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Neat styles or untamed styles?

Avatar • Jan 7, 2011


Reader Melanie (NOT pictured at left… that’s Kelis) says;

So… When my hair was short I didn’t really need to work on having defined hair. Let me preface this by saying I’m not a “defined hair” type of chick to begin with. I mean I appreciate a lush, perfectly placed twistout or braid out. But I’m more of a “crazy hair” girl. So, anyway, when my hair was short, it worked. I just added product to it and was out the door. As it got longer I experimented with protective styles, but found that — because of the fineness of my hair — they weren’t for me. Now I just keep my hair out and let it do it’s thing. BUT the longer it gets the less “letting it do its thing” is working for me.

My hair isn’t super long. About 8 inches all around with a lot of shrinkage. Sometimes when I let it do it’s thing, it looks magnificent. Other days it just looks disheveled and mis-shapen. I typically put it into 6 braids every night, slap on a little butter and a satin cap, and fluff and go in the morning. But now I’ve been noticing more bad hair days.

I think the issue is the fact that — like most naturals — I have multiple curl patters and my hair grows unevenly around my head. My left side grows slower than my right. And all of this inconsistency can make for a crazy looking head of hair.

So now I’m considering taking the plunge into “neat hair land” by curling my braids on rollers. But before I do, I wanted to hear from your readers. How many of them rock “neat, contained” styles, and how many just let it go free? And why does that choice work for them? Hearing a bit about the styling regimen would help too 🙂

Interesting! Alright ladies, let us know 🙂

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sarah
sarah
9 years ago

i do wild hair, but that’s because i was never a girl who needed a ton of styles in my arsenal. i always let my hair do what it wanted instead of feeling the urge “to do something” to it. my hair is a couple of inches longer than your and i feel what you’re going through; my hair used to look wierd on some day and fly on others. it’s just the nature of the beast, as i’ve been told by many different curlies, but i also hear that consistency does come with time and length. now, i have… Read more »

Tasha M
Tasha M
9 years ago

I used to be a wash n go, let it just hang girl..but I have realized that is not working for me…It hasn’t helped my hair grow or kept it healthy & that is one of my resolutions this year so now I plan on alternating twists/twistout..and braids/braidouts…cornrolls, and any other protective style I think I can achieve…I like the funky look & am not at all anal about having my hair look neat, but for now just for the health of my hair I will …and ya know maybe every other month just funk it up a bit!

The Black Bot
9 years ago

One word: Afro puffs. If your hair isn’t working, just put it in an afro puff, and you will look fine.

I would say that I fall in between the two. I like neat styles as much as I like wild ones. It seems that I can pull off most styles. My fros never look bad. When it isn’t working, I make my hair wet with gel so that it’s all one pattern.

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
9 years ago
Reply to  The Black Bot

One word: Afro puffs. If your hair isn’t working, just put it in an afro puff, and you will look fine.”

I know that’s right! Whenever I’m having a “bad hair day” I pull it back into a puff, maybe add a fly accessory, and keep it moving. Never underestimate the power of a puff! LOL!!

Tosha
Tosha
9 years ago

Sometimes you need a shape up to make your hair behave. My hair grows faster on top and it is quite a bit straighter up there than the rest of my head. I went to a salon specializing in coily hair. They washed and blew it out straight. I got it cut straight and then had it wet again to return it to its natural state. So my point is that although moist curlies don’t need to get cut often, a trim can help with how our hair acts.

Kamille
Kamille
9 years ago

I also have hair that is multiple textures and grows unevenly. When I do a twistout I usually look crazy. I work with this by pinning my hair up in a variety of ways. The back of my hair is coarser than the rest and doesn’t have much of a curl pattern when in a twistout, so sometimes I’ll leave that part of my hair in twists and pin it up, or I’ll flat twist it and pin it up. Then I’ll just do the twistout on the front part of my hair. I usually also pin the front to… Read more »

napfrocurlzgirl
9 years ago

Big, wild hair!!!!!!!

