Monthly Archives: February 2015

If you’ve been to your local beauty supply store lately, it’s not hard to understand why hair typing is such a big business. But what do you really know about hair typing and its significance in the natural hair community?

Hair typing is a methodology that utilizes certain characteristics like curl pattern, strand size and texture to determine care and styling needs for individual categories of hair, which can range anywhere from straight and wavy to curly and kinky.

Although there are multiple hair typing systems, possibly the most universally accepted one is the Andre Walker Hair Typing System, created by Oprah Winfrey’s hairstylist and chronicled in the 1997 book, Andre Talks Hair. 

In it, Walker divides hair into four texture categories: 1) Straight, 2) Wavy, 3) Curly and 4) Kinky. Within each of these groups are texture subgroups: A (Fine/Thin), B (Medium) and C (Coarse). So, a person with “Type 2B” hair would likely have thicker strands with a more defined wave or “S” pattern. This hair type, according to Walker, may also be resistant to styling. To see more about Walker’s Curl Typing System, click here.

In addition to Walker’s system, there are two other mainstream systems used to identify hair type. The LOIS system takes into consideration a person’s hair pattern, strand size and texture, while the FIA system looks at curl definition, along with the overall appearance and volume of the hair.

Much like Walker’s system, LOIS accounts for the possibility that there will be more than one pattern present in the hair and uses the letters as descriptors for an individual’s hair texture.

  • L = Bends/Kinks
  • O = Spirals/Coils
  • I = Flat/Straight
  • S = Waves

Consequently, a person with an “LO” hair type might have thickly coiled tresses that could be a challenge to straighten.

Determining hair type using the FIA system is also relatively simple and uses a combination of factors such as curliness, volume and appearance to define hair as fine/thin (hair that exhibits the fragility of a strand of silk), medium/normal (hair similar in size and density to a sewing thread) and course/thick (hair that feels hard and wiry to the touch).

Now that you know the basics, here’s what you can do to find out what hair type you are. Simply take a freshly washed, product free strand of the most common texture present in your hair. Remember, most people have more than one. Place the strand on a flat surface; preferably one that contrasts with the color of your hair to make it easier to see. Dark hair will require a lighter surface and vice versa. Then, lay a piece of sewing thread next to the hair strand. How does it compare? If it’s thinner, thicker or equal in size to the thread, it’s an easy way to determine if you have thin, course or normal hair.

This article was originally published on the My Hair Crush blog at http://myhaircrushblog.com/basics/hair-type-guide/whats-type/ 

Confessions of a frugal fashionista

 

Confessions of a frugal fashionista

I’m a trend watcher! There, I admit it.

Every spring and fall season, I take great pleasure in trolling the blogosphere in the hopes of getting a sneak peek at the latest looks and styles for hair, makeup, clothes and even home decor. But, here’s the thing about trends:

  • They tend to come and go. And, if you’re not careful, they’ll take your hard-earned cash with them when they do.
  • If it’s a good one, odds are you’ll see it again. If you don’t think that today’s “wide-leg” pant is a reimagined version of the ‘70s-style gaucho, I have some Windex you can borrow to clean the rose-colored glasses you’re wearing.
  • They’re not typically marketed with women like me in mind. I mean, when was the last time you saw an over-40, curvy black woman rocking a leopard print lycra mini dress with a floppy sun hat and thigh-high boots? Granted, my last point might be a bit extreme, but you get the picture.

Don’t get me wrong; I think shopping is an awesome experience. But, my purchases aren’t just decorative. I think of them as investments, which is why most of my decisions are based on two key factors: quality and versatility.

Anyone who has spent more than two minutes with me knows how much I love makeup. I’m fascinated by how a little eye, lip and cheek color can change the entire look of a person’s face. But, finding the right mix of products can be costly, particularly when styles and selections change from one season to the next. Ultimately, it’s about figuring out what works best for you. I honestly believe that when you look good, you feel good. But, I’m not willing to break the bank doing it.

One of my favorite budget and style conscious tricks for doing a full face involves just two items: a lipstick and eyeliner. Here are the results:

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If you want to try this trick on your own, check out this, this or this to achieve the look you’re after.

Do you have any makeup secrets you want to share? Don’t forget to post your comment below and please subscribe.

 

 

Go bold, be happy

Go bold, be happy

Go bold, be happy

A while back, a good friend of mine shared with me the story of her sister, an elementary school teacher at the time, who got an unexpected wake-up call from a student about the fashion choices she was making.

“Ms. (Name withheld to protect the innocent),” the student said as he gave her the most serious look he could muster. “Don’t you want to be pretty?”

Ouch!

If I’m remembering the description of the sister correctly, fashion just wasn’t her “thing.” For some women, it just isn’t and that’s okay. And, let’s be honest, children that young can sometimes be pretty unfiltered.

But, like me, that student recognized on some innate level that when you look good, you feel good, too. Although it’s not scientifically proven, many believe that color can have a powerful effect on a person’s emotional state.  So, as it turns out, the kid was just looking out for his teacher’s best interests! LOL!

Seriously, I think there’s nothing better for getting the positiveness flowing like a pop of color. It just makes me happy. And, that’s an emotion I’m committed to embracing a lot more of in 2015. Join me, won’t you?

 

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Shirt: INC International Concepts – Skirt: Express – Shoes: Calvin Klein

 

 

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