PROBLEMS WITH SEARCHING FOR HAIRSTYLES ON PINTEREST

Dear Pinterest,

Pinterest always seemed like an app for creative people or people who were into DIYs. When I first joined Pinterest, I noticed it was also an app for people who were into fashion, makeup, and my favorite topic, hair. With Pinterest at my fingertips, I thought finding new hair color, hairstyle and haircut inspirations would be easier. Surprisingly, it’s not.

As a black woman of color––I’m black and Japanese––my life has lacked representation for me and my hair. I had a rough time looking for women who had my kind of hair on YouTube back in 2008. I didn’t think I’d still have that problem on Pinterest in 2018.

“So, what’s the actual problem with Pinterest?,” you might ask. The problem is that every time I search for a hairstyle or hair color, every picture is of a white woman. Not saying anything is wrong with white women and their hairstyles (a lot of them are cute), but it just sucks that when I search for “balayage” I can’t find a girl that looks like me or has my kind of hair. And since I can’t find a girl that looks like me, I can’t tell if I could pull off a certain hair color with my skin tone or how a certain haircut might look with my hair thickness and texture.

The only way I can find women of color or black women is to literally type “WOC” or “black girl” before or after the hair color, hairstyle or haircut I’m searching for. And even then, white women still pop up. Isn’t that odd? I’ve never had to type in “white girl” into a search bar to find pictures of white girls on any platform. They just show up.

I’ve noticed more photos of black women and women of color have been added to Pinterest, which is exciting to me. I need representation and I know a lot of other women and girls need it too. It may be a small problem, but it’s pretty annoying and kind of sad that Pinterest can be seen as a “white girl’s” app. Someone really told me that they felt like Pinterest was made by and for white people, and this is probably one of the reasons why.

Pinterest is great for getting inspiration for birthday gifts, workouts and DIY candy-flavored jello shots, but when it comes to hair, women in minority groups are hidden. I still love Pinterest and have found beautiful, useful and inspirational photos on it, but I’d love the app even more if black women of color like me could be in the spotlight every now and then too. 

Thank you for your time,

A “WOC” or “black girl”

 

Photo by: Brianna Esparza-Magnone

 

YouTubers for 3-Type Hair

It’s hard to know what works for your hair right off the bat, but if you know what hair type you have, figuring it out gets easier. There are YouTubers who share their hair journeys, the products they use, and alternative hairstyles they do to help the health or growth of their hair. If you fall under 3-type hair, here are a few YouTubers I recommend you check out.

 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OltzRma1zDc

3A: Big, loose curls that tend to be shiny with a well-defined “S” shape. This hair type has curls with the circumference of thick sidewalk chalk.

Rika Adorn: She’s well-spoken. She describes herself as being between 3A and 3B. She has curly hair tutorials as well as tutorials and reviews on wigs. On her channel, she also posts try-on hauls, vlogs, makeup tutorials, and more.

 

Source: https://gaming.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH9kKI8s3NKIYU89QkVbJjejNGPhDskAK

3B: Ringlet to corkscrew curls that are denser and coarser than 3A hair. This hair type has curls the circumference of a normal sized Sharpie marker.

Nathi: She’s straightforward. The majority of her videos are less than six minutes long. She shows different curly updos you can do, DIY hair masks and her own curly hair journey. She has some videos on lifestyle and music as well. She’s an artist, so she posts her music videos on the same channel.

 

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/447474912966869837/?lp=true

3C: Curly/coily hair that tend to be coarser, denser, and have more shrinkage than 3A and 3B hair. This hair type also has “S” shaped curls, but have the circumference of an average pencil or straw.

Luhhsetty: She’s honest. She always has high quality videos and tries to give as many hair tricks and tips as she can with her naturally curly hair. She’s not afraid to talk about hygiene and embarrassing moments she’s had in her life. She also has videos consisting of vlogs, beauty tips, Get Ready With Mes (GRWM), Girl Talks, and more.

 

I hope these YouTubers help you figure out what products work best for your hair, learn new hairstyles, and get greater love for your hair type. Stay beautiful!

Youtubers for 4-Type Hair

It’s hard to know what works for your hair right off the bat, but if you know what hair type you have, figuring it out gets easier. There are YouTubers who share their hair journeys, the products they use, and alternative hairstyles they do to help the health or growth of their hair. If you fall under 4-type hair, here are a few YouTubers I recommend you check out.

 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8tJ6nMAubwH3DRgeGOg_jA

4A: tightly coiled and has a well-defined “S” shaped pattern when stretched.

Dez Naomi: She’s adorable. She has videos that compare different hair products, different ways to style your hair, and the progress she’s made in her hair growth journey. She also has videos unrelated to hair. She has skincare-related videos, challenge videos featuring her boyfriend, and videos of her answering questions about herself or showing what’s going on in her life.

 

Source: https://www.pinterest.at/pin/93801604723228098/?lp=true

4B: more shrinkage and less defined curls than 4A hair, and has a “Z” shaped pattern.

Ambrosia Malbrough: She’s informative. She shows step-by-step what she does and shows the products she uses. Also, she shows different hairstyles that can be done on this type of hair. She has videos unrelated to hair as well. Other videos offered on her channel include topics on motherhood, minimalist living, and giving motivational or life advice.

 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC88–r3FklrnWjfzRy7LUIg

4C: more shrinkage and less defined curls than 4B hair, and has a “Z” shaped pattern.

Chizi Duru: She’s hilarious. She tests different products and hairstyles other YouTubers do to see if it would work on 4C hair. She also has “Get Ready With Me” (GRWM) videos, vlogs, and college advice videos.

 

I hope these YouTubers help you figure out what products work best for your hair, learn new hairstyles, and get greater love for your hair type. Stay beautiful!

What NOT To Do/Say to People With Ethnic Hair

I feel like everyone should know by now that touching or making negative comments about someone else’s hair (especially ethnic hair) is unacceptable. Yet, there are those few stragglers who still don’t know (or maybe they do know) what they’re doing or saying is harmful or just plain annoying. It’s 2018–I hope you’re not doing anything on this list, but if you are, it’s time to change your ways.

 

1. Don’t touch BEFORE you ask to touch.

And just because you asked, it still doesn’t mean you can touch that person’s hair. Whether you think their hair texture is beautiful or you’ve never seen that kind of hair before, you’re making that person feel like an animal at a petting zoo. No means no. If that person gives you the privilege to touch their hair, do not run your fingers through it. You’re most likely going to ruin that person’s hairstyle, make it extra frizzy and tangled, or accidentally rip some strands out when you try to get your hand back. Even if they’re your friend, ask or establish when or if you can touch your friend’s hair. Get it? Got it? Good.

 Source: https://gifer.com/en/VkLy

 

2. Don’t say, “I like your hair better when it’s straight” or “Why don’t you straighten your hair more often?”

These are a couple phrases that aren’t meant to be offensive, but are. Many people with ethnic hair have straightened, relaxed and hot-combed their hair to fit “white” standards of beauty. Many are going through the process of getting their natural texture back and getting rid of their damaged locks. Many are trying to embrace this part of themselves that they were told not to by society or people in their life. The last thing they need to hear from you is that you don’t really like how their hair looks naturally. Compliment them when their hair is straight if you really like it, but don’t make them feel bad and ugly when it’s not.

 

3. Don’t say, “Ugh, my hair is getting so nappy.”

Nappy hair is tightly coiled and coarse hair (a synonym of kinky). Historically, it was (and still is to some) a derogatory term used toward and about black women. It’s offensive and annoying if someone with straight hair gets a few tangles in their hair and deems it “nappy.” It’s not nappy at all. You just need to swipe a comb through your hair twice and you’re fine. I suggest checking out this article for a deeper explanation of why the term can be offensive: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2007/04/12/why-nappy-offensive

Source: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/30-things-people-with-curly-hair-will-understand

 

4. Don’t ask, “Is it real?”/”Is it fake?”

I’m saying this mainly for black women because there’s a stereotype that black women can’t grow their hair past their shoulders and whatnot. If their hair looks long, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s not real. And even if the hair on their head is fake, so? They look cute and don’t need to be bothered with questions about if it’s real or not. If they want to let you know what’s up, they’ll let you know. Don’t just assume.

 

5. Don’t be so disgusted or surprised that people with ethnic hair don’t wash their hair every day

Washing your hair every day is actually not good for people with straight hair. It’s an even worse idea for people with naturally curly or frizzy hair. Some people truly don’t need to wash their hair for weeks or even months *gasps* because their natural hair oils don’t travel down their hair strands or create grease/build up on their scalp quickly. This doesn’t mean they don’t shower for those weeks or months they don’t wash their hair. They just throw their hair up in a ponytail or put on a shower cap. It’s a pretty common thing to do actually.

Source: http://www.openmicroc.com/grow-your-hair-long/

There are more sayings that bother people with ethnic hair, but I felt like these were the top five I, and many others I know, have experienced or heard time and time again. If you already knew not to do these things, I’m proud of you. But please spread the word, because there are some who still don’t have a clue that they’re being offensive or annoying. For a better tomorrow, save someone with ethnic hair the trouble of explaining or experiencing this today.

5 Habits You Should Stop Doing to Help Your Hair

Over the years, I’ve witnessed some of the people around me –– friends, family and acquaintances –– commit some serious hair no-no’s. I’ve done everything on this list for many years too, and I wish I would’ve realized how bad these habits were sooner. I’m telling you, your hair will be happier (and healthier) if you break these habits.

 

1. Shampooing everyday

I know, I know. Some people find it gross to not wash their hair on a daily basis because their hair gets “so greasy.” Well, it’s so greasy because you keep stripping your hair of it’s natural oils to the point where your hair feels like it needs to produce more. It’ll take time to get over the greasiness you’re used to experiencing after not washing your hair for a day. But trust me, washing your hair every other day or every two days is a good place to start. And for those who are wondering, “Does that mean I can’t shower every other day or every two days?” (People have asked me this). Yes, yes you can shower. If you don’t want to get your hair wet, get a shower cap or take a plastic grocery bag and put it over your head. It’s that simple.

Image result for shampooing
 Source: https://www.instyle.com/hair/asked-and-answered-how-long-should-it-take-shampoo-your-hair

 

2. Brushing or combing hair from the roots first

I literally cringe when I see people brush or comb from their roots first. And I start shaking my head when they start saying, “Ow!” and create bigger tangles and knots than what they started with. It’s much easier to start brushing or combing from the ends of your hair and working your way up. For those who have curlier hair, I suggest sectioning off your hair and then brushing or combing from the ends. Curly hair gets tangled easier than straight hair does. Sectioning your hair helps make sure you get every tangle and knot that might be hidden in your curly mane. You won’t be saying, “Ow!” or ripping out strands that could’ve stayed on your scalp anymore.

Image result for painful hair brushing
Source: https://www.vogue.com/article/why-does-hair-hurt-pain-shampoo-conditioner

 

3. Using an unnecessarily high heat setting for your hair type

I knew a girl with 1c hair (a hair type that’s pretty straight, but has a bit of a wave) who would straighten her hair at 450 degrees Fahrenheit… That’s so unnecessary. I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason she kept her hair at shoulder length was because her ends needed to be cut due to all of the heat damage. You can determine what heat setting you should be using by your hair type. If your hair has slight waves, is thin or already damaged, you shouldn’t be using a heat setting over 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If your hair has medium thickness or is wavy to kind of curly, you can use heat between 300 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If your hair is unbelievably thick or in the 4 hair type category (kinky curls), your heat setting is probably going to be around or above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. For those of you under this hair type, I suggest you try to find the lowest heat setting you can use that gives you the results you’re looking for. Don’t add heat that doesn’t need to be added.

Image result for straightening iron fashion Source: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2-in-1-Hair-Curler-Curling-Iron-Fashion-Salon-Curling-Straightening-Iron-Hair-Curler-Flat-Iron/32854661813.html

 

4. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase

It’s sad to hear that the pillowcases that come as a matching set with your bedding is actually drying out your hair. Yes, those cheap cotton pillowcases that come in a variety of colors are not that great for your hair. But you know what else is cheap and is actually good for your hair? A satin pillowcase. You can find one at your local beauty supply store or even at a Meijer for only $2 to $3 dollars. Another alternative is a satin scarf to put on your hair before you go to bed. This can also be found at a local beauty supply store or a store like Walmart.

Related image

 Source: https://www.skinonline.co.za/beauty/satin-pillowcases/

 

5. Pulling your hair back tightly often

Those tight, slicked back high ponytails and buns look real cute, don’t they? Well, if you do them a lot, don’t be surprised when your hairline starts receding. You heard me. Your baby hairs and edges will be no more if you do tight hairstyles seven days a week. No, I’m not telling you to stop doing them completely. I’m just saying you should let your hair down or try looser hairstyles throughout the week. The same goes for those who wear wigs and weaves. Your hair needs to breathe and be free every now and then. I suggest you break this habit before you start noticing bald patches, not after.

