Photo: Pinterest

With winter in full effect, our Queens want a quick easy hairstyle that is gorgeous and protective. New natural hairstyles are popping up, and when examined closely you can tell that they are trying to mimic a tribal look. Afro puffs were hot back in the 70’s when a lot of women of color were fighting for civil rights and revolutionizing the way they wore their hair. Since the summer Afro Bubble Ponytails have been favored as the go to protective hairstyle. Now with many people being “woke” to the discrimination that natural hairstyles face in the workplace, relaxers are becoming a thing of the past. Nobody wants to put on their strands creamy crack, so the versatility of our hair is now being showcased globally.

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Photo: Aliexpress

Why Relaxers Are No Longer Popular

For many years, Afro heads straightened their hair to get that exotic look. I remember I wore a relaxer in my hair until I became a teenager. I used to dread going to the hair salon because of the hairstylist facial expressions. What was not expressed in words was conveyed in body language. The task of getting through a thick head of 4c hair is not an easy one. By the time they reached the back of my hair, my scalp was already burning. Tears would fall from eyes as they told me I still had to wait some more minutes before they washed it out. The burn you feel from having a relaxer in your hair for too long can be compared to taking a lighter and putting it to your scalp. I truly believe that hairstylists would leave the relaxer in my hair longer than what was recommended because my hair was so coarse. Scalp burns are not the only side effects of relaxers. Uterine fibroid also can result from perms.

The market research firm, Mintel, estimates that by 2020 will be the smallest area of the black hair market. Hair relaxer sales fell 38% between 2012-2017!

The early to mid-2000’s saw a huge shift in how we perceived African beauty. Being a 90’s baby I noticed many R&B groups rocked a perm and/or long weaves. But by the early 2000’s, Nollywood movies exploded in popularity and viewership. I notice that the standard of beauty in these movies was light makeup and natural hair. Even in Brazil, online searches for “Afro hair” have tripled in the last two years. So it is safe to say that natural hairstyles are trending and here to stay.

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Photo: YouTube

How To Achieve The Afro Puff Bubble Ponytail Look

Some like beads. Others like silver/golden hair clips. Whatever accessories you choose to use, just make sure you follow these steps correctly so that you can get the look that you desire.

  • First, part your hair into sections. Section your hair into the number of ponytails that you want. For a child, many of them like to rock smaller ponytails.
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Photo: 21Ninety
  • Second, apply the gel to the scalp of your sections. Hold each section down with rubber-bands to keep the ponytail in place.
  • Next, add the Marley or Afro hair that you purchased onto your natural hair. Lay it against your natural hair and keep your real hair in the middle. Skip this step if you are just using all of your own hair. Clip-ins are perfect for this look.
  • Lastly, twist the accessories around sections of your ponytail to create the “ball” look.

For a visual tutorial, here is step by step instructions from YouTube content creator Nneoma Okorie:

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Sources: https://21ninety.com/learn-how-to-achieve-the-trendy-afro-bubble-ponytail

https://fashion-history.lovetoknow.com/body-fashions/afro-hairstyle

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