Alicia Keys rocking neon box braids like it was no big deal might have momentarily broken the internet but the trend has been around a lot longer than social media.
For years black women with colorful braids have represented stereotypes and judgements. Whether you saw one on the silver screen or the pages of your favorite magazine the message their image was meant to convey was clear. They were dubbed “ghetto” and “classless” only appearing to be worthy of attention when an editor or creative director was looking to infuse a little “edge” into their creation.
While young white girls have always had options like hair chalk, and glitter sprays to express themselves young black girls have had to maneuver around the implications of respectability politics when choosing a style.
Today a (slightly) more culturally sensitive society has sought out new language to describe the many facets of black womanhood and girlhood. While sites like Quirktastic, Refinery 29, and others are presenting more inclusive images showing that black girls can have fun with their looks too.
When covering what they're dubbing the “Unicorn Hair” trend publications haven’t left out women of color. Condé Nast's "Allure" prominently featured Amina Muccio as a “real life mermaid” allowing the young woman to display her love of mixing things up with “colorful braids, backgrounds and personality.”
This shift has been reflected in the attitudes of parents as well. In an article for SocaMom Eva Wilson explained why she chose to indulge her daughter’s request to look like “Rainbow Dash of My Little Pony.” Wilson pointed out “There's been a lot of chatter on social media about how black girls with colorful hair are 'ghetto', but when white girls do it, it is considered 'trendy' or 'creative' and made it clear that with all of the expectations on society places on black children to assume adult responsibilities she’s determined “to let them hold onto their youth as long as possible.”
Mainstream beauty companies seem to be understanding that need as well. This year beauty powerhouse L’Oréal Paris teamed up with the minds behind Curlfest and it seems everyday products are popping up on the shelves to temporarily tint braids, twists, curls, and coils. There’s still a lot of "image activism" to be done before no one bats an eyelash at a receptionist with bright purple kinky twists.
Hopefully the normalization of women with colorful braids will lead to women of color rocking every and any trend being seen as only themselves.
Wigs are a busy girl’s best friend. Whether you’re a carpool driving and couples game night hosting wife and mother or a single college student trying to cram four years of study groups and coffee runs into three one thing is for certain-a wig can save you valuable time. But while this low maintenance styling option can relieve some serious styling pressure it still requires a little TLC. We tapped celebrity hair stylist and Lucid Bliss founder Tiffany Lamb to give some tips on how she prepares her clients including “Power” actress Naturi Naughton, “Refill” songstress Elle Varner, and "Girls Trip" star Tiffany Haddish for getting the hollywood treatment on their (often removable) hair.
1. Keep it Clean
Tiffany doesn’t allow her clients to neglect undercare. She stated “the first thing is definitely keeping your hair clean. You need to be washing your hair. You want to make sure that your hair is clean before putting the wig on. A lot of time people put wigs on and think because it’s an easy go-to style they can do whatever but keeping your hair healthy up under the wig is the most important thing. What I have my clients do is come in and get their hair washed at least once a week.”
2. Lay Then Play
She believes that a strong start will ensure a flawless style saying “Braiding the hair under the wig is important as well. The foundation is important. You want it to be natural and look as flat as possible. So having your hair braided in the proper size braids is very important. And if you’re wearing lace wigs parting it right is important as well. If you’re wearing a middle part it’s important to part your hair down the middle when braiding it down, because you want that part to match up with your natural part to make your hair look as realistic as possible. That goes for side parts as well and hair length doesn’t matter. I have clients whose hair is short and they still part it where the wig’s part is perfectly.”
3. Don’t Forget The Details
While some stylists advocate for physically sewing together the braids in preparation for wig application Lamb says paying attention to hair texture prevents those extra measures from being necessary saying “No matter what I pay attention to hair texture. For someone who has fine hair it’s okay to for them to get a regular cornrow. But for someone who has thick hair they should be getting their hair under braided. It makes your hair very flat so you don’t need all that. I don’t braid all of the braids together. I don’t want the hair to be so tight. That’s the whole point of wearing a wig. You want to feel free and loose.”
4. Choose Custom
One size fits all wigs may be more affordable but they’re certainly not the most comfortable Lamb says “You shouldn’t be getting a headache. We all know if our hair is too tight. If you have to keep popping an Advil or something like that, the wig is too tight. What makes a custom wig special is it fits your exact head shape. If fits perfectly. If I was to give you my wig it wouldn’t fit. A Lot of time people aren’t properly measuring. If you measure properly you don’t need anything else. Also the number one mistake I see with lace front wigs is the lace color and the hair line! They drive me crazy! With any style weave or wig it’s supposed to look as natural as possible. Some people they I don’t know what they be doing! Anything custom is going to fit you nice. It’s going to fit you to a tee! It’s just like buying a custom suit. It fits you better than a suit out of the store! That's what makes it so special. It fits you and it fits you properly.”
