Thursday, February 25th, 2010

My friend Amaris sent me the article below from VOGUE Black magazine. I was so excited about the subject I could not wait to post it. Natural hair is becoming a phenomenon!  Enjoy! 

Today’s afro is less about politics and more about self-expression, acceptance and embracing one’s own individual beauty. Here’s the way to make the best out of what nature gave you

The afro has been a striking and significant fashion staple through the years. Today’s afros are different. Today it can be about making a statement, but often you’ll find that it’s a personal expression of freedom, of beauty on one’s own terms, of effortless style.

This is not to say that wearing natural hair is altogether effortless.

In the early stages of transitioning from using a chemical relaxer, dealing with emerging dense and kinky roots of hair can be daunting. But it’s so much easier when you learn to work with your hair’s texture and figure out which styling products are right for your hair’s needs. I’ve separated the typical natural afro-textured hair styling favorites into five basic categories, to make the figuring out easier (and more fun).

Oils – naturally kinky, coily hair needs moisture by any means necessary. Some natural haired women notice that their hair loves oil-based treatments. Others may find it’s too messy or greasy. My hair happens to adore oils, and the thicker the oil, the better. Virgin coconut oil is amazing for at-home treatments and styling. Castor oil aids in hair growth and is good for styling in cool weather. Adventurous types can buy these from a drugstore or natural foods grocery. Less adventurous types should try Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment. It’s amazing!

Creams – Creamy hair products are generally the bee’s knees for curly, coily hair. If you’re conscious of hair ingredients that can be bad for natural hair (like petrolatum or alcohol or parabens), then you may want to choose creamy products wisely. But if you just need moisture and hold by any means necessary, a creamy product can be your best friend. Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk, Miss Jessie’s Curly Meringue, Curls Milkshake, and HPO Simply Curly are my current favorites.

Gels – I tend to be wary of gels because they are often made with alcohol, which can be the enemy of natural afro hair. But an aloe-vera based gel will be your fro’s BFF. Try Kinky Curly Knot Today, or Curls Gel-les’c on for size. Both products give great curl definition.

ButtersShea butter is a staple in skin and hair care products, particularly those targeted to people of color. That’s because this natural fat that’s extracted from the seed of the shea tree is supremely moisturizing. Most hair butters are shea based, and they can be very thick in consistency. But for cold weather fro woes, you can’t beat a butter! I know many who buy raw shea butter from websites such as FromNatureWithLove.com. If you’d rather get a blended variety, try out Karen’s Body Beautiful’s Hair Butter, or the Avocado Shea Butter from safishaircare.etsy.com.

Artificial means
– The afro isn’t for everybody. The style takes commitment and dedication, love and patience. If you see an Afro as just a fashion statement and a style, you can easily achieve the look with a well made wig. Many, many celebrities who have sported the style have done the very same thing! Stop by a wig shop and get yourself a good wig cap first. Then try on till you find the fro that fits you best. Just know – an afro goes best with self confidence and a bold attitude. You wear the afro, don’t let the afro wear you!

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