5 Reasons Going Natural Will Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Admit it. Black girls will completely forgo any sweat-provoking activity if they’re rocking any semblance of a straight style. Let the dewpoint read something like 65…there are lots of us who will opt to stay in the house or limit our activity to indoor, air-conditioned spaces. Unless, of course, there is a cookout or day party. That changes things a little. Lol. We might go ‘head and make it do what it do.

giphy (2).gif

I don’t care if it’s a 3 week old doobie from 125th, that they’ve most recently transitioned to a crimpy braid out, they ain’t sacrificing it for nobody’s workout. No way, no how. There is, however, a rare breed of us black women who, despite the straight style, will bust a move or two in the gym in an attempt to keep the body nice and tight. In fact, lots of millennials are hitting the gym…in droves. I’d actually venture to say that the spike/increased popularity in fitness may be consistent with the spike in naturalistas. I won’t pretend to have some sort of trend report on this matter but If someone did the numbers, I bet these trends would coincide enough to make a valid argument. Reason being, you aren’t going to pull off the 18 inch peruvian with a leave-out in the gym. Nor will you be pulling off that brazilian half wig. It’s an IG illusion.

giphy.gif

Lots of us have found the natural to be far more realistic when it comes to hitting the gym. Anyway, I know there are some who’re eager to join the fitness wave but you can’t seem to get a handle on your straight hair. I’ll be direct-YOU NEED TO GO NATURAL ALREADY! Here’s why:

  1. Sweating your natural hair out is nearly impossible. It’s already in it’s natural state. Even if you work up a heavy sweat during your workout, it won’t look much different from the style you came with. I normally like to lay my edges and I know I’m not alone. For many of us, if nothing else is laid, those edges will be! Lol. My edges are usually super fuzzy after my workouts and depending on how close to perfect I feel like being that day, I may or may not relay them. Twist outs may frizz up a little bit but you can combat that by leaving it twisted until after your workouts.
  2. Repetitive straightening causeses mad damage and breakage. Not cute. Now think about how much more you’ll have to straighten it after workouts to maintain the straight look you’re rocking-to match your roots to your tracks. Going natural is simply the healthier option for your hair provided that you detangle carefully and nourish your tresses.
  3. You’ll use healthier hair products by default. As opposed to the use of harmful chemicals with your relaxed look, most natural looks call for healthy and nourishing oils and creams. As a matter of fact, natural hair care products generally steer clear of parabens and sulfates that are abundant in relaxed products.
  4. Going natural can be a healthier option for your pockets as well. With most natural styles requiring minimal professional upkeep such as trims and cuts every now and then, you can vastly reduce your beauty spending and you can put that cash towards a vacation or  a weekly shopping sprees at Whole Foods. See how that worked out for you?! Two birds, one stone.
  5. The versatility of the naturalista just cannot be underestimated. You can literally rock a gazillion styles and look flawless. Many of them are a one shot deal and you’re good for the next couple of days or in some cases, weeks. You have the option of rocking a straightened look without the commitment. Not to mention that your blow outs will look bomb because you haven’t stripped your hair of all it’s moisture and lipids thus combating heat damage and split ends to the umpteenth power!

giphy (1).gif

So, let’s move on to styles, shall we! When I consider my hairstyles, one of the biggest considerations is the maintenance. I’ve found some tried and true styles that work wonderfully with my active lifestyle:

 

Let’s begin with the snatchback. It takes a few days for my edges and puff to take flawless formation but once they do, it’s all gravy. I use water, olive oil and my eco-styler gel to achieve the waves. The rest is me in all my nappy-headed glory. I can literally wake up in the morning, re-apply some water and gel and be on my merry way. I hit the gym, work up a tremendous sweat and won’t have to do a single thing besides finger my edges back into place.

My micros are by far my favorite workout style. I literally left these things in for an entire month. Add to that, I did them myself. It started out of sheer boredom. I then found myself on a three day mission to finish my head. I was braiding on the bus, on my lunch breaks, on field trips-it was bad. But once I finished, it was all good. I could wake up and literally GO! Working out was a breeze because I didn’t have to give my hair one inkling of thought aside from, of course, my edges. Lol. They were a b**** to take down but the style gave me so much freedom that I didn’t mint at all. Peep that glorious braid-out, too! Worth it, all worth it. It might also be worth adding that I rocked that braid out for about a week. So, yea, the micros were a 5 week style. Lit.

The two-strand twist back is arguably my signature look. I have yet to come across a naturalista who can rival my version of the style and believe me, I would give credit where credit is due. I’ve gotten it down to a science. I condition the crap out of my hair first, because this style requires some thorough detangling if you like it neat, like I do. Then I place my part, normally it’s down the middle because side parts make me look like someone’s great auntie. I then sop my crown with my handy dandy eco-styler gel and olive oil combo. I usually use a generous amount to avoid fly-aways. The next step is to take a soft bristle brush and lay my crown down. You kind of want to lay it so much so that the waves begin to sprout. Once they’ve appeared, I can begin twisting. Start with a teeny, tiny amount near the edge and progress back. Remember to carry the twist down the hair line to establish a little bit of a crown look. This style can usually last me 5 days provided I’ve tied my hair with a silk scarf at night. Workouts are a breeze with this hairdo and I normally get a few compliments per day.

The twist out is…well, it’s a twist out. We each have our own version of this and although they’re super tricky to perfect, they are a good workout option. Reason being is that you can manipulate your twist out into a lot of different styles once it’s had time to set. You can do a high pony, a low pony, half up with half down…the options are abundant. I usually go with what the workout calls for at the given time.

20160625_183016-1 (1).jpg

It was hard to tell me sh*t when these things were in my head. Lol.

Anybody transitioning for fitness purposes? Drop your stories below and do tell if you have any tips or workable hairstyles for us fit chicks!

 

 

So He Hates Your Natural Hair…What Does That Mean?

On the surface level, it means he ain’t the one. But on a deeper level we must acknowledge that there are many men (and women) in our communities who share the same perceptions of natural hair. Nappy, unruly, unprofessional, child-like, lacking sex appeal, just to name a few.

natural hair memes 10

Our society has made hair a qualifying or disqualifying factor in beauty and femininity. I remember growing up as a child and seeing ads for Vidal Sassoon or Herbal Essences and wondering why there weren’t any brown girls rubbing suds in their hair? I recall being 7 or 8 and laying in the bathtub while immersing my hair in the water, watching it gather around my face like a sea of tiny black ants and thinking to myself “Ooh, look at my hair. It’s so pretty and long!” I remember having length contests with my friends, stretching my neck and arching my back while pulling my plaits down. I can recall times when my mom would put beads on the ends of my braids, giving me an extra swinging affect that made me feel ultra cute. I also remember what it was like getting my first perm. I had begged my mother for it on countless occasions and I would often try dropping a Just for Me box in the grocery cart. When the day finally came, it burned like hell. I had scars and odd patches of matted hair in places. It was quite the process but when it was done, I had the softest, slickest edges, humidity-proof curls and I looked like the little girls I’d see on television. I felt like I had arrived!

Back then things were much simpler and it wasn’t until I began to really mature and become self-aware that I realized what I had been conditioned to believe about myself and my hair. When I decided to go natural, it was because I had been permed for so long that I’d not only forgotten my real texture, but I’d forgotten what it meant to love my God-given appearance. For years I enjoyed compliments on my wraps or roller sets but what was missing was the knowledge that I was being appreciated in my natural state. That I embraced and appreciated my natural state. It took me a while to come to the decision to wear my natural hair. I toyed with the idea but as I got older it became more and more important to me to see myself…on the daily. I wanted to see what I’d look like with no color, no flat iron, no blow dryer, no contacts, just me.

I’ve found so much power in embracing my natural state. Re-birthing my hair was, in some ways, a rebirth of myself. A rebirth of Jasmine. Of course, not everyone is aware of what most naturals go through daily to relearn their hair (for big choppers or those transitioning), the countless hours on sites from Klassy Kinks to Mahogany Curls looking for a texture match to get tips, then the time we actually spend doing our hair. It sucks that when we finally present our manes, some (not everyone) in our communities make comments that are insensitive, ignorant or flat out rude. I acknowledge that people are entitled to their preferences. But I’m not talking about preferences today. My intention is to bring awareness to the affects of what I will call “natural-shaming”. Examples:

“Oh, you should straighten your hair for interviews.”

“Its pretty but its just so wild.”

“That style looks a little ghetto.”

“You look like a little kid.”

“I hate when you wear your hair natural.”

“Your bush is wack.”

“Looking like a light-skinned Celie.”

2af6574c9c26553dbbcbdad2dbe35d4c

For all the adjusting one may endure in an effort to reach this particular type of self-acceptance, ridicule from others in our communities, especially the men we date, makes the adjustment all the more trying.

 

If a Black man disapproves of your natural state, can he really love you? A better question is does he love himself and his people? That is the question I pose to my readers. Not rhetorical. I’d really like to hear your opinions.

Drop comments below!

xo,

Jazz