Miss Louisiana 2018 Holli’ Conway is sitting down with Crowned in Kinks and Curls founder and her #MissAmerica sister Miss Iowa 2018 Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw to discuss navigating pageantry with natural hair, why it’s important to be authentic and Conway’s new adventure as an Ikette in the new Broadway musical Tina. Although she is a rising star, she is humble, confident, funny and kind. Crowned in Kinks was honored to have Conway for this curly conversation!
The natural hair community is filled with lots of terms, techniques and tricks that need defining for our new and learning #naturalistas.
The complicated and intricate textures that adorn our heads require lots of attention. But, navigating these terms can guide you through just about any tutorial online for your natural curls!
Here, we have highlighted 4 of the most commonly used terms and techniques. For more terms, techniques and tricks, check out Naturally Curly’s Glossary here!
To co-wash is to use a conditioner to lightly cleanse and moisturize the hair in between clarifying. The term is short for “conditioner wash.” Co-washes are used by curly-haired women who choose not to use shampoo which can strip the natural oils in your hair.
My current favorite co-wash is by Davines. This brand is all natural & non-toxic. Although it is pricey, it lasts for about 3-4 months and smells AMAZING.
Grab a bottle here.
The most recent crowned in kinks post was all about finding your curl pattern.
According to Allure.com, your curl pattern is identified by the shape that the strands of hair make, whether they kink, curve, or wind around themselves into spirals. They can range from 1A to 4c. By understanding your curl pattern, you can tailor routines to your hair’s needs.
The LOC method stands for applying product in the following order: leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream. This helps with long-lasting, moisturized hair in between wash days. This method is regularly highlighted on our blog and keeps your curls fresh for 3+ days if properly wrapped at night!
Check out the easy to follow guide by Naturally Curly below.
A protective style includes any style that preserves your natural hair. This can be a sew-in, box braids, crochet styles and even wigs. Some styles can last from 2-4 weeks and works to maintain the length and strength of your delicate natural hair.
We hope these terms help you succeed in your pursuit of the natural hair community!
If you are new to the curly hair community, you may be curious about your personal curl pattern and how to best take care of it.
Your curl pattern is the texture at your roots before a touch-up from your relaxer. There are no naps here, just beautiful God-given tresses! Different curl patterns require different styling and care techniques, so it is important to get to know your hair.
Oh, and it is possible to have more than one curl pattern at a time, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
What is a 4c? What is a 3a? What does any of this mean?
Have no fear sister. You can be a knowledgeable naturalista in no time!
Curl patterns can be wavy to kinky curly. Determining your pattern is easiest when your hair is clean and wet. While wet, compare your curls to the chart above!
A “4” means a tighter curl pattern while a “1” represents a loose curl pattern. The A-C rankings measure the overall texture of your curls.
Once you have a good idea of the pattern (or patterns) of your curls, start researching different care methods! I am dropping some crash courses and great natural hair tips below:
Do you feel more confident about your personal pattern? We sure hope so!
Next steps: Finding personalized routines
Regi-Me is a personalized hair-care resource for curlfriends and naturalistas alike. Once you know your curl pattern, you can take a quiz on Regi-Me who will then tailor a style and care routine to your current hair needs.
After taking the quiz, you are emailed recommendations and methods to help you live your best curl life. It is truly an amazing service. Best of all, it is free!
Free is always in the budget.
Lastly, always be willing to learn more about your hair! You can switch up your products and routines frequently to see what works and what does not. This whole natural hair thing is a lifestyle. Be willing to grow your knowledge (and to let your curls grow, too), binge YouTube tutorials, read up on our favorite blogs like Naturally Curly and Regi-Me and pay attention to what your hair needs.
By learning more about your hair, you can define those curls regardless of the pattern. Good luck curlfriends!
After a wash-day or a nice co-wash (conditioner wash), us naturalistas hope to cut our styling time in half by wearing day-two hair.
But, how do you make your day-two hair day-one wearable? How can you keep your curls from sticking to the side of your head and falling flat? These two wrapping methods are my go-to’s!
- The Pineapple Method
Named for its resemblance to the tropical treat, this my most-used method. It’s simple and effective when preserving your coils for the next day!
- Place your hair in a loose, high ponytail. Be sure it is not too tight as this can cause breakage and pain in your scalp throughout the night.
- The higher the ponytail, the better! You want your head to literally look like a pineapple of curls so that they are out of the way when you are sleeping.