Check out some of our custom creations in our crown collection and considering keep them fresh with some of Lamb’s Lucid Bliss OOOH and AAAH refreshers!
Now that the natural hair movement has picked up some serious steam it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that kinks and curls are now considered the norm across the nation. But not all women of color feel comfortable embracing their natural texture or even experimenting with textured protective styles. For some the hesitation is related to fear of judgement by their families. Others cringe at the thought of uncomfortable exchanges with their co-workers and supervisors. Many flinch at the thought of learning a new routine and the accompanying lingo (TWA, ACV, EVOO it’s enough to make your head spin.) But a select few hesitate out of concern for their significant others.
Now that social media has given everyone a platform people are able to express every idea that pops into their heads. And some of those ideas are a strong “preference” for women with relaxed hair.
On the surface going natural is purely an aesthetic choice but the unpleasant history associated with hair can make it a deeply personal one-with the potential for personal consequences.
In response to an inquiry by someone writing her advice column author and relationship expert Demetria Lucas D’oley advocated for communication between partners sharing the opinion that she unequivocally did not think women had to ask permission before doing the big chop but that it would be thoughtful of them to inform their significant others so they weren’t shocked by the sudden change to their appearance.
We asked Girl & Hair Founder Camille Vevoric if she consulted with her husband and eventual business partner before making the big chop that sparked the idea that birthed her line of undercare products. “No. Not at all!” she said “I literally got home and was like ‘I’m tired of this. I’m going up the street.’ I went up there and I cut my hair and I came home. My husband is not that involved. He’s never been vocal about my style. He says as long as you love it I love it.”
Clearly her husband’s approach represents the ideal but sadly not all men feel this way. It seems every few weeks there’s an article on Clutch or Madame Noire asking whether women's styling choices are required to stay within men's comfort zones (who could forget the outrageous debate over Keyshia Kaoir’s trend setting lipstick?)
What do you think? When it comes to your hair should bae get a say?
Photo Credits: Black Enterprise, Good Housekeeping, The Source
This weekend New York City’s Randall's Island hosted the Governor’s Ball Music Festival. A staple in the city the annual festival featured performances from Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, and Cage The Elephant. But while the crowd was mesmerized by the stars on stage we were stuck on their style. Melanin and textured manes literally stole the show. See our favorite showstopping beauty looks below.
It used to be all about gelled down baby hairs & frizz free blowouts but the natural hair community is embracing imperfections in new and exciting ways.
The volume on this electric style is almost as sexy as this sheer cage tank. Get into how she finished the look by adding an oversized jacket and the perfect “don't wish you could find a shade that makes you look this good without seeming like you were trying” lip color.
Sidebar: are we the only ones who are noticing how global warming is impacting festival style? We predict parkas & crop tops will be the wave all season long. Thanks a lot congress!
Brightly colored hair has always been a festival staple and it looks like this season is going to be no exception.
Get the look with our purple rain hair.
This young lady paired a royal button down shirt with a tiger printed tank and pendant necklaces. Her short curls are a great low maintenance pick for a music festival. Not only does the lack of fuss get you to the ferry on time, you can to jump up and down without needing to take your hair out of your eyes.
Short styles are gaining in popularity as more and more women discover how freeing they can be.
Recreate the lock using our McKenzie extra small curls. Go with a longer length so you can taper the cut to suit you.
This queen looked unbothered as she swung her ombré locs. Recreate the look by using our kinky bulk hair to add faux locs. If you're not looking to make as quite a bold a statement as the one made above ombré is a great way to ease into color. It also works well in a conservative office environment which is a plus because sadly not every day can be about tunes, sun, and style. Though for the record, we totally think it should be.
Don't forget to follow us on Instagram to check out our take on festival beauty all season long!
The best part about our hair extensions is it's easy to install. But, just because you can easily latch and hook on your own doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a little luxury! Getting your hair done can turn you into a whole new woman! After all, who doesn’t need a break from their routine? For years women of color have been conditioned to feel that visiting a salon in somehow a chore--a wasted day. We’ve traded truth bombs as we cracked jokes about doubled booked appointments and excessive dryer times. Luckily with the launch of targeted pop-up shops and innovative apps you’ve got more choices than ever. Looking to switch things up? Here are five things to consider before choosing a new salon home.
1. Wifi Access
Today we’ve got to stay connected 24/7. There’s nothing worse than missing a major e-mail or not being able to catch up on your instastories because you’re out of data and afraid to refresh. Stay in the loop while you’re keeping it cute by choosing a salon with courtesy wireless access.
