What It Was Like To Go Natural

What It Was Like To Go Natural

Anything worth doing is never easy

For those that don't understand what it means to go natural, it means to discontinue the use of chemicals to relax or perm hair. Recently, there has been a big trend in black women going natural. Before it seemed as if it were socially unacceptable for black women to have their hair in it's natural form without appearing unorganized or unkept. However, celebrities like Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have decided to ditch the weaves and chemicals a few times, to rock their hair au naturale. This small act of courage allowed black women across the country to let their hair down. Their natural hair. I have never chemically straightened my hair, but ever since middle school (I'm currently a junior in college) I have straightened my hair using heat, causing heat damage. This summer, I decided to go natural, and this is what I've learned so far.

First off, I thought going natural just meant that I wash my hair about every 2 to 3 days, moisturize it, and go. I quickly learned that was not the case. My hair has a different types of curls in different places, and to just wear it out is a huge fail. I also learned that in order to do that, you need really good products. How do you know what products? Trial and error. After almost draining my bank account on different hair products, I found that Cantu products do wonders for my hair, so I stocked up.

Once I found the right products, I needed a style. Since I quickly learned that wash and go wasn't for me, I tried braiding. Turns out, I suck at braiding. Even though I suck, my wonderful beautiful mother, does not. We established a braiding routine for my hair to keep it in a protective style that works for my lifestyle. Since I work and workout everyday, two braids work perfectly for me. As time went on, I realized that I couldn't rock the two braids ALL summer long. I needed to switch it up.

If you ever think about going natural, there are two things that are your best friends. Youtube tutorials for natural hair and coconut oil. There are endless videos on how to go natural, what styles you can do, and how to do them. Since I'm still relatively new to going natural, I haven't quite mastered anything, but I have learned a bit. Watching these videos give you so many ideas and styles to go natural. So far I have tried twists and bantu knots. Not much, but I want to perfect one thing at a time.

I have been natural since the middle of May, until now (June 19th), and have noticed a true difference in my hair. Before my curls were horrendous and all I wanted to do was wear a hat and put them in braids. As time went on, my hair became more manageable and my curls were more defined. Not only that, but I became way more confident about my hair. In this short time, my hair has changed significantly. I absolutely can't wait until August to see exactly how far my hair has come. If you ever have doubts about going natural, I say do it. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it. Anyway you can make yourself healthy, whether it's your hair or body, is something worth doing.

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

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 where you can't go wrong. Here are 20 small tattoos with big meanings. (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 semi-colon 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 in to 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 & 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 glyphs 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 & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is 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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Don't Let Society Pressure You To Be Something That You're Not

It’s better to wear fashions that grace your character, rather than whatever the fashion gods on IG or YouTube tell you should wear.

Once upon a time, the hype of fashion was only limited to the particular occasions and events. One might undoubtedly find a vast difference between a previous and modern generation though it would be absurd and pointless to compare.

Now, fashion is becoming the essential part of almost every teenager. Fashion usually reflects in the high school and college students including high fashion clothes, jewelry, sunglasses, language, taste in music, hairstyles, and even moral values. Majority of modern youth is slave to fashion. However, some teens invent their unique styles and aim at becoming an icon and differences among their groups.

In days of yore, fashion used to be found only among the upper class of people, but the time has changed entirely. It's difficult to see someone walking down the street who is not fashion conscious. Social media and television have been perceived as one of the primary influencers. Today's youths believe that in order to be popular among their people, they need to be fashion conscious or I would say match with their fashion. In fact, it's often seen that to assert their individuality and the values of their peers, they decide to break away from their parent generation.

However, someone might genuinely like specific fashion trend which does not make him/her slave to the fashion. The thought process to gain acceptance under the peer pressure or fear makes him/her slave to the fashion. Often, the influence of the group has no bad results, and occasionally, the impact can even be right.

What you always see in Vogue might not always suit your body or even personality.

It's quite reasonable to find that something is just not for you, and that's ok. It’s better to wear fashions that grace your character, rather than whatever the fashion gods on IG or YouTube tell you should wear. In the present, budget is one of the biggest concern for every college students, and thus one should make right choices before being a slave to fashion. You may have found yourself more involved with fashion and spending more time on social media then sleeping or studying for exams.

Today's youth strives hard to resemble the fashion models or glamorous faces. In fact, it's perfectly fine to be fashionable or get inspired by your fashion model, but you have to make sure that you don't hurt your self-esteem by being a slave to fashion. In short, the fundamental idea behind this article is not to oppose fashion models or modern youths, but it's to warn them about their choices when it comes to fashion. Don't let fashion define you.

You should determine fashion for yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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