So You Stink at Styling? Me Too
by Cassidy Blackwell, Natural Selection Blog
When I first went natural, I gleefully threw myself into the online world of natural hair where I became immersed in a sea of twist-outs, braid-outs, Bantu knot outs, updo's, stretching, cornrows, flat-twists and dozens of other hair styles I saw bloggers and vloggers championing. I could hardly contain my excitement for the moment when my TWA outgrew the T and the W to just be an A so that I could experiment with all of the exciting natural hairstyles that required some length.
Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way that I simply stink at styling. After an incident that involved a coworker asking what had happened to my hair after a subpar attempt at flat-twists, it could not have been more clear that I was barking up the wrong tree. As a new natural, this was a harsh reality to confront as I had been transitioning toward the glory land doing my own natural hairstyles. There were so many exciting styling options out there, but was I supposed to just stick with the regular ole afro? I was seriously peanut butter and jealous of all the other bloggers who could twist their little hearts out! How was I ever supposed to make it as a natural? How was I ever supposed to create a distinctive style?
The answer for me would lay not in styling, but in cutting. My styling ineptitude has allowed for my signature wash’n’go style to become the foundation for a lot of fun and funky haircuts that give me an unique natural hair flair. Hair is hair after all and it certainly will grow back! Here’s a run down of my adventures with scissors:
“The Hatchback” - This is where it all began. After an incident with some heat damage I was faced with having to cut off about 10” of hair from the back. In an effort to make lemonade out of lemons, my stylists worked it into really cool shape with a tapered back.
“The Asym” - As the hatchback grew out, I began to use bobby pins to clip up one side of my wash’n’go for a half-hawk look. Eventually I began to do this every day and so at my next hair cut, I decided to clip the left side shorter than the right for a full on asymmetrical look.
“The Damn Fade” - For as long as I’ve been natural I’ve been obsessed with the looks I see coming from the Damn Salon, which utilizes natural hair extensions for haute couture hair. In an effort to add some personalized flair to my Urban Twists, I found a barber to shave the shorter side down to a ¼” fade. It was pure dopeness. Eventually all good things must come to an end, and I had to take the Damn Hair out, leaving with me with a half shaved head of hair and an overgrown asymmetrical cut. Ruh roh!
“The Aggressive Asym” - I really had no idea what to do with my hair after The Damn Fade and I was partially tempted to shave the left side back down. But my stylist explained that that was “too expected” and that the emerging texture from the fade re-growth was really unique. So she cleaned up the edges and gave me a more dynamic version of my original asymmetrical cut.
I’m not sure what style is in store for me next, but I love using unique haircuts as a way of expressing my natural hair identity. Where my fingers have failed me on my natural hair journey, the scissors certainly have not.
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