ghd
ghd
9 years ago

I start off the week w/ a braid out set on rollers, then I’ll wear that in a bun or out for two days (preserving at night w/ a loose high ponytail). Then I DAMPEN my hair w/ water, add a leave in and detangle w/ my fingers, and seal with oil…before styling again. I will either put it into 9 twists and make bantu knots, or do dozens of twists on rollers, or do another braid out (using 8,9, or 12 braids.) When I set the hair on rollers I will either twist the last few inches or leave… Read more »

DerbyCityNaturals
9 years ago

*chimes in on behalf of the neat naturals* While I can appreciate a big and wild look and will rock from time to time I am a neat styler. It is the look I like for myself and opt to 99% of the time. My go-to styles in order are 2 Strand Twist, Single braids, and 2 Strand Flat Twists. I wear the protective style for 4 days then wear them out for 3 days. Restyling every Sunday. Like others have mentioned the puff is a natural girls best-friend. Since it’s been bold I have been opting for bunning a ponytail… Read more »

Adriii
Adriii
9 years ago

Just as with straight hair, the key to an awesome “free style” for curly is a good haircut. You might be at the point where you need to add a little layering to your hair. (I just cut my hair last week and it made a world of a difference as to how my hair fell in a wash-n-go.) Have you looked into a Deva cut?

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
9 years ago
Reply to  Adriii

What is a Deva cut?

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
9 years ago
Reply to  Adriii

Never mind. Found the answer down thread. Should have finished reading the comments first…

Alicia
Alicia
9 years ago

I do mostly braid-outs, twist-outs, puffs, and buns. I don’t do “wild” hair because my hair has varying curl patterns that make it look crazy if just left to do its own thing. The middle is tightly curled while the perimiter is wavy/curly, and in the front my right side curls up more than the left. When I’ve tried wash-and-go’s in the past I looked crazy b/c my hair looked so lopsided!

Marie
9 years ago

Twistouts, a few braidouts, but mostly wash-&-gos here! I find myself being less & less concerned with having neat hair. If it gets frizzy, or fuzzy; I just go with it (as long as it isn’t dry, or dry-looking.) This works for me because, I’m letting go of the idea that “it all has to be perfect.”
I can’t wait until it grows some more…wild hair all the way! Big & wild hair is awesome!!!

Shamira
9 years ago

@ ADRIII, hello, and what is a deva cut?

Adriii
Adriii
9 years ago
Reply to  Shamira

Here’s the link to the site:

Deva Cutting:

The Deva Cutting technique is Devachan’s revolutionary method for cutting curly hair. The hair is cut dry, simply because we wear our hair dry not wet. We cut the hair in its natural form, curl by curl. Since curly hair and it’s spring factor can be misinterpreted while wet. This unique innovation allows the stylist to sculpt each client’s hair, according to their individual curl, look, and style. Along self curl care lesson to take you beyond the salon.”

http://www.devachansalon.com/

iri9109
9 years ago

i like wild big hair…but i like a more tamed look on shorter hair, esp when its still growin out…now that my hair is startin to hang, i let it get a lil wilder, but i still keep it semi-tame…i hate when my curls come out too perfect…it looks fake or manufactured to me sometimes…i like a lil good frizz, but not too much…if my hair isnt as defined as i like it or is too frizzy and i dont have time to co-wash and let my hair air dry, then i just put it in a puff and tie… Read more »

binks
binks
9 years ago

As others hinted on definitely look into a cut/layers that shapes your hair because a great cut will determine how your hair will far typically. I always been a fan of Kelis’ hair in general and wonder how her curls look so neat and in place during certain styles and while searching it turns out she got her hair cut/layered in away that it came off as neat and in place

Camille in Slovenia
9 years ago

I work from home and don’t go out much so I protective (“neat”) style my hair 99% of the time. Not only do I do it to focus on growth/retaining length but the times when I go out, I don’t want people’s hands on my “exotic” hair.

Camille in Slovenia
9 years ago

i do want to second the suggestion of a trim. i finally (somewhat frightfully) went for my first trim since going loose natural six months ago, and I am glad to have gotten things evened out a bit, so that 1% of the time I wear my hair out, it won’t look as mullet‑y as it did before.

