If you’ve been natural for a while you’ve probably spent time trying to maximize your hair growth and reach your terminal length. Most naturals have experienced hair longer than they have ever experienced before; especially compared to the days they permed their hair. We all remember the struggles experienced when first going natural, especially if you big chopped. Not only was it a time to come accustomed to having natural hair, it was also an adjustment to wear extremely short hair, many for the first time. Whether you shaved your head or cut it into a TWA (teeny-weeny Afro), the big chop required a level of boldness, never required before. For many, it was empowering and liberating to no longer be tied to the conventional mandates of beauty. So why would anyone want to go through the process again, when they have been natural for years? Some of our favorite vloggers have big chopped for a second time, even those who had waist length hair. Have you ever thought of big chopping again. Maybe you are going through a hair rut. Here are eight reasons to big chop again.
If you’ve been natural for a while, you have probably tried different styling techniques and developed ‘go to’ styles. These are styles that work when all else fails, and are usually done on a regular basis. They are reliable and inspire the most confidence. However, after a while even these styles can start to get tiresome as you find yourself wearing the same ones week after week. Your hair may also stop cooperating like it use to, which can be frustrating. Here are some ways to get out of a styling rut and even reinvent yourself. Some may be more suitable than others.
Curly fros are great voluminous styles that allow you to rock a fro without the drawbacks of a regular fro. Curly fros do not come with shrinkage and will result in less knots. In fact they can even be protective. This style can be achieved with damp, freshly washed hair, or dry, stretched hair. Curly fros can also be worn in different ways; including fro-hawks, puffs, pinned to the side or in a pineapple. They are great for special occasions or for an edgy causal look. Here are some tips and my favorite tutorials on achieving this style.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my favorite styling tutorials on YouTube, as well as giving some of my tips on achieving amazing styles for natural hair. There are countless styling tutorials on YouTube. I have handpicked a few to share with you, some well known and others that are hidden treasures. Stayed tuned. Flexi rods are a great styling tool. They are reasonably easy to use and quite convenient. They come in different sizes depending on how tight you want the curls and how much volume you are going for. Below are some of my favorite tutorials on using flexi rods.
Wash and gos are traditionally summer styles as they typically require the hair to air dry. Many who do wash and gos leave the house with damp hair at the start of the day. This is great in the hot summer months but would not be ideal in winter. In winter, many opt for long-term protective styles instead. This option is great for your hair, but protective styles are not for everyone, all the time. As many naturalistas discover, rules and conventions can be adapted or broken to suit your individual needs. So how can a wash and go actually be beneficial in winter? Alicia James’ Wash and Go
It can be extremely frustrating to spend time prepping for a twist out, only for it to last one day at best. This happened to me the last week. I stepped outside and I immediately detected my definition slowly disappearing. By the end of the day I knew tomorrow would have to be a puff day. So what are the factors that determine whether or not you have a great twist out that lasts?
Protective styles are important during the winter months but not everyone likes the time consuming ones or the ones that take a mid to long term commitment. Braids, twists and certain style of weaves usually have long installation times, especially if you do them yourself. The last time I installed Senegalese twists it took me 14 hours. I had to get them done before going on vacation so I couldn’t spread it over a few days. Because of that experience, as much as I like braids and twists with extensions, I’ve decided to do short to medium term protective styles. It also allows me to take the style out whenever I like without feeling like I’ve wasted the time, effort and expense it took to do. Next time I do braids or twists with extensions, I would like to try a local braider because they braid much faster and efficiently than I could doing it myself.
Twists and braid outs are staple styles for afro textured hair. They help to achieve stretched curls, volume, and are low manipulation. However, results vary depending on the products, hair type and method used. The typical method involves putting damp hair into twists or braids, allowing the hair to dry, then undoing them. For shape and volume, the next step would be to separate the twists, more than once. The more the twists are separated, the more definition is lost and the more frizz created. For some women this can be frustrating. There are simple techniques that can be used to create definition and minimize frizz.