Damn, girl! Trendy naturalista’s guide to a bangin’ twist out [best tutorial videos on YouTube]

By Ciara Rouege

I’m still new to the natural hair game. If you’re also a converter, I’m sure you know the earlier years are like being reborn and then visiting the Beauty Supply for the first time ever. Hair lessons accumulated over more than two decades with a fresh relaxer have been made almost useless. Luckily, I’m a proud student at the University of YouTube and have been taking a few crash courses.

The twist out is one step above a wash-and-go, but don’t deny its power. It’s the most versatile of styles, working with many different hair types, which is probably why it’s also the most popular. It’s a simple style, but don’t be fooled — practice is still needed!

Although this is a list of my favorite twist out hair tutorial videos (so far), it’s also class notes on what I’ve learned about natural hair during this transformative process. The biggest lesson being all natural hair is different. I’ve come to except that some hair styles will forever be out of reach simply because of my current length and inherited thickness and texture. Here are points to consider when creating the most bangin’ twist out:

Are you using the right products?

The natural hair industry has exploded in recent years, leaving naturalistas with a growing lists of options. Try to sample as many products as possible. And remember what’s most popular or most expensive, may not be what’s best for you. Personally, I’ve gotten the best results with the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Curl Defining Creme Glaze.

How much product are you using?

I got some greedy ass hair! So, I’m pretty generous with the products. In fact, I spray my hair with a homemade solution (Formula: setting lotion, caster oil, olive oil and water). The solution also replaces the hair moisture after I’ve padded it dry following a wash.

Are you starting out with wet or dry hair?

I’ve done and seen both. While wet hair leaves me with the most body, I will re-twist after a couple days just to keep the curls formed. I’ve noticed with my own hair, some sections are naturally coiled while others are more bushy. However, it’s become less and less ‘diverse’ as I continue to avoid harsh chemicals and heat styling.

Bria Larine does an amazing twist-out on dry hair (with few spritz of water).

Are you twisting close enough to the root?

Don’t be afraid to make it tight! Depending on your hair texture, starting your twist further from the root could leave you with curls on top of an afro, essentially.

How big are you making your twist?

It’s completely up to you! I prefer fairly small twist (even though it takes much more time), but maybe you feel better with medium-sized twist or BIG twist. Whichever size you use, I agree the best results come from using equal-sized twist across your entire head.

Toni of Natural Hair Sistas used only six jumbo twists:

If you’re starting out short — a twist out is still possible. Here’s some advise from Shawntas Way as she styles her sister’s hair, which is a just above the shoulders: 

YouTube has hundreds of tutorial videos for achieving the best twist out, so no matter your hair type — there’s something out there for you! I’m at the start of my natural hair journey myself, but I hope this was helpful. 😃

Girl, let’s #NamaSlay with Trap Yoga Bae!

By Ciara Rouege

I’m about as flexible as a No. 2 pencil, but where ever there is trap music— it’s sort of my mission to try and be there. Or at the absolute least, I’m accepting the Facebook invite.

Trap-themed events have been popping up like corn in a paper bag the past year. I doubt 2018 will be any different. Paint…and trap music. Fashion…and trap music. Brunch…and guest what? Trap music. Not that I’m complaining— I plan on catching all that shit!

Girl Houston Trap Yoga Ciara Rouege

After clicking ‘going’ a dozen times on Facebook — and one unused $22 Silent Trap Party ticket later — I finally made it to a trap event with some close girlfriends in December.

It was my first event, so I tried to keep it clachet with some trap yoga. We signed up for a class at Boyer with the hella fine and fabulous Trap Yoga Bae. She hails from Oakland and became a certified yoga instructor in Rishikesh, India.

She legit, girl! She cute, too.

First thought walking in: Please, ladies! When are we going to stop treating our boyfriends like girlfriends and stop bring them to girls night out?

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Second thought: Girl, Trap Yoga Bae is funny!

No, this is not your mother’s YMCA yoga class— expect to hear ALL the curse words and a bit of sexual humor. No jokes: 18 and up!

“I need you to stand strong at the top of your mat with legs about waist-length apart— about as open as they would be if your man’s head was between them,” Trap Yoga Bae said to to the class.

Don’t forget, it is TRAP yoga!

Girl Houston Trap Yoga Ciara Rouege Trap Yoga Bae

The classes—  unless otherwise stated — are beginner friendly with easier and advance alternatives for all the poses. I attended a class were we did traditional movements including the child’s pose,  downward facing dog, the basic warrior stances, tree stance and many others.

There will be some twerking (or fast hip rotating— depending on your background), a DJ for all your spirit’s musical needs, some anti-fuck boy affirmations and lots of cheerful group participation.

The workout is a bit challenging, but the music and hilarious instruction keep you fairly distracted. Nothing frees the spirit more than light fun and good humor, so I’d recommend trap yoga to both one-timers and hardcore yogis.

Now, will I be adding “ass, I command you to grow” to my daily meditation routine. Well, mostly likely not.

Is it real yoga? I’m told it’s 100% certified, black girl on a rock mediating in India bonafide yoga. But hey, no more questions from me! Grab your own mat and trap yoga it up at the next class, girl!

‘Chain me in there real good’: How I went from a creamy crack addict to a natural-haired beauty

By Ciara Rouege

Just over a year ago, I was the bright-eyed poster child for creamy crack— that cold, thick and hair-straightening miracle mayonnaise!

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Just a few days after I got a good relaxer back in April 2015.

You may call it a perm, or sometimes a relaxer. Either way, my southern-born mother always taught me to call it a necessity.

A scripture from the black girl bible: she who steps out with unlaid edges, steps out on her mother and herself.

