A summer to rock your natural hair

You don’t need expensive weaves to be on trend this spring, with tattoos, undercuts and colourful braids all the rage, writes Omeshnie Naidoo because pretty is the new strong.

The warrior princess isn’t all dressed up in matchy matchy clothes with bows in her hair, but is rather a strong independent girl or woman.

It isn’t about being overtly athletic, so much as it is about being a bit more carefree and confident with who you are.

The notion is driving trends that are seeing women celebrate who they are – going for no make-up, natural hair and everyday clothes. And it’s seen women play around with what they have.

Super short hair, no problem – razor cuts often sported by guys – allow you to show off designs or hair tattoos.

Snegugu Mgwaba and Ahrens Hair Kollection at Point Bay say there is an array of patterns to choose from online, from V-shape to sunflowers and lightning bolts.

“You can also add colour to really emphasise the design. You don’t need to have very short hair either. Many women who have been nursing natural bobs are opting for undercuts – that allow them to keep their length but shave off a little hair near the nape of the neck or on one side of their head.”

Mgwaba says there are women who like their weaves and that’s fine, but the prevailing trend this spring and summer is colour and one of the easiest ways to do this is with braids.

“You can find braids in all lengths and textures and these days a wide variety of colours. We’re seeing a lot of grey and maroon. Wear them in a bob or super long.

“Artificial dreadlocks are also popular.”

Fay Abdulla at Hoi Polloi in Musgrave says both these looks are combined with razor cuts.

“It’s not uncommon to see half a head of coloured braids worn in a Mohawk with a razor cut on one side.

“Natural hair and definitely shaped, more structured hair is making a statement right now, but you’ll find women change it up often.

“We should remember that hair is very fragile so the process is important, take care and avoid excessive heat. If you’re going for colour, imitate the ombre look, fading one shade into another along the length of the hair and if you’re braiding, try the outward braid or Dutch braid this summer.”

Check yourself.“Before even getting this haircut, you need to ask yourself if you’re willing to deal with the growing-out process. It’s such a pain in the ass to grow your hair back long again, The process can take a full two years.

Invest in the strength of your strands.“The best way to grow out an undercut starts with maintaining the health of the hair,this will save your time and prevents you from going back to the barber again and again.

Vitamins are a great way to speed up the process.“Hair vitamins are pretty much the only way to get your hair to grow faster,” says Capri. I’ve seen major results in three months.

Embrace the in-between.You’re not going to have Rapunzel locks five minutes after you decide you’re over your undercut, so settle on a sharp transitional style you feel good about. “That’s how Demi decided to do the bob. It was a good way to get the rest of her hair to catch up to the short sections

Scissors aren’t the enemy.“Short hair can get very bushy as it grows, so  periodically dust the ends and trim.

Color can help.There’s an idea that a wild new hue might damage your strands, making the goal of long hair drift even further into the horizon. But according to Capri, dyeing your hair well has no ill effects. “As long as you’re getting it done with a proper colorist and they’re using products like Olaplex, you’re not going to damage your hair at all,” she says.

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