2. The Quality of Its Recommendations
Growing up, a favorite aunt of mine was prone to saying “consider the source” and nowhere is this advice more prudent than with hairdresser suggestions. Your co-worker’s cousin might have been cool that one time you guys met up for a group happy hour but do you really want someone with no edges recommending someone to maintain yours? Yea didn’t think so.
That $49 full install might seem like it’s a good value but a couple of trim and deep condition fees later you might wish you had shopped around. Consider what’s important to you and ask questions before you make a commitment.
4. Availability of Additional Services
Nothing beats the convenience of a one-stop shop. Consider choosing a salon that offers facials, eyebrow threading, or other services that are vital to your beauty routine so that you can save time and possibly some coins!
5. Willingness to Accept Input
A quality stylist will welcome inquiries about the products and techniques his or her salon uses and not spurn them. Make sure to pick a salon that will respect and address your questions and concerns about your hair’s health. If a salon’s staff makes you feel like you’re being annoying they’re probably not the place for you.
Ready to install your own perfect perm rods? Check out one of our latest tutorials below.
Photo Credits: Curly Nikki, Black Enterprise, The New York Times
If you’ve ever been lost down the beauty guru rabbit hole you’ve probably felt like your favorite YouTuber had something you didn’t and they did-countless hours of trial and error. Curls & Couture’s Courtney Danielle might be known for her signature twist out and awesome curl definition now but there was a time when all she had was questions and a rattail comb like the rest of us. Find out how this popular digital influencer acquired the skills to install her own protective styles, her secrets to slaying on #baecation, and what she loves about connecting with all of you below.
Where did you acquire the skills to do your own hair?
That was trial and error. What I started to do when I was transitioning is I got curly hair and I would teach myself how to do curly hair on weave before I fully went into natural. So by the time I was fully natural I had almost a year of practice doing twist-outs, braid-outs, flexi-rods, all of that. And then anything I wanted to learn I would watch on YouTube or I would ask professionals. Whenever I go to a stylist I’m asking them questions. “What are you doing?” “Why are you doing that?” “Why is this important?” “Why are you using this technique over that technique?”
How does it makes you feel now that YouTubers are learning from you?
I think it’s cool. It makes me happy. I love when people tell me “I learned how to do a flexi-rod set because of you!” I’m like “for real?” It gives me the confidence that I’m doing something right.
How do you take care of your hair when you’re traveling?
Protective styles. That is the number one thing to do because it’s easy as long as I have a protective style I’m good.
How do you deal with TSA limits on liquids in your carryon?
Usually I end up taking a combination of travel size and full time products depending on where I’m going. When I went to Bali I took a full size conditioner but I usually take only one full size product. Whatever styling product I can get hold and moisture with I bring. If I’m doing braids, faux-locks, or crochet I take travel size products.
What are some of your favorite travel-size products?
Girl+Hair. It’s what I travel with. That and Jane Carter they have a whole travel line. Oh and Devacurl, their super cream, It’s not travel size but it’s a small bottle and it won’t spill in your bag.
How do you use Girl+Hair?
I use it when I go away on vacation I like the ease of it. When you’re doing protective styles you have to really get in between each braid. For me, having that applicator bottle, having the ability to just get up and go and not worrying about diluting my shampoo or diluting conditioner enough so I won't get build up, things like that are important to me. It was really easy to use. I also like companies that start in the home. It’s not a big manufactured product. And I like that she has a science background. The people behind the brand are important to me too.
What made you want to work with Girl+Hair?
They reached out to me sometime last year when I had faux-locks. I liked what they stood for and the fact that they were solely dedicated to under care. There weren’t any brands that did that so that was interesting to me. I thought it was different.
Your boyfriend was featured in a video where he styled your hair. Do you guys share products? How does that work?
Girllll! In the beginning he used to take all my products. He was literally taking products as I was using them. Then I got the Jane Carter men's line and now we both love Jane Carter and I don't have to worry about him taking my stuff!
Do you think that’s a good way to bond in your relationship?
Oh my gosh yes! He loves it. He comes to me like “my curls are popping today!” I have to tell him “alright relax!” Beyond the hair he’s a videographer so he can relate to the creative aspect.
At last year’s Curlfest you wore really long cornrows what are you planning on rocking this year?
I want to do that style of like cornrows in the front with boxbraids in the back or to the side with the hair jewelry. I’m feening to do that! I love charms. I did a festival look for a video and I used them.
One last question. HOW did you create that halo braid?
Haha. I have a fake halo braid I made.
Yeah. I put my hair in a bun then I use chunky braiding hair and I secure it to the back of the bun and wrap it around. It takes me thirty minutes. If my hair is stretched it takes probably fifteen minutes.
*This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
The glory that is black girl magic is peeking out from behind Ivy covered walls, stomping through the courtyards of historically black college campuses, and taking a strong stance on serious issues. It’s also getting ready to slip on caps and gowns. But as easy as it is to walk single file across that stage to finally collect what’s yours on graduation day it’s not as easy to fit your curls under that cardboard contraption.
But that doesn’t mean you have to cast aside your personal style to be considered suitable for this special occasion. We’ve got a few suggestions for working with your mortarboard instead of against it.
First consider working with the current trend of half up/ half down styles. Celebrities like Issa Rae, and Anika Noni Rose have embraced this look for personal appearances, premieres, and award shows. This style will allow you to slip the cap over the top of your head while allowing the back and sides of your hair to spring free.
This style also works really well with locks (authentic or faux). So feel free to get a protective style for your #gradcation before the big day.
You can also pull your hair to the side and let a voluminous ponytail flow over one side of your robes. Or even slip charms or ribbons into an oversized braid or some Zoe Twists so that they can catch the camera flashes as you have your moment. Check out how Mini Marley pulled this off the perfect side pony here.
Plan on sticking with your fail-proof twist-out routine? Twist the sides towards each side of your head and have them meet with bobby pins to accommodate the mortarboard without crushing it.
Looking to show up and show all the way out? Stand out by boldly puffing up your ful fledged fro for all to see and simply pinning the mortarboard to the top of it. The trick to making this option work? Choose straight pins instead of the traditional bobby pins so they will reach all the way into the middle of your fro. Just make sure to remove them and reshape it with a comb before it’s time to pose for pictures.
The number one accessory that you’re going to need is confidence. Since we were little girls we’ve been taught that special occasions require press and curls but what we really need to feel special is self-love.
Congrats to the class of 2017. May your curls shine as brightly as your futures!
The number one question we hear from customers is how to keep their scalp clean while wearing synthetic hair extensions. Unlike human hair extensions, synthetic hair can become tangeled and unruly when it gets wet. However, over the years the fiber used to create synthetic hair has gotten a lot more sophisticated and can withstand a lot more than you think.
Unfortunately beauties, you can not wear any for of protective style for any long period of time without treating your scalp. Imagine if you did not drink any liquids for 3-5 months what would happen to you. Now imagine what your scalp is going through.
After launching Latched + Hooked we searched for solutions on the market that would help our consumers keep their scalps cleansed, nourished and help with restoring moisture. When Girl + Hair found us--it was like a match made in heaven.
This product line works! The cleansing shampoo is not a dry shampoo, you have to wash it out. We suggest that when washing out the cleanser that you direct the water on the scalp and not the hair itself. The hair will get damp but do not intentially try to wash the hair, but focus on getting the product out of the scalp. Of course we put it to the test before we decided to make it available to you, so check out our video below on how we use Girl + Hair to not only keep our scalp cleansed but to expand the time in which we can keep our style.
So you’ve done it. You ignored your bossy bae, skipped consulting with your stylist, sought blogger inspiration and you just cut it all off. Now you can start rocking that tapered cut you’ve been ogling on Pinterest for six months. There’s just one problem now that you’ve finally shed the dead weight-what do you do with your hair in the meantime! Don’t let being stumped about your current style suck the fun out of your transition. Latched and Hooked’s protective styling options are the perfect hack for you to fake it until you make it. Here are three products that can help you skip from stressed to cute.
Extra Small Curl
Fast forward a full nine months in your natural hair journey by recreating a tapered cut with our extra small curl. This pre-curled textured hair is available in two lengths that can easily be snipped to suit the style of your dreams. See how our model slays sporting them below.
A woman’s hair is her crowning glory and the time right after a big chop can be very unsettling even for those who have gone through the process before.The Zima Wig is a complete immediate hair style customized to your needs. It’s available with micro-size braids, straight twists, and kinky twists. Having a go to back up hairstyle on deck is a great way to ensure that you can get out of the house in five minutes at all times, at least the times when you’re not trying to get the line of your liquid liner as perfect as our model’s. Unsure how to style it? Check this tutorial.
Custom Crochet Wig
Life is so much easier when you can shake, fluff, and go and you can do that with textured hair in braided or wig form. Consider creating a customized crochet wig to imitate the big fluffy curls you had to let go off in favor of creating healthier ones. Use hair in an unexpected color or simply stick to your natural hair texture. Experiment by manipulating the hair at different angles to get different looks. There's nothing you can't accomplish with a latch hook and a little ingenuity-- just ask Chimere Nicole.