extensions or attachments then so be it! When I first big chopped there were many times I just didn't know what to do with my hair and if someone came to me and said I MUST wear my natural hair out for an occasion I know I wouldn’t have been confident because I just wasn't ready early on in my journey. I didn't know enough and I was still learning how to manage and style my hair. On the other hand of course, if you're someone who does rock your natural hair on a regular basis then don't feel you have to suddenly change the way you look to please others on your special day just because they don't deem natural hair to be acceptable for an occasion.

2. Remember Natural Hair Can Look Good For a Special Occasion

Whether you're the bride or a guest don't limit yourself by believing you simply can't create something truly lovely with your hair. Even if you have problems areas you can try and work around those and see what can be done despite your issues. My friend had an area at the back of her head where the hair was very short but we worked round this by carefully considering the placement of the accessories and the hair at her crown. Be sure to meet well in advance with your stylist so you can be sure that the style you want actually works. Ensure you do a couple of trial runs until the style is just right.

3. Remember It's Natural Hair - Embrace Its Qualities.

If you are choosing to wear a natural style then don’t fight against your unique texture and pattern. Seek out styles that accentuate the features your hair possesses. Natural hair has fantastic sculptural aspects - use them! . Consider your head and face shape and hair length. Look for examples online which are a close match to your own desired look and see how you can adapt those styles to suit you. My friend was happy to work with the fact that her hair has tight kinks and coils and refused to lay completely flat around her edges. She was comfortable with her hair type and at the end of the day it didn’t actually matter whether a few coils sprung up here and there. She was comfortable embracing her natural beauty and if I must say so myself, she looked stunning.

Stay true to yourself.

B

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African Threaded Hairstyles

African Threaded Hairstyles

Here are a couple of quick styles to do on hair that has been chunky twisted or african threaded. These last me all week or longer and what I love is that I don’t have to manipulate my hair until I come to take them down but I can still change my style daily if I choose, just by re-pinning the twists/coils in a different direction and accessorising.

Have you given african threading a go?

Bx

Flat Twist Simplicity

The Simple Natural

In a previous video I said that loose two strand twists were proving to be a really easy go to  protective/daily style, and they were until I came up with another way of reducing the time I spend on my hair, easing the process of detangling and further protecting my fragile ends. And this is it. A semi flat twist style- yeah, not anything amazing but extremely helpful to me in my weekly routine. Check out my video to see more!

B

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Yes you can 4C that style! : Style 003 Side Swoop Bun

Style 003: Side Swoop Bun

Style 003: Side Swoop Bun - Here is an easy style to try with stretched 4C hair. This is a style for when you only have a few minutes in the morning when perhaps you haven't achieved the original twist/braid out definition you hoped for and you need a new style in the morning as a quick fix.

To create this style you will need:

  • Bobby pins
  • 12" Piece of hosiery material
  • Moisture (water or leave-conditioner)
  • Sealant (oil or a butter)

Instructions:

  • Start on stretched hair.
  • Section your bang area into a horse shoe shape and pin away.
  • Moisturise your edges.
  • Gather the rest of your hair into a bun using the hosiery material, tie and secure the ends using a bobby pin.
  • Divide the bun into two sections. Taking one section, gently twist, tuck and pin down the ends towards the back of the bun. Repeat this step with the other section.
  • Undo the bang area and gently comb the ends downwards with your fingers. 
  • Twist the bang section in an upwards motion towards your ear and pin the ends down towards your back bun. 
  • Use bobby pins on the top area of the bang twist to press it down.

Night maintenance

If you wanted to keep this style over night I would suggest doing three large chunky braids or twists. One for the bang area and two for the back buns.

How long does the style last for?

This style could be redone each morning for three days or perhaps more if your hair doesn't easily tangle at the roots. My hair starts to grow together at the roots if I leave it in a style that doesn't have lots of sections. So I personally wouldn't do this style for more than three days.

Happy styling!

Bxx

4C Summer Styles

4C Summer Styles

Hi everyone, I hope you are all enjoying your summer! if you've been looking for some new hairstyles to try, look no further! Check out my feature on 4Chairchick.com where I show you how to do 3 really easy styles for your summer events. And if you're at all interested in the accessories shown in the video, check out my etsy shop where I have lots of handmade hair accessories in the 'Verano' 2014 collection. Enjoy!

