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In my hair show experience, some of your best finds and greatest sources of inspiration are on the heads of your fellow attendees. Here's my round up of the hottest natural hair styles from the World Natural Hair Show!
Coil definition has always been a hot topic in the natural hair community, but at the World Natural Hair Show structured coils were all the rage for ALL textures of hair. Structured coils are those that require manipulation of hair to achieve a truly perfect coiled shape (as opposed to working to define a naturally existing coil pattern with product stylers). Popular coil techniques on the expo floor were finger coils and comb coils, which set the hair in a tight, cylindrical spiral. These styles are set with a gel or pomade, and I was impressed to find out that they can last for two to three weeks with regular, but simple, maintenance (tying with a scarf at night, then moisturizing and fluffing in the morning).
Perm rods and Strawllers offer great ways to set the hair for a slightly looser yet still structured coil.
Have locs but want a coil? Well, you're in luck! A new product called "Wrap-a-Loc" offers loc'ers a simple way to achieve the structured coiled look.
The best way to describe this style is that it's the inverse concept of a mullet: business in the back, party in the front. These cuts leave the hair big, loose and free on top and then taper their way down to a close crop (and sometimes a fade) at the nape of the neck. I found that this shapely, modern take on the classic afro silhouette looked super haute on a variety of hair textures and curl patterns. How to get this style? Head to the local barber shop and have them shape you up. If you're nervous about losing length and don't want to commit to a cut, try a style that creatively blends french braids and flat twists to secure the hair closer to the scalp, giving the illusion of a tapered cut shape.
Bursts of Color
Striking, yet subtle. Flashy, yet understated. Mysterious, yet ostentatious. Well-placed streaks of color were popping up on heads all over the expo floor. I saw this trend most often in the form of a high-contrast (think honey-brown, golden-blonde, or cherry-red) single streak of color near the front of the hairline. The key thing to remember is that coloring hair is a chemical process and aftercare requires special attention. According to stylist Stacy Hill of DyeVerCity Salon, the lighter the color you dye, the drier the hair will be. She recommends co-washing color-treated hair as a way of preserving the color and to give the hair the moisture it needs.
There's no doubt about it that mo-hawks are hot. Natural hair 'hawks offer a lot of versatility, diversity, and drama in the forms of mohawks, fro-hawks, faux-hawks, and loc-hawks. If you want to go for an actual hawk with buzzed sides, incorporate some designs for added flair. Loc'ers can add wire to the style for added height and structure. If you want to go for a faux-hawk (all of the edge without the commitment of a cut), have the sides twisted, braided, or bantu knotted close to the scalp and leave loose on top. I also dug the off-center hawk that combines braids and flat-twists.
Structure. Drama. Color. Edge. As you can see there was lots of hairspiration at the World Natural Hair Show. How will YOU redefine your natural??