Should You Get Cornrows?

10 Things To Consider Before Torturing Your Hair Into Cornrows

Everything you need to know before blowing your pesos on cornrows.

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"Woah, mija! Look at your hair," my dad exclaimed jokingly.

Sure enough, my hair challenged Mufasa's giant mane. It was THAT frizzy. My family and I were celebrating my grandpa's birthday in Mexico, and I hadn't brought enough hair serum to combat the humidity in the air.

But hey! Cornrows would fix my problem, right?

WRONG.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

1. You WILL get awkward sunburn lines.

First, I sprayed sunscreen on my head the day after the worst mistake of my life. Then, my aunt sprayed the other half of the can on my head. Neither of our efforts could prevent the painful red streaks that appeared later that day.

2. Sleep is impossible.

Imagine sleeping on a bunch of tiny barbed wires. Triple that amount of pain, and you'll know exactly what it's like to try and fall asleep on an unfamiliar hotel rollaway bed. Not. Worth. It.

3. Negotiating kills time.

I ran into five vendors who offered to braid my hair-each offering a "special" price. I should've just gone with the first lady I met and gotten it over with.

4. Your mom will take a gazillion unflattering photos of you.

I was choking back tears while my Mom snapped ten times too many photos of this horrible experience.

5. Have I mentioned that IT HURTS?

After sectioning my hair into four sections with her tiny, prickly comb, the lady didn't hesitate to pull, twist, and yank each and every hair on my head. Goodbye frizz, hello headache.

6. More braids = more pain.

I instantly regretted choosing a hairstyle with four cornrows as soon as she had finished the first one. If you're going to try these braids, I suggest getting as few as possible.

7. Taking the braids out is a long and sloooowwww process.

As my tender head ached from the sunburn, I carefully took the time to pull each strand of hair out of its braid. It wasn't as awful as I thought it would be, because I was too consumed with the feelings of relief that washed over me.

8. Your head is still sore after untangling the braids.

My head felt better than before, but it took me quite a few days to get over the achey feelings.

9. Shampooing your hair is a nightmare.

In the shower that night, my fingers felt like metal nails scraping against my head. It wasn't pleasant at all. Although I usually love showers, I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

10. Kendall Jenner is the only girl who can rock cornrows.

OK, OK, so it is possible to look incredibly beautiful in cornrows, but I have warned you of the consequences!

Will I ever be getting cornrows again?

Absolutely not.

Will I look at girls with cornrows in a different light now?

Yes, I will cringe and sympathize with them all at once.

Cover Image Credit:

Bryanne Sanchez

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5 Things No One Told Me About My New Cartilage Piercing

I got my first cartilage piercing a week ago, but nothing really prepared me for the experience.
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A week ago, I got my very first cartilage piercing – a double helix.

I've wanted a cartilage piercing since forever, so the prospect of finally getting it made me feel so giddy that I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear when the piercer finally put the gun to my ear (and if you feel weirded out just by reading that, imagine how the piercer must have felt watching close-up).

Prior to the commitment, I had done a ton of research about cartilage piercings, but nothing quite prepared me for what an adjustment the first week would be.

1. Getting pierced feels like being pinched.

Everyone's level of pain tolerance is different, but for me, on a scale of one to 10, a double helix piercing is a three – so like a hard pinch. My ear was pierced at Claire's with a piercing gun.

Of course, like other people who've researched piercings, I was worried that the gun would shatter my ear because of posts like these and pictures like this (viewer direction advised). So while I still think a needle piercing would be the better option for cartilage piercings, that option was not available for me. Thankfully, the piercer at my local Claire's is experienced and has a few of her own, which helped ease my nerves.

If you would like to get a needle cartilage piercing, contact your local tattoo shops and ask if they have it. However, be warned, tattoo shop piercings can be on the pricier end.

At Claire's alone, the cheapest stud is $18.99, and since I had two holes pierced, the price racked up to $37.98 – and this is all before taxes. Luckily, there happened to be a sale that day which helped nudge the total cost down a bit.

2. The after-care routine can get painful.

I wasn't allowed to wash my ear for the first 48 hours unless it was with the given sterile saline solution. My usual cleaning routine is: loosen earrings, wet cotton ball with the solution, gently wipe and clean, then twist earrings and slightly tighten at the end – and repeat, three times a day.

Everything seemed to be going well until two days later when my ear reacted by turning red sending prickles of pain up my cartilage. I suspected an infection, but then my friend advised me to soak my ears with the solution using a puffy cotton ball. This trick somehow worked to bring down swelling entirely and eliminate the pain in the following hours. As it turned out, I hadn't been thorough enough in my routine. The solution is not just meant to help wipe the piercing clean but to soak into the ear holes.

I've gotten used to the new routine but sleep, on the other hand...

3. Sleep is a struggle.

The first day wasn't so bad besides the expected redness, but the first night was when the real struggle began. I couldn't sleep on my left side without squishing my ear, so I propped another pillow next to the left side of my head so that, if I did turn in the middle of the night, it would stop me from landing on my ear.

I woke up was an hour later in pain because I had shoved the pillow aside in my sleep and landed splat on my pierced ear. So for the second try, I propped a bunched up T-shirt under my head and a small pillow on my left, so that if I do turn left while asleep, the side of my head will just barely rest against the small pillow on the side.

I still haven't adjusted to it yet, but it's a much better alternative than if both my ears were pierced. Then I'd have to sleep dead straight like a mummy.

