World Afro Day is this Friday, September 15th, and I couldn't have been more excited when I found out that there was actually a day set aside to specifically celebrate what is quite possibly my favorite hairstyle to rock of all time:
So to let my coif bask in the minty, buttery goodness of all of my soothing, creamy, voluminous yet calm, awe-inspiring and thought-provoking glow of everything and every one it tells the tale of, I had to share with you the top inspiration for why I rock an afro -- pretty much every day. Bonus: at the bottom of this article you will see that I also decided to share with you some of my all-time favorite goodies, made especially for maintaining and replenishing the all-natural beauty and totally undefined intricacy that is the afro.
My afro tells me that I survived.
I was diagnosed with a rare chronic disease in 2011, the same time I stopped using relaxers and started transitioning with wigs and weaves while starting a slew of terrifying medications and underdoing experimental treatments to keep me alive. When I finally took my weave out and revealed natural curls underneath as my new-growth, I was too overjoyed to start a new journey with my hair. I gave myself a big chop at home, then went to the salon for more of an even shape, and never turned around since. Can you believe I also haven't straightened with heat in all these years? It's true. Seeing my undefined, naturally dry and frizzy, multi-textured afro reminds me everyday of the many survival stories I have to tell. They certainly do not end with my hair, but anyone witnessing how proud I am of the crown on my head knows there must be a meaner deeper than just superficial beauty being concerned. Despite all of the areas of work that need to be touched on in mainstream culture, I am beyond happy to see another woman, man, or child embrace what is theirs, naturally.
How to keep your afro soft, defined, and full of volume
To be honest, I usually only style my hair every 4 days since I live for my curly afro's volume. I try to let it do its own thing throughout the week. If a fluffy 'fro is what I'm going for, I also don't like to be too harsh on myself by avoiding touching my hair (the natural oils from my fingers actually helps create more natural frizz). And even though water or a little finger fluff does the trick on most days, some of these afro-loving products have been my holy grails for 6 years and counting.
- Oyin Handmade Hair Dew is really one of the best multipurpose hair products I've ever tried.
- Innersense Organic Beauty Quiet Calm Curl Control lets me tame some frizz without making me give up the volume.
- DevaCurl One Condition Decadence Ultra Moisturizing Milk Conditioner Cleanser lives up to its name; my curls thanks this one time and time again.
- Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo lets my 'fro remain shiny and great after gently removing dirt and build-up.
- Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner is safe and light enough for those who prefer to co-wash a few times a week instead of shampooing.
- Taliah Waajid Protective Styles Intense Moisture Bamboo and Coconut Milk Strengthening Leave-in Conditioner is a new favorite -- it has gotten me through two back-to-back braided protective style installations.
- SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque gives my afro such luscious softness for an entire week through.
- Camille Rose Naturals Moroccan Pear Conditioning Custard will preserve my curl definition while still encouraging natural volume to occur throughout the day.
- OBIA Naturals Twist Whip Butter contains rich butters like shea, tucuma, and mango to keep my 'fro feeling soft to the touch and full of volume.
- Aquis Diva Darling Purple Microfiber Hair Turban doesn't zap moisture so that my hair has something to work with on days I'm going for a super undefined, natural look.
What does your afro mean to you?
Let us know in the comment section on Facebook.