Throughout history, hairstyles have served as a powerful means of self-expression and visual communication. In many ancient civilizations, hairstyles were used to denote class, social status, wealth, and were even used to express grief. And while trends in hairstyling have changed and continue to do so, the purpose of hairstyling remains the same. In other words, it’s never just hair.
Kinky, coily, and tightly curled or Afro-textured hair, was is often considered difficult to manage and maintain, let alone style. This all began to change during the natural hair movement during the 2000s, which piggybacked off of the momentum from the original movement in the 1970s. Following on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, afro-textured was boldly celebrated during this time as a means of challenging problematic Eurocentric beauty standards and reclaiming or redefining the Afrocentric aesthetic.
The natural hair movement encouraged women with afro-textured hair to embrace their natural texture; kinks, coils, curls, and everything in between. The natural hair movement also sought to challenge public perception of afro-textured hair in hopes that it would no longer be demonized, fetishized, and politicized among other negative viewpoints.
Within the natural hair movement, a number of colors, cuts, and hairstyles are embraced; from short hairstyles for women that have recently done the “big chop” or long hairstyles for women that have grown their natural hair out over a period of time. But in addition to showcasing some of hottest and latest hairstyles for women, the natural hair movement also focuses on the importance of hair health. After all, the health of hair will determine how well it can be styled!
Here’s to pull of the sleekest long hairstyles for women who are natural by focusing on hair health:
Start from the inside
Attractiveness or beauty is based on health, and radiates from the inside out. Diet, water intake, and exercise are integral to the health of hair, regardless of texture. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that’s rich in healthy fats and low in empty calories can make all the difference when it comes to hair health. There are a variety of supplements and vitamins that support healthy hair growth which can then be styled in the latest long hairstyles for women.
Use quality products
Maintaining hair health requires the use of high quality products. The keyword is “quality”, not necessarily cost. There are several expensive hair products that have little to no effect on the health of hair, while there are many drugstore brands that are highly effective. Natural afro-textured hair tends to dry, so it’s important to use products that are rich in moisture. Avoid low quality products with harmful chemical ingredients.
Protect those strands
The kinks, coils, and curls found in afro-textured hair are what makes it so uniquely beautiful, however these are the very things that also make it very fragile. These delicate bends can serve as points of breakage if natural hair is not properly cared for and maintained. Be sure gently detangle use the right tools, such as fingers, combs, or specially designed brushes. Stubborn knots and tangles should be gently removed with these tools and not ripped through or pulled out. Natural hair can also be protected by wearing a satin or silk scarf at night or sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase.
Long hairstyles for women with natural hair is possible, but it all starts with hair health and maintenance. Trends in hairstyle will always come and go, but healthy, shiny, and bouncy hair will always be in fashion.