It's almost Christmas, y'all! Time to wrap up the last of your shopping and figure out how to manage it all for these last few weeks of 2016. As the New Year approaches, I can't help but think how the MUA's and Hair-Techs will slay in 2017. Will it be the year of reds and maroons? Or another ode to the nudes we enjoy most? Will the lace front outdo the vixen? Or will the naturalista count continue to grow?
With every home stylist or studio professional that creates a trend, there are just as many or more of us dying to try it out. For almost a year now, I've been managing a big head of thick hair through a watered-down, but effective two-strand twist. Thanks to the ever-glamorous YouTube hair gurus and a last-minute move to the Bay Area, I decided it was time to try something new with my hair.
I was losing a long-time stylist and scared to jump into the pool of hairslayers in Oakland so I took it upon myself to get creative. Sure, I'd considered that I was joining the beloved, and to some, bewildered, group of natural-hair embracers, but I couldn't turn back. I learned the name for my curl pattern and saw how other women with 4b hair used the two and three-strand twists to manage their beautiful manes.
I took notes about the products they used and most importantly the amount of time it would take to get the job done. After a few strolls down the hair aisle (and every other aisle at Target because #Target), I was Creme of Nature and Shea Moisture ready. I was excited to get started, but also weary of how my dry scalp would handle their products.
A hope, a prayer and a shimmy later, I was two-strand twisting for the first time, which I then wrapped into bantu knots all over. Slept in a satin cap, woke up the next day and went over each twist with a bit of coconut oil for shine.
I practically floated out of my apartment. I was smiling on the inside as I served face and hair on the out! Curls poppin'! Although, I must admit--I was also a little apprehensive.
Working at a social media company, which has often been described by analysts as lacking diversity, meant ignoring both the quiet and loud critiques. On my team alone, I was the only black woman.
Lucky for me, the most I got was stares. Which only confirmed that the world needed more Afro-goodness in their lives.
Difference is what makes us unique and what makes our cultures and creations so beautiful. I learned quickly that, despite the disapproval of others, it was my job to embrace me first. Wearing my hair naturally helped me to remember a lesson that my mom taught me at an early age, but one I often forget in day-to-day life.
My #hairdentity helped me to establish and strengthen my identity as a loving, adventurous black woman in this world. And more importantly, I learned that no matter how I wear my hair I am worthy, capable, and beautiful and that external beauty is just that: external.
Right now, I'm passing my hair woes over to my cousin who I'm asking God to bless immensely for committing to strengthening my hair and styling it twice a month. I hope that you find a style that suits you and enjoy the art that the new year will bring.
Feel free to tag me in any of your favorite beauty demos on Instagram @naashleey!
Whether you're going natural or love you some weave -- use the hashtag #hairdentity to share your hair story!