New Hair, Who dis?
An Ode to Black Hair and
Their Endless Styles
As an influential and dedicated journalist, Marsha B. can be found creating insightful, thought-provoking content for various magazines and websites such as Huffington Post, Blavity, Madame Noire, Hello Beautiful, Naturally Curly, Fashion Bomb Daily, Kontrol Magazine, Pynk Magazine, Everything Girls Love and many more. When the lifestyle and beauty blogger is not sampling and reviewing the latest products on the market, she can be found using her platform to promote the importance of self-love and a healthy mindset.
One of the perks of being a black woman is the ability to change your hair whenever you want to. From protective styles like wigs and braids, to short cuts and blow-outs, a woman can have one style on Monday and a totally different one by Tuesday afternoon. We’ve been a real life DMX challenge for years! Hair in the black community is a means to self-expression. The ability to channel a different mood or vibe through hair has become our superpower. From a very young age, my mother took me to the salon to get protective styles. Growing up, it was normal to have braids and eventually weaves as part of my style regimen. My mom, like most parents, didn’t enjoy having to do my hair every few days. She preferred to invest in stylists, rather than throw my hair up in two pigtails and call it a day.
The practice of changing styles carried on into my adult years when I was able to manage my hair on my own. I spent a good amount of time in permed and weaved styles. Short bobs, wet and wavy hair, long and straight weaves - you name it, I did it. I’ve been a redhead, blonde, and brunette. I enjoyed experimenting with styles and expressing myself through different colors.
I eventually made the decision to transition from processed to natural hair. Weave maintenance was chewing through my wallet and I wanted to see my hair reach its fullest potential. For approximately 5 years, I had loccs. I was able to style and manipulate my hair, but it eventually took a toll on my edges. I decided to comb my loccs out so that I could experience a little diversity.
The length retention from combing out my loccs wasn't too bad. My hair was about shoulder-length. I eventually cut off all dead weight and rocked a cute, curly fro. When I wanted to channel my inner bawse, I’d wear my hair in a voluptuous twist out. Whenever I needed a business alternative, I’d throw my hair up in a cute high bun and add additional hair for some drama The high bun style was perfect for those days where I didn’t want to indulge in natural hair maintenance.. This allowed me the luxury to tuck my hair away for a few days without constant manipulation.
My signature look over the last 6 years has been my short, curly ombre blonde cut. This look has always been a conversation starter whenever I walk down the street. “How’d you get that color?” “What products do you use to achieve your curls?” Box dyes are my go-to in maintaining the brown and blonde colors. As for products, I use a combination of things (more recently Alwayz Pretti Hair Care along with Ecostyler gel) along with a good prayer to the twist-out gods.
Sometimes I’d hide the natural tresses under big, over-the-top crocheted hair. This was probably one of my favorite protective styles. The hair spoke to my wild side. It was easy to maintain and such a fun, bold look. Crochet hairstyles offer lots of versatility. Like weaves, you can install various hair textures to achieve your desired look. Most people use synthetic hair when crocheting, but it is possible to use human hair as well.
Rarely would I ever straighten my hair. After combing out my loccs, I’ve applied heat 3 imes. After years of weaving, I had a huge appreciation for my natural tresses and felt it was important to honor that by refraining from heat manipulation. Still, on occasions I’d go for a blowout to switch it up a bit. In 2016, I straightened my hair and suffered severe I straightened my hair and suffered severe heat damage as a result. Since then I’ve decided against flat irons and harsh blow dryers.
I wore my hair in braids following the heat damage. It was the only strategy that bought me time until I could explore a much needed big chop. Braids gave me the opportunity to allow some of my hair to grow out. This made it easier for me to cut off my damaged ends. I wore braids for approximately 4 months before I parted ways with the dead hair.
Cutting my hair allowed me to start on a new journey to healthy hair. It was a clean slate for me to relearn my hair in a way I was unable to do before. I went for a short pixie cut that I never thought I’d do ever. My whole life was about long hair. This cut taught me to ove myself and my hair as is.
I was so in love with this hairstyle! But of course, I got bored. What’s the point of keeping my hair the same when I know how to be versatile? I switched things up by adding some blonde to my tips. As much as I loved the shorter cut, I realized that it was much more difficult to maintain. Time to grow my hair out!
Since the passion twists look, I’ve taken a break with the protective styles. Time in quarantine has allowed me to tend to my natural hair and give it the needed attention for it to flourish. When you’re sheltering in place, there’s less of a need to take down your twist outs. I’d literally only comb my hair to conduct reviews on products and document the results.
I wish I could document every single style I've ever had. I have made a few bad hair choices in my lifetime. Still, I’m proud to be part of an unapologetic tribe that expresses themselves through their hair. Bad choices and all, my mane is beautiful. Every woman has their hair story. Some styles are inspired by a need for change, some are an expression of your current mood, and others are simply about convenience. Either way you break it down, black women have mastered the art of you break it down, black women have mastered the art of that will keep you on your toes!