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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Tampons And 9 Other Things Girls Have To Buy That Guys Don’t Even Think About

And no, we didn't sign up for these costs ourselves.


Being a female is expensive. Sure, some of it comes from us liking fancy things and wanting to go all out in ways guys just don't. Personally, I know I'm a shopaholic, and I own it. However, some of the things I buy due to my gender are completely unavoidable, whether that comes from nature or the social expectations of what a woman should be.

My biggest grievance though is that women often pay more for the same products as men simply because of the gender the products are aimed toward, in a phenomenon known as the Pink Tax. You can learn more about it here.

While I whip out my debit card and pay up for the "luxury" of tampons, check out these 10 items you ladies may not realize you're paying for that your male counterparts are not.

1. Mascara


Makeup, in general, is a cost that males don't traditionally incur, but mascara might be the most ridiculous extra cost women pay in the area of facial beauty. We literally feel the need to purchase paint that makes our eyelashes longer. I don't even really understand why this is necessary.

2. Hair ties


Our ponytails don't just magically stay in place on their own. Us girls have to buy special rubber bands just to keep ourselves from sweating to death or not being able to see. Awesome.

3. Spanx


Because women are expected to be skinny twigs, we feel pressure to wear undergarments that suck us in so tight we can hardly move. And to add to the fun, they're not cheap

4. Tampons


Ahh yes, the most magical time of the month. NOT! Women have to pay extra money bleed while in pain. Does that even sound logical?!

5. Jewelry


Part of wearing clothing as a female is accessorizing. We buy tiny sparkly things to wear in addition to clothes while men rarely have to consider extra costs like that.

6. Hair dye


Hair dye is expensive, especially when you care about your hair and want it done right by a professional. Yes, a lot of us ladies do it for fun, but we also feel pressure to hide those gray hairs as we age. God forbid we appear old.

7. Nail polish


Just like hair dye, good nail polish is pricy. Sure, it lasts almost forever, but it's still an additional cost men don't even have to think about. If their nails aren't ragged, they're considered put together. Women on the other hand require steps beyond our nails appearing "normal."

8. Different types of socks


Because there is a greater variety in the shoes women are socialized to wear, there is a wider variety of socks ladies must purchase. Men's shoes are usually only cut one or two ways, so they can get away with fewer pairs of socks overall.

9. Hair styling tools


Females are supposed to keep their hair long, but we're also supposed to be able to keep it tamed. Enter expensive, damaging hair tools that look foreign to most men.

10. Purses


No matter how hard I try and no matter how many bags I fall in love with, I will never understand why girls seem to have to carry a crap ton of extra stuff around in a purse while men get away with stuffing things in their unfairly-sized pockets. Purses are expensive while pants are required, and that just doesn't seem right.

Sure, a lot of women, myself included, enjoy buying many of these items. They add a little flair to our lives. But, it's kinda how much more money women have to spend to reach a social level of equality with men. Food for thought.

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