Tonya NewNaturalista
9 years ago

It used to be so easy when your hair was shorter right? 🙂 I am dealing with the same issue, I just roll with it and I’m wearing twist and braid outs more now since those styles lend themselves to out of place hairs. From time to time I have to “shape” it — to make certain I don’t have any crazy curls creeping out along the top or the back. I also love the Free Your Mane Revitilizing Spray — I spray it on the parts that may be crunchy or out of place. You can probably use any type of… Read more »

Melanie
Melanie
9 years ago

Thanks for all your responses everyone! This was so helpful!

@Adriii You know I think you’re right. It’s time I got a cut… cuz this unevenness is driving me NUTS. Can you PLEASE explain the deva cut?! Cuz the only reason I haven’t gotten it shaped is that I don’t know anyone who can cut natural hair!!

Adriii
Adriii
9 years ago
Reply to  Melanie

Deva Cutting:

The Deva Cutting technique is Devachan’s revolutionary method for cutting curly hair. The hair is cut dry, simply because we wear our hair dry not wet. We cut the hair in its natural form, curl by curl. Since curly hair and it’s spring factor can be misinterpreted while wet. This unique innovation allows the stylist to sculpt each client’s hair, according to their individual curl, look, and style. Along self curl care lesson to take you beyond the salon.”

Check out the website: http://www.devachansalon.com/

Shari
9 years ago

neat — canerowed into a bun all the time. buns — habit from relaxed days. there is just something about them.…lol

E
E
9 years ago

[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/tumblr_lem3sqJqPV1qdacf0o1_400.jpg[/img]

I love this stlye and her outfit. I keep my hair in twists, and afro with front in twists or flattwist, or puffs every now and then.

Taylormay
Taylormay
9 years ago
Reply to  E

does she have a website?

nappy headed black girl

I’m definitely an “untamed” chick. That’s why my dreads are freeform instead of manicured. I love the frizz, the poofiness and the personality they possess.

That being said, I think curls would work well if you’re looking for more consistency with your hair. I tried some lock loops not too long ago and liked the way they turned out.

Click on my name to check them out for yourself and look for the “lock loops” post to your right.

AnonCA
AnonCA
9 years ago

@Melanie and @shamira, the Deva cut is the method used at a salon in NYC called Devachan. They also have products that are sold nationally, if not internationally (I only know this b/c I went into an independent beauty supply store and the owner suggested them). The idea is that instead of straightening your hair to cut it, which is pretty common unless you are wearing a perfect afro I think, the Deva cut would involve you telling the stylist how you wear your hair, and they give you a dry cut in that shape before they finish up with… Read more »

teachermrw
9 years ago

I like neat and styled, which includes a nice cut for the Big Chop. I realize that some will not like what I am about to say, but so be it: If one is invested in the BC, then one should pay the money to have the hair cut properly.

Anon
Anon
9 years ago

Buns and updos–> neat
“Out” styles –> wild

I prefer wild hair. It suits me better. 🙂

Alice
9 years ago

I LOVE my hair big and wild. When it was shorter (TWA-small fro) I liked it really neat just because it was so much easier to do. Now, the neatest my hair gets is a stretched out updo, which will probably have some loose pieces.

Melissa
Melissa
9 years ago

I dont have loads of time to devote to styling so most of the time I just wash, oil and air dry my hair. No braiding before bed, no scarf I just let it do what it wants. I like my hair best when its wooly looking it looks better on me then a twist out or braid out. But I definetly agree, a good cut/trim will help during the growing pains.

Kitty
9 years ago

I have about 4–5 inches of hair and it likes to shrink. It also has different curl patterns all over (curls and coils, 3c/4a multiracial). It’s kinda frizzy, but not a lot. XD It hates protective styling most times and wash and gos. I’m not sure if my hair ever looks “neat”, but it looks professional nevertheless. I usually set it overnight with twists (or keep them in for about 1–2 days in a headwrap) and then style my twist out. Either pinning the sides with barrettes, or pinning the sides and front in varying ways (sorry no photos yet).… Read more »

Anon
Anon
9 years ago

Haircut: Exactly what I was thinking. I’m glad so many of the commenters are in agreement. I think some naturals refrain from cutting their hair and then begin experience a whole host of hair “idiocyncracities” that could easily be remedied with a trim. Not sure where this myth that naturals do not need to trim originated, but even women with straight and wavy hair are urged to trim every 4–6 weeks. Not saying the OP necessarily needs a cut, but the issues that she describes suggest that she might.

