Afro Latina on The RiseAmara La Negra has been a huge topic of conversation considering colorism, music, and hair since the first episode of Love and Hip Hop: Miami. The Miami-born singer/rapper is proud and vocal about her African-roots, afro-textured hair, and beautifully dark complexion. Women that look like Amara aren't usually represented in mainstream media, causing a lot of talk about her appearance. Amara La Negra is beautiful in my books, and her hair is amazing and inspired me to write this article. As most of us know, the natural hair movement has shown no signs of slowing down. With more and more natural hair care brands thriving and an influx of curly-haired influencers, it is no wonder why relaxer sales have declined. Today's natural hair movement has expanded African descendants in Latin America and how they embrace their natural hair and navigate identity politics. For some, wearing curly afro hair is just a simple way to style their hair, but for those who have faced adversity and discrimination, it is a way of reclaiming culture and fighting back against centuries of erasure of Black identity.
Preparing For An Iconic AfroSome may think the afro life is comfortable, but it is not! You will encounter many irresistible urges to take "melanated" selfies, fluff your hair, and spend an extra 10 minutes in the morning trying to get the "perfect" shape. You may also encounter countless women and men begging to know 'how did you get your hair like that?' No worries, just send them the link to this article!
Step #1: WashThe shampoo is one of the most critical steps to achieving a luscious afro. Depending on your texture, if your hair is too weighted down with a product, it will be nearly impossible for your hair to defy gravity! Use a moisturizing shampoo like SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine shampoo to remove any built-up dirt, oil, and product from your strands.
Step #2 MoisturizeIt is critical that you infuse your hair with moisture before styling. The way you will moisturize your hair will vary on your hair texture and curl pattern. If you have very fine hair, use a lightweight leave-in conditioner with a light oil for shine. If you have very coarse hair, you can use a thicker moisturizing crème and shea butter for shine.
Step #3 StylingUnless your mother blessed you with a full, perfectly shaped afro naturally, you will need to do some styling. Amara La Negra's afro is giant, round, with a few spiral curls. Depending on your hair texture, you can create a similar look with a few techniques:
- Perm Rods
Twist and Curl
- Bantu Knots
Step #4 Maintaining an AfroFiguring out how to manage your afro will require trial and error. Here are a few night-time maintenance techniques to try:
- Pineapple Method
- Jumbo Twists
DetanglingWhen wash day comes around, and it is time to detangle, use these three steps to ensure you don't rip or break your hair:
- Wet Your Hair
- Detangle from Ends To Roots
- Take Your Time!
How To Thicken Your AfroIf your Afro is looking a tad see-through, you may want to add pieces to make it appear more full. Private Label Extensions has beautiful kinky 4c natural hair clip-ins that you can add to your natural hair to create a bigger, fuller afro.
Installing The Clip-insI recommend ordering Private Label Extension's 4c Natural Hair Clip-ins that are 18 inches long. Use a paddle brush and blow drier to lightly blow out the clip-ins until they match the texture of your natural hair when blown out. Section out the nape of your hair and clip the rest up. Clip the two clip weft into the nape section of your hair. Section out another medium-sized horizontal section above the previous section and clip the second two-clip weft into your hair. Repeat these steps as you continue up and around your head. Once you're done installing clip-ins, style your hair with perm rods, twists, or Bantu knots. Always twist your natural hair into the extensions for a seamless blend.
Wearing WigsBelieve it or not, Amara La Negra often wears a wig to rock an afro. Although she has beautiful, thick, long and healthy hair, she admits that keeping up a perfect afro is difficult, so she prefers wearing extensions. You can quickly make a wig or get a sew-in afro with Private Label Extensions Brazilian Afro Kinky Bundle deal and a matching closure. There are many wig making tutorials on YouTube, and if you don't feel like making a wig, you can always have a talented stylist construct one for you. Viola, instant Amara La Negra afro!
Growing Thicker HairIf you aren't one to wear extensions often, there are ways to thicken your hair over time naturally.
Thickening ShampooDid you know that your everyday products like conditioner, scalp oil, and leave-ins can clog your pores, blocking your hair from growing? Over time our everyday products sit into our pores and prevent hair from growing in as thick and as fast as it could. Thickening shampoos can alleviate some of these issues by removing the build-up from the pores and stimulating hair growth. Let's take a look at some excellent thickening shampoos.
- OGX Thick and Full Biotin and Collagen Shampoo
- Avalon Organics Biotin B Complex Thickening Shampoo
- Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo