When I first started my natural hair journey, I received some very discouraging looks! Looks like my teammate is giving me in the picture below!
I’m referring to looks that make you regret you entire decision to the degree that you contemplate putting a perm back in your hair. As you’re probably already concluding, the top of my natural hair timeline was not as desirable as I thought it would be. Fortunately, however, I had my older sister to look up to and gain strength from as we both went natural at the same time and experienced similar hostility. 8 years later and my sister’s comforting words still stick with me, “Do what you want with your hair,” she said. “It is your crown, babe. So have fun.” It wasn’t until a little while after that I truly began to love my natural hair; it took a whole lot of styling, trimming, and self evaluation, but we’re getting there! Today I want to showcase three different hairstyles that I always have so much fun completing and rocking!
First up is the one and only legendary Afro! YES, THE QUEEN of all natural hairstyles! Royalty, get your hair picks, Argan oil, Shea butter moisturizer and water spray bottle ready, because while this look will have you looking fierce, it takes a mighty determination to get the proper shape and desired look. When I first started wearing my ‘Fro regularly, I would drench my hair in the morning with water, throw in some leave in conditioner, pick it out for all of 5 minutes and call it a day. (Whew! #IssaLook that’s for sure!) I did not know how much damage that caused my hair. It was a big no-no!
The proper way of achieving your desired ‘Fro would be to:
- Start on slightly damp hair
- Apply a generous amount of oil throughout your hair. Shine shine shine!!!
- Apply desired amount of moisturizer. You want to apply a lot because Afros can get bone-dry in a matter of minutes if the grunt work isn’t put in early.
- Spray the middle and edges of your head with water from your water bottle.
- Begin shaping your Afro with your hair pick. It is important to detangle your hair and not rake through it. You want to move slowly, especially if you have longer hair.
- Admire your crown! You did it! 😄😄🤗
Next up is THE TWIST OUT!! 💥💥💥
I used to only do cornrows (twists/braids flat on the head), but I have found, through much experimentation, that twisting individual strands, for a total of roughly 30-35 (depending on size of twist) individual twists, makes for a more defined curl and longer lasting style. Can’t beat that, can you?
But, there are levels to this! I generally perform two different types of twists outs on my hair.
The first one is known as the Two-Strand Twist. It generally takes me a little under an hour to complete this look. All you do is section your hair into four sections. Take two strands and twirl them around each other culminating in a nice bouncy twist. And you’ll do this, depending on size, about 30-35 times for each individual twist. If done neatly, you can rock the twists for a couple of days and then unravel them for a twist out that is to die for! The curls will undoubtedly be defined, sleek, and dry!!! On that note, make sure that before you take out your twists, YOUR HAIR IS COMPLETELY DRY. If not, the curls will be droopy, and you might as well get a pick and turn that failed twist out into an Afro.
The second twist out is a little more complicated. This one is called a Three-Strand Twist, which is not to be confused with a braid-out. With a braid out, you take three strands and each strand is looped through the center or middle. However, with a three-strand Twist, the outer strand (right or left) always goes to the opposite side, overlapping the middle strand as opposed to going through it. I learned how to master this technique by watching ALYSSA FOREVER‘s YouTube tutorial, and immediately fell in love! As much as I loved her tutorial, my love came with a cost. This twist-out takes me a little over two hours because sometimes I’ll have a brain fart and start braiding the strand (WHICH IS WRONG) and have to start that section all over again. Patience is key with this twist out! You absolutely have to be patient and you really have to focus with this twist out, otherwise you will not get the look you’re wanting and you’ll have to settle. And royalty never settles. 😂 I prefer the outcome of the three strand because the curl is a lot tighter and way more defined, but I find myself performing the two-strand twist out more often because I’m generally always on a time-crunch and it is less time consuming.
Lastly but certainly not least is THE AFRO-PUFF (echo: puff puff puff puff)!!! It is by far the easiest and fastest natural hair style that I’ve ever done!!! I also find that I feel extremely enlightened and calm when I rock this look; just a personal thing I guess. I initially started rocking this look way before I even knew what a twist-out was but as I became more and more intrigued with natural hair and began to take my journey more seriously, I found that completing this hairstyle on a week or so old twist-out gave me the best results! Why? Because when your hair is super wet (fresh off of a co-wash), you hair is separated, probably extremely detangled (which yaaay most of the time just not here) and not as dense as it would be after a mildly worn out twist-out. Trying to complete the Afro-Puff look under those circumstances can make for a mediocre Afro-Puff that looks unkempt. And we don’t want that. Want jaw-dropping results? Wait till your twist out starts to look a little less defined, grab a large hair-tie, wrap it around the edges of your forehead twice and then push upward until you reach the crown of your head. After that, do any “tucking” of longer strands, slap on some edge cream, and get ready to be fabulous, honey!!!
These hairstyles are so much fun to do, I hope you enjoyed reading this, and if you decide to try out these hairstyles, comment on how they turned out for you! Remember, “it’s your crown. Do what you want with it!”
Good night, Royalty! Sweet dreams! 😘