4. Your ear might get itchy, which may lead to infection.

Because your ear is still getting used to the foreign object lodged through it, it's bound to get a bit itchy – mainly by the fourth day. But remember, do not touch your ear, and do not play with your earrings. A cartilage piercing is not only much more likely to get infected but if it does become infected, you'll need very strong antibiotics which may not even take effect in time. Worse case scenario, your cartilage will literally die and be surgically removed.

This is why cartilage piercings should be reserved for adults or mature young adults – not kids. Most places like Claire's have a legal guardian sign for everyone under 18 and restrict cartilage piercings to ages 12 and up, since kids are more likely to give in to the urge to scratch and pull their ears.

5. For the next six months, do everything slowly and carefully when near your ear.

At the end of the day, as long as you're gentle and clean with your piercings, your ear will heal in three to six months. However, just because it looks healed from the outside doesn't mean it's fully healed on the inside, so continue to maintain your original stud piercings until the end of the six-month period. Then, you can swap your studs out for hoops and other jewelry.

Until then, this means keeping your hair to the side opposite of the piercing or tying it up. It also means no more casually running your hands through your long hair lest you want to risk getting it caught in the stud and yanking your ear. Also, put on your shirts slowly and hoodies even slower. As for caps and hats? You might just have to go without them for a month or so because even the slight pressure of a skullcap can irritate your ear.

So to everyone hoping to get their cartilage pierced, my advice is to get it done in the spring or summer so you don't have to face the cold weather with your ears bared. In the meantime, you can sport some gorgeous ear cuffs like this one. And when you do get your ears pierced, smile wide – cause you've earned it!

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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My Hair Journey After Box Bleaching My Hair

Although it may seem cheap and easy, the reality of box bleaching your hair is disastrous. Professionals, this article is dedicated to you.

nadoty
nadoty
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In 2017, I made the disastrous decision to box bleach my hair that I am still paying for today.

It seemed cheap, easy, and was something fun I could do at midnight. Little did I know, this would be a choice that I would still be regretting to this day. Besides the awful reality of box bleaching your hair, such as the chemicals in store hair dye already being disastrous for your hair, if you don't know what you're doing you not only run the risk of damaging your hair, having your hair fall out, but could also seriously hurting your scalp.

Follow me on my hair journey over the past two years and use this article to look back on if you're ever bored and in need for a change. Wait to go to a salon!

May 23rd, 2017.

Nichole Doty

I like to call this moment the calm before the storm. Back in 2017, I had long dark hair. I loved my hair and was very proud of how long I grew it. This is the longest my hair had ever been at this point in my life, and I absolutely loved it.

July 31st, 2017.

Nichole Doty

This was the day that everything changed. I made the terrible decision to not only box bleach my hair but to add box pink hair dye on the underneath of it. Not only did it look terrible, but it was also an irreversible decision that was made that I would have to live with for the next few years to come.

August 12th, 2017.

Kasey Bauner, (kasey_bauner via instagram), who works at Jay Marie Salon and Spa in Schereville, was able to save my hair in a beautiful way.

Nichole Doty

HALLELUJAH! My hot mess was fixed! Through hours and hundreds of dollars later spent at the salon, they were able to salvage my hair without shaving all of it off!

December 9th, 2017.

Nichole Doty

A few months later, after some length came in, that's when the roots started to appear. After the first glace at the outgrowth, I knew that I would have to keep chopping my hair until the roots fully grew out.

January 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

This was the first big chop I had to do since the box bleach disaster I did to my head. I knew that I didn't want to dye my hair back to its original color, so this began my repetitive cycle of hair growing out, getting a drastic chop, and growing it out again.

July 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

In July, my hair started to show more length since I had to originally chop it. My roots were starting to come in the dark so I had to try and wear hairstyles that would discretely cover how much my hair had grown.

August 31st, 2018.

Another big chop when school started in the fall of 2018. There's something so disappointing about having to keep growing out your hair just to chop it, but unfortunately, that's what I signed up for when I got myself into this mess.

November 29th, 2018.

At this point, my roots looked terrible. From the back of my head, the roots were growing towards the middle. I had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't see the back of my head so I could gracefully ignore how terrible it looked. Aside from this awful outgrowth I had going on, the color in my hair was starting to settle into a yellow mess.

January 31st, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As if I didn't learn my lesson from the first time, I started to experiment with different colors. I used the L'Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent dye. I will say, though, this really is the most Semi-Permanent dye I have ever used as it would fully wash out in two weeks without any traces of color left behind.

April 25th, 2019.

I felt as though if I added different colors to my hair it would make the roots look more natural. As it did, I do NOT recommend the Kiss Tintation hair dye. This was the most patchy dye I have ever used, although I did love the blue.

May 12th, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As of just a few weeks ago, my hair was a big green mess. The dye would not leave my hair, so I started to panic that I really messed up this time. I could no longer wait at this point as I felt the frantic need to chop my hair.

May 23rd, 2019.

Nichole Doty

Here we have it! At the end of my journey thus far, I have managed to almost have all of my natural colors back! Although there are some green strands still left behind, I am mostly back to a full head of hair being the same color.

Overall, I want this article to serve as a warning to those who are like me and don't think through decisions properly. I'm the type of person when I want something I want it at that exact moment no matter what. My rash decision has led to poor self esteem and issues throughout these past two years. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. Maybe I'm like you who feels as though your hair is a big part of your identity and who you are as a person. Thank you for following my hair journey and remember: ALWAYS think through big decisions properly and wait to go to a salon to get your hair done!

nadoty
nadoty

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