Since returning to being a loose Natural after 11 years of being loc’d, I am rediscovering different things to do with my hair and ways to wear it out and about, to work, and in various other daily activities. I think of myself as a […]
Okay, maybe I’m a little biased but I just have to tell you about Sugar Snaps Hair Barrettes for Locs & Twists. Read on and you’ll soon understand my enthusiasm… Little girls love to feel beautiful, cute, and pretty. One of the many ways they […]
From festivals to fashion runways, you’ve seen these bold and colorful prints pop up in the most modern of ways. And while instantly recognizable, you may not have know it by name. So what exactly is Ankara fashion, and why is there such a buzz? Well, Ankara (also known as “African wax print” or “Dutch wax print”) is largely characterized by it’s vibrant, ethnic patterns and bold colors and is typically made of 100% cotton.
The buzz? While it has been popular among African culture for a long time, it’s been an emerging trend among African-Americans and quickly taking the states by storm as women and men continue to proudly claim their Queendom and Kingdom, continuing along the ongoing spectrum of discovery.
I’m personally loving this modern take on cultural fashions and believe the only proper response to that would be a resounding, “Yasssss!”
The beautiful patterns are rich in color and vibrant in style and the world of fashion cannot stop obsessing over its bold beauty.
BellaNaija, an online Nigerian magazine and blog, follows the latest trends from the red carpet to the wedding aisle. Your wedding day may not be near, but a night out on the town surely is. Either way, it is imperative you know exactly how and where to work your style. And lucky for you, there are tons of options.
Grace the Office with Style
From hair to fashion, there is always some debate on what’s proper or appropriate for the office. Some things keep consistent, such as a skirt or knee-length dress. However, there’s no reason that you can’t express yourself in office friendly attire with a bit of flair. Cubicle Nation or even your corner office with the great window view can be a tad less monotonous if you stack your fashion cards right. Pair your simple pieces with an Ankara blazer, or go bold with a full Ankara fashion dress or skirt. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Own the night out on the town with your girls or your guy
If you are anything like me, I have the ultimate girl power playlist with a good mix of tough, spicy and sweet on full blast when I’m getting ready for an evening of fun. So, of course, when I am gearing up for a night on the town with my crew, or a special guy, I have to match my attire to my attitude. Ankara patterns are known for perfectly mixing and matching vibrant colors in sophisticated patterns that catch the eye and hold it hostage. Pair a top with your jeans, or go all out, like with this bodysuit.
A Wedding Day Stunner
Your wedding day is one of elegance, grace, and style and it should be the case on every front, especially your dress. Ankara fashion has a definite place as it has been the traditional garb of Nigerian weddings since the beginning of time (or at least as far back as we can Google), and it is evident why. The intricate designs are stunning and captivating. They are not limited by the style of your dress to no extent. So, whether you are deciding to keep it sexy and put your curves on display, or keep it sweet reminiscent of Cinderella, you will not be disappointed.
You are not meant to go through life unnoticed, so why wouldn’t you show up boldly on the fashion front as well? Spice up your wardrobe with a few Ankara pieces that are flexible and accommodating of every aspect of your life.
Already owning the style?
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“I love my hair…you, not so much.” — Natural Hair T-shirt Ok, the quote above is a bit tongue in cheek, but the struggle of having a hair complex is very real. Seriously though, when I was growing up, it was during time when being […]
Hair Vitamins? Really?? You’ve seen them on store shelves and you’ve read the hype online. “Take these pills and your hair and nails will grow like crazy!!!” We secretly wish… 👐 Shoulder length? Check. 🙌 Bra strap length? Yes please. 🙏 Waist length? […]
6 Down & Dirty Tips on Choosing A Dreadlock Shampoo
Whether you’re just starting to explore natural hairstyle possibilities, are beginning to grow dreads or have been wearing locs for a while now, it’s important that you learn just how to shampoo dreads to ensure that they stay healthy and keep looking great.
Well, to put it simply, you can’t just shampoo dreadlocks with any old shampoo you pick up at the 99 cent store. You need to use a dreads shampoo if you want to get the best results and avoid hair care woes. But what makes for a good dreadlocks shampoo you ask? Read on to discover some important tips about shampooing dreads…
1. Residue Is a No No. Locs can easily absorb ingredients like fragrances and oils from shampoos and other hair care products. Even if you thoroughly rinse your hair, traces of residue can linger in your locs and absorb moisture. Even if your dreadlocks feel dry, that residue that’s lurking behind might leave them still slightly damp, increasing your risk of developing dread rot. Always rinse your hair thoroughly after washing your locs, meaning twice as long as what feels natural or “enough.”
2. Most Shampoos Will Leave Behind Residue. You’ll find a number of conventional and even specialty ethnic shampoos on the market that claim to be “residue free,” but in actuality most still leave behind some traces of ingredients. Before buying any shampoo, it’s important to check the ingredient listings for any ingredients that start with the letters PPG or PEG. These ingredients are likely to leave behind residue on dreadlocks and should be avoided. Right now, I’m using Jason’s Tea Tree Normalizing Shampoo. Reason being, it doesn’t have any any harsh chemicals (i.e. no parabens, no sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate or phthalates and not tested on animals). I read about it on a dreadlocks forum and sought it out, when I finally found it and saw on the packaging that it’s recommended for itchy scalp (which I have), with that I was convinced enough to try it and have been very happy with the results.
