Monday, March 31, 2008

Big @ss 'Fro

Since going natural, I have been slowly but surely making my way to "big @ss fro" status. My natural journey wasn't originally based on the desire of having one, but after pouring over endless pictures of women with majestically big, curly 'fros, I was dead set on having one myself.

While out shopping at the mall, I ran into this window display at that Gap:

My heart ached as I stood in the middle of the aisle-way, gazing upon foot after foot of curly afro hair behind the glass. "One day, that will be mine," I mouthed to myself. "One day..."
Well, the day isn't exactly here yet, but let's just say I'm making good on my promise:

Amal, on the other hand, has already reached "big @ss fro" status (damn her, but I'm not hating, lol):

Men (and my Mom) think we're crazy for having such a goal in the first place, but I know many women share our dedication because both Amal and I get stopped on the street about our hair constantly. It's not unusual for me to be scribbling shampoo and hair routine recommendations for a random stranger who had questions about my hair while riding on train. To achieve either my or Amal's hairstyle featured above, the secret is...(drum roll please)... a braid-out! Yes, Amal and I both have different textures and different lengths, but a braid-out gives us each our respective looks without much hassle. The key is to avoid using a blow dryer to stretch your 'fro out (or down), since such heat causes major damage and may inhibit growth towards big@ss'froness. Try our method for yourself instead:

  1. Wash and condition hair
  2. With damp hair, apply favorite moisturizer (mine is Elasta QP's Mango Butter), and plait hair into about 6-8 braids*, making sure to twist (not braid) the last inch or so of hair
  3. Let air-dry overnight (or sit under a hooded dryer if in a hurry)
  4. Wake up, take braids out, and enjoy a day of looser, curlier hair
  5. Before bed the next night, moisturize, plait hair in 5-6 fat braids, and leave the last inch or so completely unbraided
  6. Cover with a silk bonnet or scarf (or sleep on a satin pillowcase) and go to bed.
  7. Wake up the next morning, take braids out, pick and finger comb as desired, and enjoy a loose, crinkly, stretched out, big @ss 'fro!

*Remember to fashion your plaits in the direction you want your hair to go. If you want hair that hangs like Amal's, create a part and braid down. If you want hair that goes all round your head like mine, braid in all directions.


Cordie said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm currently transitioning into the fro myself and I was wondering did the two of you cut off the relaxed ends while transitioning or did you rock the TWA for a while? Btw, how long have you two been on your fro journey?

Courtney said...

Hello, thanks for reading and commenting!

Amal has been natural her whole life and has virgin hair (no color and no relaxer), while I cut out my relaxer gradually 4 years ago. I let my hair get about 9 inches long all over before I cut it, so I've never experienced the TWA. I think their really cute on certain faces however, and I would love to rock a short, curly haircut one day. When I was transitioning, I was in high school and I didn't want to deal with immaturity I was poised to face with really short hair. As an adult now, if I had to do it again, I probably would have cut the relaxer out alot sooner, because dealing with 2 diff textures for a year and a half is insanely hard...especially during the summer.I hope that helps and keep visiting!

Anonymous said...

I've been natural since my teenage years and I'm looking for something new. I'd like to know if you've ever tried Miko's salon in DC? The consultation price its self is at a pretty steep price and I'm not sure if it's really worth it. Just wanting a little reassurance if you can give a review, thanks.