Source: http://www.itsarkeedah.com/2013/09/harlems-fashion-row-sponsored-by-dark.html

 

These habits are pretty hard to break, but I believe you can do it. For your hair’s sake, please take my suggestions under consideration. Help your hair be healthy!

Interested in Wearing Wigs? Here Are 6 Tips to Get You Started

Hair dying and straightening used to be an obsession of mine, but it damaged my hair to the point that I had to chop it all off and start over. I chopped my hair off three times before already. I needed a hair alternative that would prevent me from falling into my old habit of dying and straightening. That’s when I entered the world of wigs.

                                                                        My first wig 

It all made sense. I could pick any color, style, texture and length of hair I wanted without the damage of actually coloring or putting heat on my hair and the regret I’d feel from cutting it. Getting started isn’t really hard, but I figured you could use some tips anyway.

My second wig

  1. Try to buy your first wig in person

    Online wig shopping is great, but if you’ve never bought a wig before, I suggest going to a beauty supply store first. You can actually see what textures you think you like and most beauty supply stores let you try on multiple wigs to see what looks best on you. There are also many different types of wigs in terms of how the hair moves on your head. Some wigs will let you part your hair any way you want and give you the ability to do different hairstyles, while others can’t and won’t. It’s best to find what you’re looking for in person so you know for sure what you want and know what to look for online.

 

  1. Watch a lot of Youtube videos

    There are a lot of beauty gurus who know about hair, and there are plenty who know about wigs. This is your fast track to learning about wig maintenance, how to make a cheap wig look realistic, how to create baby hairs with the wig, how to put the wig on, how to take the wig off and so on. Most YouTubers make the videos entertaining so you’ll most likely absorb all of the information you need and want to know.

 

  1. Learn how to cornrow your hair

    Most people can’t throw on a wig without braiding it down first, and if you plan to wear wigs pretty often you’re going to need to know how to cornrow your hair by yourself. Once again, YouTube it or if you have a friend who knows how to do it, ask them to teach you –– real friends will want to help you with your hair.

    

  1. Get a wig cap

    I’m mainly speaking to those who aren’t good at braiding hair or those who have thick or long hair. Get a wig cap! You can stuff all of your hair in it so your braids won’t stick out from underneath your wig. Also, if your hair is thick, the wig cap will flatten it down so your wig can actually fit over your head.

 

  1. Take care of your natural hair

    Just because you’re wearing a wig now doesn’t mean you can neglect your natural hair. You should wash, condition and deep condition it just as much as you did before.

 

  1. Take off the wig

    Cornrows take some time to do, and they don’t always look cute after you just got done wearing a wig. I understand that you don’t want to redo them or wear them out in public. It’s tempting to keep the wig on at all times, but please let your scalp breath. Take the wig off at the end of the night. Every now and then, take the cornrows out and let your hair be free.

My third wig

Wigs are a fun and easy alternative for those who are trying to avoid damaging their natural hair or want to try a new look. It’s a 10 out of 10 –– I recommend.

The Many Times I’ve “Big Chopped”

The “Big Chop” –– the time in every curly girl’s life when they realize they want to cut off the damage and regrow their natural locks to their full potential. Sadly, that moment in my life has happened four times already.

Hair length has never been a problem for me, but texture and health has.

Before seventh grade, I honestly couldn’t remember a time when I had curly hair. For years, my mom had been straightening my hair every other day before school. She would use a thick straightening iron to cover as many strands as she could and would do one quick swipe for each chunk of hair. She’d then put my hair in a ponytail. My hair still wasn’t straight and didn’t actually need to be straightened.

I had gotten used to hopping out of the shower with no curls or waves in sight. I started to think my natural hair was a frizzy poof, and that was that. But in seventh or eighth grade, me and my brother were looking through old photo albums. We found pictures of ourselves when we were 4 years old and younger, and I had really curly hair. I was surprised and wanted to see if I could get those back.

I started YouTubing a lot of alternative, heatless hairstyles and did them once in a while, but it just wasn’t doing the job fast enough. That’s when I found out about the “big chop.” I decided to take the leap in eighth grade, but I didn’t see curls come back quick enough, and fell back into the pattern of straightening my hair. (Keep in mind, I never put in leave-in conditioners or deep conditioners. Honestly, at this time I probably used the dreaded 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners.)