Anon
Anon
9 years ago

*begin to experience

Sophia
Sophia
9 years ago

BGLH PLease do a story on Phylicia Barnes shes been missing for 10 days now, i believe her mom (and maybe she is too) a natural sista, please BGLH do a story on her thanks!

http://abcnews.go.com/US/search-phylicia-barnes-continues-honor-student-missing-trip/story?id=12571023

Lissie
Lissie
9 years ago
Reply to  Sophia

Ugh Sophia! This brought me to tears… so sad :(. I pray for Phylicia and her family. Have you tried emailing BGLH?.…I think that would be a better alternative just in case she doen’t read/review all of the comments <3

Rosie
Rosie
9 years ago

I totally agree with the other ladies. You need a good cut. LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS go a long way on every hair type but especially curls. Even on those wild or bad hair days your hair will be symmetrical and even. I encourage you to find a real natural hair salon too. The first few salons I went to that said they specialize in natural hair because they were able to deal with my jungle but I always left with it straight :-(. If you live in NY try LaVar, missjessies (expensive but totally worth it), Devachan (not as expensive… Read more »

Lost_One
Lost_One
9 years ago

WILD & BIG! I used to be a neat girl when I was relaxed, so I think the reason why I LOVE the “let it flow” look is because I was obsessed with a more tamed look when it was straight. If the wind blew, I was frantically trying to fix every strand. I must admit when I have a job interview or go to church, I opt for a more tamed look.

Asea
Asea
9 years ago

I love wild and big, not polished at all. I had to learn to love it though. What I loved about having permed hair — and this was the ONLY thing I loved — was that my edges would finally lay down. My hair is really fine and super coily and my kinky edges NEVA EVA lay down for long. I just had to accept that fact. lol. And I have my dad’s strange hairline so it is what it is. My hair is fuzzy and I just refuse to jump through hoops to make it lay down. Right now… Read more »

anonda
anonda
9 years ago
Reply to  Asea

Lol I love how you said:
“…it just feels so liberating to be able to just “be” like Becky, Lucia, and Ming Lee get to.”

That’s where it’s at! That’s would I love about natural hair. All politics aside, just to have the option to let your hair be what it is. Even if you want to change it up for fun or style that’s fine, but you shouldn’t feel like you HAVE to as many women of color do. Hey, Becky shouldn’t feel like she has to dye her hair blonde either!

SA
SA
9 years ago

For me it’s a combination of both. I like my buns/updo’s which can be tamed, and I love my braidouts/twistouts which can get wild and big as the days go by.

Monisola
Monisola
9 years ago

I would try doing updos made out of braids every other day. That way you can leave in the plaits you put in your hair before bed, and form them into an updo. This way the braids stay in longer (after wearing the braids over night, the updo during the day and the same braids at night again) the next day, you can have a defined nicer looking braid out. I do this myself, I keep my hair in a protective updo style every other day and that way I get a neater look and my hair is protected 50%… Read more »

SweetBonita
9 years ago

i have the EXACT same problem. my hair is coarse, but also thin and fine. i protective style with 2 strand twists during the week, but it can leave my hair looking very thin when undone. i love big, unruley hair, but not mishapen, crazy in a bad way, hair. i have at least 3 different textures and my hair is different lengths. in the summer, the humidity usually allows my twistout to poof nicely, but this winter, i’ve noticed the longer my hair is, the crazier it looks after taking my twists out. i try and let the steam… Read more »

Jasmine Love
Jasmine Love
9 years ago

I love wearing hair untamed. The bigger, the wilder, the better. My mama, on the other hand, prefers me to wear it neatly.

Ronnie
Ronnie
9 years ago

I used to do the same thing this author did when my hair was short and when it grew longer, I did Dr. Akbari’s method which is several chunk braids at night tucked into themselves and taken aloose in the morning. I kept my hair free in the winter, no “protective styles.” The reason I stopped is because my ends were starting to look terrible and I had to trim too often. I switched to twist-outs which looked okay on me, but I wasn’t a huge fan of twist-outs on me. Some days they looked better on me than others. Then… Read more »

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