Everything You Need to Know About Protective Styles for Natural Hair

Natural hair trends are finally pushing the beauty industry to look for safer, more natural hair solutions for curls. Research into chemical styling products and processes is also picking up as an increasing amount of scientists are taking on the task of testing hair product ingredients often found in straightening relaxers and colorants.

IT’S ABOUT TIME WE HAD A CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH; I’LL GO FIRST

Four years ago, I experienced my second miscarriage in as many years. The first loss caused me great anguish. I kept wondering why. What had I done wrong? What was the matter with my body? But I carried on and became pregnant again. The second miscarriage was devastating. It happened a mere three days after my last doctor’s visit—a visit in which I’d heard my baby’s heartbeat and took home an image of the sonogram. I’d never known pain like that before and I will never get over it.

AFROS IN BLOOM: HOW TO ROCK HAIR FLOWERS THIS SPRING

For me, spring is wash-and-go season. After a long winter of doing a bunch of protective styles to hide my ends from low temperatures, I’m leaving braids and twists alone for a minute. I just want a fat afro to complement the closet full of sundresses I’ll keep on rotation until it dips below 60 again. Low manipulation doesn’t have to be boring or routine though. Flowers have always been my go-to for adding some glow to my hair. A bright pop of color always looks super cute with fresh curls or a picked-out afro.

SCHOOL DAZE, HAIR DAZE: 30 YEARS OF PROGRESSION OR REGRESSION?

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Spike Lee’s movie, School Daze. I was in high school (I’m dating myself), when this movie came out, and I fell in love with it immediately. Not just because my homegirl, Cassie Davis, from the House of Payne and the Paynes debuted in it, but the depiction of black college life felt so natural and real to me. This movie, along with A Different World, helped me make my decision to attend, Southern University and A&M College, an HBCU.

THE THICK OF IT: A NATURAL HAIR JOURNEY

It all began because of a chemical burn from a home perm. The year was 1996. Up until then, I’d considered myself quite the kitchen beautician, purchasing box perms to do my own hair since college. In those lean college times, I couldn’t afford to go to the hair dresser, I’d go to Wal-Mart, pick up a relaxer kit, go back to the dorm and proceed to slather the white, noxious, cream on the base of my hair, careful not to get any, or at least not too much on my scalp or cover the entire shaft of my hair. After college, I continued this practice, when my coins were a little short.

WHY WE MUST NOT BUY INTO COLORISM

By now, it is difficult not to have heard ofAmara Le Negra, the gorgeous Afro-Latina music artist on Love & Hip Hop Miami. Besides having an epic head full of natural curls, her personality is larger than life and she has been quite vocal on the colorism she has experienced. In fact, throughout this season of Love & Hip Hop Miami, there has been an ongoing conversation about colorism from both ends of the spectrum from Amara Le Negra and Veronica Vega (another Love & Hip Hop Miami cast member). While Amara has questioned why the Latin image always is a singular depiction of fair skin and straight hair, Veronica recently asked the question of how black someone has to be to be considered black, and—citing the lack of aid in Puerto Rico as an example—notes that anyone who is not white understands inequality all too well.