I decided to try it again in tenth grade, but I had gotten into the habit of straightening and dying my hair. I loved to dye and straighten my hair. I had been straightening my hair every one or two weeks. That’s about 26 to 52 times a year that I’d straighten my hair. And I was really into switching my hair color from burgundy to brown to black and back again.

I sucked at leaving my hair alone.

I did the “big chop” again my senior year right before prom and graduation, but I bleached and dyed my hair three times, then straightened and curled it for those events in a two-day span.

My natural hair, senior year of high school

I managed to leave my hair alone a lot more when I started my freshmen year of college. When I’d get out of the shower, I’d have waves. When it dried, the waves actually stayed. But my old habits wouldn’t die out completely. I still dyed and straightened my hair on occasion.

My natural hair, sophmore year of college

The summer before junior year, I “big chopped” again.This time was different. In the past, I would cut my hair up to my shoulders. It may not be considered a big chop to some, but my hair would be down to my belly button when I’d chop it off. This time I chopped my hair an inch below the nape of my neck. I had never cut my hair that short.

My last big chop, junior year of college

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve done that. I haven’t dyed my hair at all and I’ve only straightened my hair 4 times since then. I’ve found alternatives in wigs, braids and other heatless hairstyles. I’ve also been doing more deep conditioning and using products geared toward wavy and curly hair. I have actual curls now. They’re still not exactly where I want them to be, but I’ve made huge progress compared to the hair I had in eighth grade.

I still have a long way to go.

Three Hair Tips I Took Too Literally

From middle school to high school, I was ignorant in life and extra ignorant when it came to hair. My mom did my hair up until my eighth grade year –– that was when I took over. But I didn’t know what to do with anyone’s hair, let alone my own. I was completely clueless. So clueless that I can remember –– pretty easily –– three things I did to my hair that I’m sure no one would’ve thought to do.

  1. Scrunch your hair to get better waves/curls

    I had a friend in the eighth grade who’d come to school with her hair a little damp. After a class period or two, she’d have pretty, wavy hair. I asked her what she did to get her hair like that, and she replied, “After I get out of the shower, I just scrunch my hair.” The only thing I knew that had the word “scrunch” in it was a scrunchie.

     So, I thought to myself, “Oh, I just have to put scrunchies in my hair and it’ll be curly.” The next time my mom and I went to Meijer, I convinced her to buy me like six or seven scrunchies. I went home, wet my hair, stuck the scrunchies in my hair –– imagine six or seven ponytails on my head –– and went to bed. I was confused and salty that I didn’t get the results my friend got (big shocker).

    I honestly don’t think I figured out that scrunching is when you flip your hair over and push the ends of your hair towards your scalp until a couple of years after my friend gave me that advice.

Image result for scrunchies

Photo from: urbanoutfitters.com

 

  1. If you have dark hair, you’ll have to bleach it in order to get lighter hair

    I started thinking about lightening my hair in the eighth grade, but didn’t actually decide to do it until the summer before ninth grade. My mom wouldn’t let me dye my hair and I didn’t have the balls to defy her by buying the hair dye while we shopped together at Meijer. So, I tried to YouTube alternatives to box dye, and a few YouTubers mentioned bleach.

    I had bleach. While my mom was gone, I went into the laundry room and grabbed the bleach off of the dryer and ran back upstairs to my room. I grabbed an empty plastic bin that we used to keep toys in and poured the bleach in. I started dipping my ends into the bleach and waited for the color to change. It didn’t.

    I kind of knew before I grabbed the laundry bleach that that wasn’t the bleach they were talking about, but it was worth a try in my eyes.

 

Image result for pouring clorox bleach

Photo from: momtastic.com

  1. Make a ponytail at the highest point on your head, then cut to create layers

    The summer before junior year of college, I decided I wanted to cut my hair short. Every two years I always decided to cut my hair “short,” but only really cut it to a medium length. For years I had been using the ponytail method. It gave me the layers I wanted and was quick and easy to do. I figured that method worked for me in the past, so why not now?

    Well, the ponytail method, especially when you place the ponytail at the highest point on your head, isn’t a good way to go when you’re cutting your hair short. And I was actually cutting my hair short this time. Since I cut close to the hair tie that was at the top of my head, the top of my hair had very short layers –– I’m talking 4 inches long. Luckily, my hair was so big that it wasn’t a very noticeable problem. I just felt ashamed in secret.

    Some people say the best way to learn is by making mistakes, and if that’s the case, I have learned a lot about hair over the years.