Bx

4c Hair Feature: Michele

4c Hair Feature: Michele

I know how encouraging it is to read about other naturals with 4c hair texture, especially those from the UK. Over the coming months I would like to bring more exposure to other UK natural websites particularly highlighting those who have 4c hair. If you live in the UK and would like to feature on the website please get in touch! So here is the first feature on UK natural Michele N Dimbua from UKnatssisters.com.

1. CurlyB: Tell us about yourself.                                                                                                                

Michele: Hello my name is Michele N Dimbua, I'm the official blogger and contributor at UKnatssisters.com. I live in Newcastle, and my facebook page is: www.facebook.com/uknaturals

2. CB: How long have you been natural or transitioning for?

M: I've been natural for 19 months now, and I love it! But at first I didn't like the look too much and I was relying on wash and go's or braid outs etc to reduce the kinkiness of my hair texture. But after that I began to appreciate my 4C texture and now I rarely do twist outs I just wear my fro out! 

3. CB: What is your hair regime?

M: My hair regimen is simple: 

  • Co-wash: once a week
  • Shampoo: once every 6 weeks (sometimes I don't at all for the entire 2 months)
  • Bicarbonate: Once every 5 weeks
  • Treatment: once a week ; Avocado and extra virgin olive oil 
  • Deep condition: once a week; Conditioner and olive oil

Styling: I used to wear my Fro out a lot, but now I'm on a protective style challenge. So my hair is always protected on buns, braids, twists etc. 

Combing: I never comb my hair unless it's wet! I usually finger detangle.

Moisturising and products: 

  • Daily: with water and olive oil. 
  • Once a week: home made Shea butter cream. 
  • Leave in - African Pride Shea butter leave in conditioner.

Trim: when necessary! 

4. CB: What products do you use on your hair?

M: I use:

  • Alberto Balsam for deep conditioning 
  • Kuza 100% Shea butter
  • Homemade Shea buttery cream 
  • IC Fantasia Gel
  • Extra virgin Olive oil (best moisturiser)
  • Castor oil
  • Almond oil  (best sealant)

I use Almond and extra virgin olive oil because they are the two few oils that penetrate the hair strand. I buy these products anywhere. Fantasia gel I buy at any local African Shop. Olive oil - Tesco, almond oil - any Pakistani or Bengali corner shops, Alberto Balsam - Savers, Asda or Tesco. Castor Oil - Amazon UK.

5. CB: What are your 3 favourite styles?

 M: Mini twists, Marley twist, big fro! Because they are styles that most naturals don't do. It looks different and Afrocentric. 

6. CB: What do you think is the best feature about your hair texture?

M: Best feature about my hair is shrinkage, the fact that I can have it out long or short is brilliant! 

7. CB: Do you have any encouragement for those with kinky, coily hair?

M: For newly naturals... Dare to be different, there is a reason why you were given a particular type of hair! 

A big thank you Michele for featuring on CurlyB. Stay tuned for more 4c features!

Yes you can 4c that style! - Style 001: The Loose Twist Beehive

Style 001: The Loose Twist Beehive

twist_tut_style001_flat.jpg

Before I went natural I believed that 4c hair couldn't be manipulated or styled easily and could only be done by a professional hairdresser. I truly believed that I could not do my own hair. I had no idea about the myriad of styles one can do on 4c hair just like any other hair type. Everything has changed since then, and now I know it is possible. During this series I will be sharing the styles I do to help anyone who may be feeling as I did before I began my natural hair journey. I hope to be regularly posting ' 4c style files' which will include how to create and maintain a style for a certain number of days or weeks. So remember, yes you can 4c that style!

Style 001: Loose twist beehive - A great little style to sport especially when you have two strand twists installed but it can equally work on loose 4c hair. This style is great to do if you want minimal manipulation for a least a week or two. You can even wash your hair in the twists and then re-install the style afterwards.