3. Sulfates Are Not Your Friends. There are two surfactants commonly used in shampoo that people of all hair types are starting to avoid like the plague: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES). Both of these ingredients have been shown to potentially damage the cuticle of the hair strands and to strip moisture from the inner layers of hair proteins. These cleansing agents should be avoided if you have dreads, as they can trigger scalp sensitivity and leave locs dehydrated.
4. “Organic” and “Natural” Are Not Synonymous With “Safe for Dreadlocks.” Many shampoos today are touted as being organic, natural, naturally derived, made with organic ingredients and so on. Many Naturalistas make the mistake of assuming products with these types of labels are automatically safe for their locs, but that’s not always the case. Many natural ingredients can still create residue, making it important that you only choose formulas with essential oils or saponified oils not oils mixed with carrier oils. For example, a lot of people still use beeswax for their dreadlock maintenance. Yes, beeswax is technically “natural” (and who could hate those cute little bees busy making honey and other goodies for us?) but it’s a death knell for dreads because it attracts lint and unsightly buildup.
5. Search Before You Buy. Before purchasing any shampoo for dreads, don’t simply be swayed by pretty packaging and clever marketing angles… flip the bottle over and take a scan of all of the ingredients contained in the formulas. Find out whether or not they’re really dread safe before you make your purchase. There are commercial products out there that are safe, but it can take a bit of investigation to find them.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Your Own. Because it can be so difficult to find a residue-free shampoo for dreadlocks, many Naturalistas (and NaturalMistas) choose to whip up their own homemade rinses. You can find a number of recipes online that allow you to make a big batch of dreadlock rinse with just a few easy-to-find ingredients.
Whether you decide you want to make your own dreads shampoo or purchase one of the dreadlock shampoos that are currently available on the market, your locs will thank you by being easy to manage when you take the time to shampoo your dreads with a formula or natural rinse made especially for locs.
And to keep that healthy vibe going, consider adding a Dreadlock Shampoo Brush to your dreadlock maintenance routine. It’s like a pamper party for your scalp…
Lint in locs is unavoidable…it doesn’t mean you did something wrong. But there are some things you can do differently. Here are a few… Let’s face it…it doesn’t seem to matter how well you try to maintain your locs — lint happens! This is especially […]
How To Add Moisture To Your Locs Moisturizing Dreadlocks: There’s a common belief that natural, kinky coily hair, particularly locs, are dry, brittle, and fragile. Natural black hair actually produces a sufficient amount of sebum, which aids in keeping the hair supple. However, the structure […]
MythBusters: Dreadlock Styles Lack Versatility?
If the plethora of dreadlock styles available on YouTube hasn’t already swayed you. Read on for some additional reinforcement… Sometimes people (women in particular) are intimidated about getting dreadlocks because they believe that locs are a permanent style that lacks versatility. But just as one example, Sisterlocks offer tons of versatility because their small size allows you to utilize a curling iron and you can pretty much do all the styles that women with relaxed hair can do. Traditional dreadlocks cannot be curled like sisterlocks but can be curled using Bantu Knots, Rods, Rollers for Dreads, and Pin Curls. Dreadlock hairstyles include everything from buns, bangs, gym loc, barrel roll up-do, to loc Mohawk, twists swoop, coiling, curls, pipe cleaner and braid outs.
Truth be told, the majority of styles that can be created with relaxed hair can be created with dreadlocks as well. It does not matter whether your dreadlocks are black, blonde, brown, or highlighted, there are a variety of loc hairstyles you can fashion with them. You can put long dreadlocks up into a casual up-do or simply pull them back with a natural hair accessory, letting your dreads hang or putting a mix of colorful beads in some of the dreads. Try an up-do.
You can achieve an elegant and neat look by twisting your dreadlocks backward in cornrows. Secure the ends of your cornrows with rubber bands and pin them up in the back or in a ponytail with a stylish loc tie.
You can rock your dreadlocks in curly and wavy styles too. You can do this by doing Bantu knots. Bantu knots are knots created when small sections of locs are twisted together and wrapped tightly in “cinnamon roll-like” spirals close to the scalp. These knots may be secured with a rubber band or by placing a bobby pin at the base. When bantu knots are taken down, they create beautiful spiral curls and can add volume to dreadlocks.
You can braid your dreadlocks and try the crinkle method to get your curls. Braid small sections of your locs together while they are wet and allow them to air dry in the braids. Once they’re completely dry (may take a day or two depending on how long your locs are), unbraid them to reveal big voluminous curls. Pull your locs back into a bun or side bun. Let some of the locs hang in front of your face and pin them back in a side bang.
You can take your locs to the next level by trying out an edgy Mohawk (a.k.a. Faux Hawk). Braid the locs on the side of your head and do a French roll in the middle. As with any other hair texture, you are only limited by your own creativity. Dreadlocks are low maintenance and offer many styling options.
Go ahead and have fun with it…try some of the dreadlock styles you read here and post a picture on our Facebook page to show us how it turned out!
How To Wear Your Loccessories Loc Cuffs Looking for a way to keep your dreadlocks in check while maintaining a great style? Loc cuffs are a great way to accessorize your locs and add a little hair flair to your everyday style. The first step […]