There was no way in heaven or hell, I was going to step out! Neither mom, nor my three younger sisters, would ever allow it.

It would make me cringe: to look in the mirror and see those tough, unrelaxed strands uprooting themselves from my tender scalp.

I’d grab that rat-tail comb like it was the Good Book, churn that perm mix with a little wooden spatula like I was in the trap house of Jesus— and make things ‘right,’ again!

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Girl, you know how it is! #Truth

In college, a younger woman tried to enlighten me.

She said hair relaxers were hidden chains of white oppression— the unrepentant enforcer of European beauty standards.

She said I was trapped in the ‘bad hair’ mindset.

To which I responded,”Well, tell’em to chain me in there real good— cause I ain’t walking around her with no nappy hair!”

Oh, God bless her sweet little heart! But like most of the natural-haired prophets at the time, itty-bitty was being a little too political for my taste.

In 2013, it seemed more and more women were talking about Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair.’

The film, which debuted in late 2009, made natural hair increasingly political for millennials— but also more trendy. And man, some of these ladies were committed to that #naturalhair life!

I remember scrolling through my Facebook feed, thinking who are all these bald-headed bitches in my timeline? All preaching about the Big Chop.

Still, while I wasn’t a lone naysayer— oh, far from it! I was raised to give credit where credit is due. In my mind, I started looking at natural-haired women in two categories: the woke…and the broke.

If you were WOKE, that meant you were giving us life straight from Mother Earth! The ‘fro was perfectly hedged, the curls were glossy and the edges were tamed.

Oh! And if you weren’t at least an eight in the face and a 10 in the waist…Honey, you better take this TCB and sit your ass down somewhere. In my old opinion, only beautiful, fine-bodied women could get away with natural hair. Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 10.34.46 PM

All the rest were BROKE with their dry puffs and funky locks. Terrible! I know, but that’s just where I was at in my thinking at the time.

Eventually, I decided to give natural hair a shot because it was ‘the cool thing to do.’

I failed about five times. (OK, technically four times. There was a period when my wallet was super-tight and I couldn’t afford to get a relaxer even if I wanted to.)

I couldn’t wrap my mind around it: natural hair ‘isn’t sexually desirable,’ natural hair ‘isn’t appropriate for the work space.’ Oh, and the jokes!

Light-, medium- or dark-skinned, all black women have a peculiar set of social boundaries that we’re forced to live within. I’m about three shades too high on the chart to be rocking an afro without it being perceived as a ‘statement piece.’

I was overwhelmed with the concerns rationalized in the eyes of the generations that came before me.

It was just easier to just keep relaxing— to keep dusting the immense dandruff of my shoulders, to keep watching the hair strands falling into the sink and to keep scratching off those chemical burn scabs.

And then, I had an epiphany.

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Shout out to Charles ‘Chip’ Fields for taking this cute picture of me rocking my natural hair.

The youngest of my sisters— just 7 years old at the time— was being mocked by a classmate because her ‘hair looked crunchy’ and her features ‘weren’t cute.’

I was disturbed by her low self-esteem. She just kept asking me, desperately, “RaRa, am I pretty?”

Our mom eventually told me what was going on, and she showed me a picture of the classmate. I’ve never been more outraged in my life than staring at that little girl.

Looking back at me was a scuffed, dirty little pale-faced kid with beady blue eyes and lackluster, damaged blonde hair. She had on a tattered white dress and bruised knees.

It had nothing to do with the child.

It was the realization that there are women in the world of all backgrounds and ethnicities who— even on their worst day, even if they’re in shambles— would look at a black woman’s features and belittle her.

I tried to rebuke the feeling by giving my little sister an ill-guided pep-talk praising the gorgeousness of her natural hair.

“But your hair isn’t like mine,” she said. “And May May’s isn’t, and Anna’s and mom’s.”

She found me out; I was speechless.

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In April 2015, Cosmopolitan magazine was under fire for an article that suggestively showed white women as fashion dos and black women as donts.

In that moment, I thought about all the little black girls staring at their reflection, struggling to find beautifulness and womanliness within themselves.

Girls going through life exhausting themselves over their God-given hair and bodies, begging for approval from a social structure that taught them through the lessons of their own mothers that femininity was not inalienable.

I remembered siting between my mothers legs with tears rushing down my face as she yanked and pulled my hair; and laughing beside my sisters with stained towels draped across our shoulders and chemicals burning into our scalps.

It’s self-evident that all women are taught that beauty is pain. Still, I thought, this shit is out of control.

I didn’t know it, but the relaxer I’d applied a couple weeks before that conversation would be my last.

 

Feather brows? No…or hell nah! 

By Ciara Rouege

The internet is buzzing about a new make-up trend that many have already predicted won’t be flying back home for the summer months — if not at all!

Feather brows is a technique in which a part is made across the center of the eyebrow and the opened hairs are feathered out. Of course, the goal is to give the appearance of a bird feather.

This look is a joke — literally!

“Note to self: when u make a joke about starting a funny brow trend people will take it seriously and…well. start the trend,” Stella Sironen, the Helsinki make-up artist who started the trend, said in an Instagram post.

Of course, it is the internet so many people have already decided to run with it. Some have already given feather brows a chance.

I’ll admit while I think this looks ridiculous, Sironen does look like a futuristic fantasy with the outlandish brows and shimmering peach eye shadow. Plus, it’s cool how she managed to perfectly separate and feather such thick eyelashes unlike these hot messes below:

But when a trend is born, who is to judge the origin? I’m sure more will attempt this ‘artistic’ look.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to give this one a thumbs down— but that’s just me! What do you all think? No judgement (to your face) if you like them.