Articles By Christina Brown

As a fashion-obsessed natural, I couldn’t be more excited about "Texture on the Runway" and all the amazing festivities that will be taking place next week. I’ve been attending New York Fashion Week now for about six seasons – rushing in and out of the tents to cover shows for my job as an editor as well as my blog, and, of course, people-watching outside the tents to see what looks people were sporting.

When I first started attending the shows, it was a miracle if you found fashion-forward women marching around the tents and on the runways sporting big curly ‘fros. The predominant look and the epitome of “chic” was bone straight hair. Any sign of a curl or frizz was frowned upon. And if you couldn’t pull your hair up into a sleek chignon or a top knot, you didn’t belong front row at a show.

So like the many other fashionistas under the tents, I sported my straight strands. It wasn’t until I big chopped in November 2010 that I started to wear my curls out and about. My first fashion week as a natural was February 2011 for the F/W 2011 collections. And during this fashion week, me and my curls (and my half-wig named Shirley!) were featured on the front page of VOGUE Black in their street style recap. Definitely one of the defining moments of my blogging life!

As the years have passed, kinky-curly hair has become so much more accepted and has been embraced by the fashion community as something that’s beautiful. Curls & kinks make a statement! Isn’t that funny? When we wear the texture that naturally grows out of our heads, we’re making a statement. We’re suddenly "en vogue." Trendy. As crazy as it sounds, it’s a reality. Luckily for us, this isn’t a trend. Natural hair and the embracing of texture as a sign of beauty, is here to stay.

It’s amazing to see the transformation that’s occurring in all parts of our society, not just the fashion industry. More and more corporate offices, for example, are grasping the concept of naturally curly hair and understanding that it doesn’t signal unprofessionalism. The entertainment industry is embracing it, as we see more and more public figures, from models to singers to news anchors, doing the big chop. Greater acceptance of kinky-curly hair is everywhere and I’m proud to say that I can embrace my natural hair texture and express my individuality while still being considered fashion-forward.

And for this reason, I am dancing in my seat just thinking about "Texture on the Runway" and what it means for us natural girls. I can’t wait to see some of my favorite hair companies, some of the flyest models, and some of my fellow online influencers come together to celebrate natural hair and fashion under one roof. Stay tuned as we’ll be bringing you the tea live from the runway. And this is just the beginning!


Bun

This is Christina, fashion/beauty blogger of LoveBrownSugar.com and I am overflowing with excitement that I’m getting the opportunity to be a correspondent for Texture On The Runway! So as an introduction: “Hi, my name is Christina Brown and I’m a natural.”

I’m a social media specialist by day and a fashion/beauty blogger by night.  I’m a lover of all things sparkly & vintage and I consider myself a cupcake connoisseur (Yes, I know all cupcake eateries within a 5-mile radius of wherever I am – thank you Foursquare).

Over the years, I’ve learned to love and appreciate my kinky-curly strands, but it took quite some time before I was even comfortable with wearing them out! Here’s my natural hair story!

My Journey to Natural

It all started in second grade. I got my first relaxer at about 9 or 10 years old, and after that, I relaxed my hair religiously every six weeks up until my high school senior prom. It wasn’t even a thought, it was a ritual that I practiced without fail. No questions asked.

Once I got to college, I didn't feel like dealing with the maintenance or the monetary commitment, so I chopped off my relaxer in 2005. It grew out beautifully for four years while I studied in school, but I kept it under braids and weaves for the most part so I didn’t have to deal with it. From time to time, I checked online forums for hair tips, but I was mostly just figuring everything out on my own. I went through a lot of trial and error. Carol’s Daughter was my saving grace back then and I used their Mimosa Hair Honey religiously. When I reached my one year natural mark, I colored my hair honey blonde! It was so much fun.

Relapsing & Restarting

Then came graduation time in 2009. It was a scary time for me. I didn’t have a full-time job yet and I was about to embark on a corporate internship that I hoped would lead to a full-time position. In my panic to fit in and excel in the corporate world, I had a relapse and relaxed all my natural curls. Just a few months after, I started to regret it. I missed my curls! I mean, four years worth of curls, gone!

I went on a quest to get them back and started weaving my hair on a regular basis to allow it to grow out. When I chopped off my hair in 2006 there weren't really any popular forums or websites like NaturallyCurly.com, so I wasn't very informed about my hair. But by the time 2009 had rolled around, there were sites like CurlyNikki.com, YouTube forums full of natural-haired women with tips & tricks for making it work and every product under the sun catered to maintaining my curl type. When I decided to chop off my hair for the second time in November 2010, I was armed with hours of YouTube tutorials and website tips to keep me occupied. And from there, it’s been growing and flourishing. I’m enjoying every minute of my natural hair journey thus far.

On Products & Styles

I’m the type of girl who loves versatility. I like to have a Solange moment one day and a Beyonce moment the next – just because I can! So between wearing my natural curls out, I’ll give my ends a break and switch up my look by wearing half-wigs and weaves from time to time. Always love surprising my co-workers and getting those, “OMG your hair! Look!” comments from them. Gives me a kick.

As for my natural hair, I have an arsenal of tried and true products that I absolutely love. I alternate between shampoo and co-wash every week, so I wash my hair once a week in total. I deep condition every week, and during weeks that I shampoo, I do a pre-poo treatment with a mix of organic coconut oil, argan oil and cheapie conditioner.

My favorite shampoos include Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream and Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Shampoo. For co-washing conditioners, I’m into Hair Rules Quench Conditioner, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration or Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Balanced Moisturizing conditioner.

My favorite deep conditioners are SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque, Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask and Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner.

As for stylers, I swear by Beija Flor Naturals Crème Brulee and and Oyin Handmade Shine & Define. Eco-Styler isn’t half bad either!

So that’s my hair in a nutshell. I so look forward to bringing you guys the tea, straight from the runways at Texture on the Runway!



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