- Wrap your head with a silk scarf or sleep on a silk pillowcase in order to protect your hair. Do not use cotton wraps as this can dry out your hair! Let your curls spill over the top of the wrapping
That’s it! You will love how your day two hair looks!
- Big French Braids
When I take a night shower and wash my hair, I want my curls to be fresh for the morning. One method that works for securing moisture is braiding two french-braids in the direction of the part in your hair. When doing this method with wet hair:
- Use an ample amount of leave-in conditioner and a conditioning cream
- Use an oil on your scalp
See braiding example here: https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curly-hair-care-methods/9-ways-to-sleep-with-curls
- Put hair in a silk bonnet to reduce frizz (Purchase one here!)
- Use hair ties at the end of your braids to keep them in tact
In the morning after using either of these methods, spray an oil sheen or leave-in-conditioner to revive your curls!
These methods are my tried and trues. I hope they work for you naturalistas too!
For more methods, check out Naturally Curly’s tips here: https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/how-tos-styles/3-ways-to-wrap-your-hair-while-you-sleep
California became the first state to pass The Crown Act (SB-188) in July 2019, restricting employers and school officials for discriminating against people of color for their natural hair style.
This law created a ripple effect. We now see states like New York and New Jersey following suit, with many others recently introducing similar legislation.
Rashad Robinson, President of the social justice movement Color of Change touches on how people of color are treated differently with cultural hairstyles. His campaign champions black issues. His statements bring light to the bigger issue at hand.
This is not simply a hair issue. This is a black issue.
The powerhouse beauty company Dove is fully backing these bills and laws across the country. In fact, Dove co-founded the Crown Coalition to further the message.
Want to find out more about the Crown Coalition? https://www.dove.com/us/en/stories/campaigns/the-crown-act.html
Dove’s campaigns continuously promote inclusiveness and self-love which pair perfectly these laws.
Why are these laws important?
These laws are important because Black Americans experience discrimination based on their hair texture – Both young and old.
Now representatives, senators, journalists, activists and social influencers are continuing conversations surrounding hair biases.
The consequences of being natural
In December, Andrew Johnson, a high school wrestler in New Jersey was forced to cut his dreadlocks before wrestling in a match. The referee saw his hair as unfit for the competition. This act was taped and went viral on Twitter.
Ava DuVernay, a fearless social and criminal justice advocate and the largest grossing black female director in American box office history, took to Twitter with this message about the incident.
She calls discrimination like this “criminalization”, which speaks to the image of young men (and women) with dreadlocks in society.
Ava challenges the stereotypes associated with people who wear dreadlocks and she is proud of it. She, like many others, acknowledged just how hard it was to watch the video of Johnson.
It can take several months to years to grow dreadlocks to shoulder length. The time passed was erased in a matter of minutes by the hands of a referee.
So many vocalized their thoughts on this, including myself. In fact, I cried watching this video. It negated how far we had come as a society. It reinforced how far we have to go.
Johnson has since continued wrestling with his high school. His story garnered support from across the country.
To learn more about his story, check out this feature by the Undefeated.
Public figures using their voice
Journalist Brittany Noble Jones is using her social influence in partnership with Dove to continue the conversation.
It is crucial that those with a following use their voice. It is even more crucial when that individual is a storyteller with a compelling story herself.
Jones was a morning news anchor in Mississippi until she was fired because her hair was “unprofessional”. She filed complaints with Nexstar, but was ultimately let go from her position.
What is important about this partnership is not that Jones is not just writing an article about hair discrimination. She is a prime example of why laws and regulations to protect people of color are important.
Jones continues to wear her natural hair and uses her platform for positive representations of textured hair. Crowned in Kinks and Curls applauds her for all that she is doing. This #curlfriend using her voice for change and her advocacy in this matter is influential.
The change-makers across the country
Florida may be next on the list to pass legislation protecting our naturalistas in our schools and workforce. Florida State Senator Randolph Bracy is using his voice to bring change to the state.
It is encouraging to see a black man (especially a senator) speak on this issue. Bracy has the ability to vote firsthand on this game-changing legislation. There is hope that with his voice and backing of the bill, progress can be made in Florida.
We hope that the ripple effect continues. These protections are saving the livelihoods and dreams of people of color across the United States.
Natural hair matters.
Finding a routine that works for us #curlfriends and #naturalistas is a process. In this tutorial, I explain step by step my wash-n-go process with the L.O.C. Method.
This is my go to routine, but I am always up for trying new products and tricks! Check it out and let me know how the L.O.C. Method works for you in the comments below!