To create this style you will need:

  • Bobby pins
  • Hairband (optional)
  • Moisture (water)
  • Sealant (Oil or a butter)

Instructions:

  • You will need to start by doing loose two strand twists all over your head. These must be left in for at least one night. Make sure you moisturise and seal your loose twists. Make a side parting and section off the bang area. Undo the twists in the bang area, and while holding the ends twist and pin them to the side of your head, just above your ear.
  • Push the rest of your twists upwards. Then starting from one end of your head, roll the twists underneath themselves and move along until you reach the other end of your head. You can now twist and pin the twisted twists back on themselves as shown above.

Night maintenance

Simply re-twist or flat twist the bang area, spritz your hair all over with the style installed and cover with a hair scarf. (There's no need to undo the beehive you have created)

How long does the style last for?

This style can last for a week to two weeks. I would suggest taking the style down (not the loose twists just the beehive) after a week and moisturising and sealing the ends of your loose twists.

Happy styling!

Bxx

Thoughts on Texture

Thoughts on Hair Texture

 Pinterest

Pinterest

I recently watched a natural hair vlogger on youtube discussing the issue of hair texture within the natural hair community. She asked a number of good questions regarding the attitude of some within the natural hair community towards tighter, coarser hair textures. She felt that there was a hierarchy of natural hair, with looser curl textures perhaps being favoured above tighter coarser textures. She suggests that there is a natural hair 'look' which is more acceptable and sought after by many naturals or those looking to go natural, and how those with the idealised natural hair 'look' were seemingly more popular on youtube than those with tighter textures.

I thought the questions she raised were very good and I would agree with many of the points she mentioned as I have seen in my own experience how these attitudes are very real. So is there really a hair hierarchy in the natural hair community? Is there one particular hair aesthetic which is idealised within and without the natural hair community?

To these two questions I would answer yes, I think there is. 

But why are looser hair textures seemingly preferred?

It seems to me that many prefer loose textures or hair textures which have a bit of 'hang' not first and foremost because they are more 'manageable' but more so because of the way they look. That particular aesthetic is desirable to many. I think this preference can be seen within the natural hair community and wider afield too.

I believe this is the attitude of many even outside of the natural hair community as I have experienced this attitude personally in regards to my daughters. My daughters are of mixed heritage and they have loosely curly, ringlet type texture. I have had so many comments from strangers about their "lovely" hair. I wonder why is their hair seen as better than any other hair type? There is beauty in all hair types and textures! When I receive these comments I usually say something like "your hair is lovely too". To which the reply is usually "no, it's not".

But why not?

Another experience I had was when someone had made another lovely hair comment about my eldest daughter and then another person who was present turned to me and said " I bet you're jealous"!! I couldn't believe it! I then calmly answered, "No i'm not, why should I be?". There was no reply. I then continued to tell the person that I was happy with my hair texture...but there was still no reply. Perhaps that person thought that I must really hate my kinky hair, probably first and foremost because of the way it looked. If I had the same hair texture as my daughter's or straight hair like the person commenting did, I doubt whether such a comment would have been made.

I am so thankful that I can now say that I love my kinky texture, and I love my daughters' ringlet curls and my husband's wavy caucasian hair too!. There is no hierarchy in my mind!

Is aesthetics at the heart of why perhaps many women who have kinkier, tighter hair feel insecure about wearing their own hair texture? If really kinky, coily tightly curled hair was highly desirable in today's society I believe many people would happily put aside the "it's not manageable" excuse and be prepared to wear their natural hair because it was idealised and stylish.

protectivestyle_complete_4.jpg

I know that I desired a particular texture when I first went natural and it was only after I big chopped I realised that my hair wasn't like the 4a's and b's I had been watching on youtube. Since then I have grown to appreciate and see the beauty in my really kinky hair but I think there are still many who follow a hair hierarchy. 

Society's construction of aesthetics play a major part in our perceptions of beauty. Our perception of what is beautiful is shaped by many external factors like our upbringing, our social groups, television, film, literature and the internet. I'm sure there are so many reasons why a hair hierarchy has developed, probably too many to discuss in one post.

But one reason I would mention, which naturalfashionista highlighted was the fact that kinky hair is under represented in the natural hair community. If there were more images and videos of really kinky haired women growing their hair well then perhaps many more people would start to feel more comfortable with their own kinky hair texture.

We need to be satisfied and confident with what we have regardless of the mainstream idea of beautiful hair is. I hope that in the coming years kinkier hair will be more represented in the natural hair community and in the wider community too.