Wearing A Wig, Weave, Or Braids Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Love My Natural Hair

Wearing A Wig, Weave, Or Braids Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Love My Natural Hair

Sincerely, a black woman who LOVES her natural hair.

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As some of you may know based on my previous articles, I switched back to my natural hair after 8 years of chemically straightening it. Over the course of 7 months, I started to love myself more and embrace my natural curls. I was really proud of my decision and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Arielle Lewis Arielle Lewis

However, maintaining my hair routine was so much work, and let's be real, I'm extremely lazy when it comes to hair. I've always been. No one has the time to have their arms up in the air for a long period of time trying to tame their hair. The outcome looks amazing, and you can tell that I put so much time and effort into it.

But my laziness always gets in the way, and I am always in a rush. Before the big chop, I would wear box braids in my hair for the majority of the year simply because of their ease to style. Box braids meant I didn't have to worry about parting my hair and combing and brushing. I wouldn't have to worry about styling or ever having a bad hair day. As a college student, I didn't have the time to be worrying about my hair every day because I had other priorities. I wanted something that I could just wash and go without worrying about twisting.

Arielle Lewis Arielle Lewis

But the purpose of this article was to address people who have ZERO knowledge on dealing with natural hair, and for those people to stop ASSUMING that we wear weaves, wigs, and braids because we "hate" our natural hair. Let me tell you one thing.

Just because I am wearing styles that cover my natural hair, DOESN'T mean I am any less natural.

When people assume things like this, I get annoyed since many people don't understand what it's like to have my hair texture.

As I said, I love my hair, but sometimes, you just need a break from always fighting with your hair. That's the downside of having kinky hair: it's tough to manage. It's okay to throw on a wig and start your day because they are easier to manage.

I know what ignorant question is probably going on in your head: "Why don't you just straighten your hair?" Well, that makes no sense, because I'd basically be starting all over again after I just chopped my hair off and went natural. Why would I volunteer to get heat damage again?

The reason why us women enjoy wearing different styles is the versatility. We can wear our natural hair one day and wear straight, long and fake hair the next without having to damage our real hair. We like to switch it up often and wear styles that work well for us.

The styling possibilities are endless, in fact. You're less likely to have a bad hair day because the style is going to be the same. Plus, it overall gives my hair a chance to relax from the constant twisting and styling.

Another reason why we love protective styles is that they save a whole lot of money. I'd rather pay $120 for wigs and braids that will last for a few months rather than spend $20 a week on hair products and accessories that don't last long. That sounds like a good deal to me.

Arielle Lewis

The MAIN reason why I prefer these protective styles is they allow my natural hair to grow underneath. If you comb your hair constantly, your strands are more likely to fall out, whereas with a protective style, your hair gets a chance to grow out because of not combing and stretching. Every time I take my braids out, my hair grows about 2 inches longer--which is a lot of hair, if you believe me.

So yes, going natural last year made me feel free again, but after a while, it's nice to switch it up. I can now do my hair in 5 minutes rather than 5 hours.

This doesn't mean that we don't like ourselves. Wearing wigs doesn't make me any less natural, and I am a proud black woman regardless.

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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What To Expect For Your First Brazilian Wax

Be informed and do it right the first time!

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It's going to hurt like hell, you're going to swear to yourself you're never going to go through with it again, and that you've betrayed your razor. Just like the pain, these feelings will subside.

Before The Appointment.

First things first girl, you must let your hair grow out very long. Ideally, it should be longer than a grain of rice. Absolutely do not shave two to three weeks before since the wax will have a harder time gripping onto short hair, likely leaving it behind. When I hear Brazilian, I think bare. Hairs left behind defies the whole point of a Brazilian, so please just wait.

Next, you should exfoliate the area a day or two before your appointment. Exfoliation will remove the dead skin around the follicle, making hair removal a tad easier.

Right Before.

Now, it's the day of your long-awaited Brazilian appointment. Shower, which is self-explanatory and a nice gesture for your dignity and much appreciated from your esthetician, though do not exfoliate. That will irritate the area before the waxing even begins. It will help to take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. Yes, it will still hurt, but it will help.

During The Wax.

During the session, relax. Your esthetician should guide you in deep breaths and knows techniques to minimize the pain.

Personally, I love going to the salon because it's like a free therapy session. You can vent and talk about anything and they'll likely listen and give you their opinion, or silently judge. They're already seeing every bit of you, so nothing seems off the table, but proceed with caution and just be yourself.

When the wax is over, they will apply a cooling crème, gel, oil, or other product to soothe the stressed skin.

After Care.

After the appointment, it's crucial to be aware that everyone's skin heals at different rates. It's also likely you will develop little white bumps from waxing. To inhibit ingrown hairs from forming, I've found that applying Thayer's witch hazel, or another witch-hazel toner without alcohol helps the healing process immensely. Then, top it with a hydrocortisone cream. It helps with redness and swelling. If you don't have witch hazel, that's perfectly fine. Just proceed with hydrocortisone cream and an ice pack if needed.

I'm aware that these after-care instructions make a Brazilian sound like a terrible self-inflicted experience, but I can assure you'll be going back for more. After the bumps subside, you will love the smooth skin, the ability to hit the pool without the worry of "Did I shave?" In a way, I'd compare the experience to giving birth, but way less painful. Yes, it hurts, but women are strong. They become pros at childbirth, and soon, you'll become a pro at Brazilians.

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