Hair From Around the WorldOur features are what distinguish us and make us different. Hair is one of the leading features that can tell a lot about a person, like where they might be from or an inkling of their personality. Our hair allows us to express our uniqueness and gives us the freedom to be exactly who we want to be. Have you ever thought about the significance of hair in other countries? Or ways to represent your culture through different hairstyles? How about appreciating the popular hairstyles around the world and trying some of your favorites? Sometimes we forget that our hair is more than just that. Within the kinks and curls are meaning and history. Get the scoop on all of this and more with the following global trends I’ve put together for you!
United States of AmericaHair for African Americans started out as a struggle in the U.S. As there were no materials here for proper hair care, we were forced to explore other options to fix our hair all while trying to conform to European standards. From the invention of hot combs and relaxers to exploring all protective styles and natural hair, we have tested the entire spectrum on what we can do. Today, the most popular hairstyles are wonderfully contrasting on our scale of possibilities.
WigsThe beautiful part about wigs is that you can change up your look at any time. Whether it’s a short wig, long wig, straight or curly wig, it's all up to you! A protective style, wigs allow your real hair to take a break from heat or chemicals to give it a chance to flourish. It is more convenient and easier to care for your hair while wearing a wig than a weave. It’s also super fun to have control over how you want to look at any time. The way the wig game is changing, you can wear a wig that looks as real as your natural hair, so if you haven’t tried it yet I suggest you should! Wigs can be for everyone, too. Some choose to wear wigs on special occasions only whereas others wear theirs daily. As quick as it is to install, there are many ways to secure it depending on your needs. For example, someone who wants to put on a quick wig that will not require too much work can easily secure it with bobby pins. If you know you’ll be moving around and cannot trust the strength of bobby pins alone. Another option is a wig grip band that literally grips comfortably to your hair or skin. For wig frontals that are longer lasting, many either glue or sew it in for maximum security, even to be able to wear the wig up in ponytails or any updo styles.
Big ChopAs many women are accepting their natural hair, many others are completely starting over with the big chop. Getting rid of damaged hair can be difficult since we all desire length. But we should also remember that good hair is indeed healthy hair. And honestly, the healthier your hair is, the faster and more fuller it will grow. With the big chop, there are endless styles to choose from to try. Depending on your personality and hair type, you can choose styles that complement and enhance your features. There are short styles that are classier and others that are edgier. For cute, timeless short styles, shoot for natural curls or tapered cuts. They are simple, but with colors or designs they can stand out. If you're looking for something that stands out, consider a pixie cut or pin curl style. Both can be played around with colors too, but they're already bold on their own. Maybe you’re a little nervous about cutting your hair a certain way, did you consider trying a wig to see what you’d look like?
South AmericaIn Latin countries, most women have natural hair already. Those with looser curls tend to have longer and fuller hair already. As society tells us that too long hair and too curly hair is unprofessional or messy, we want to continue to challenge that stigma. There’s just something so naturally sexy about Latin women and there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if your hair is naturally wild! No matter what your hair looks like, we are promoting curly hair all across the spectrum. As we flourish with our beautiful curls, we can style it beautifully at any length.
Short/Medium hairFor shorter and medium hairstyles, developing a curly hair routine is perfect for achieving defined curls that bounce and hold. Besides, the bigger the hair, the better. Because we are mostly talking about looser curls (between 2B-4A), a quick and efficient way to achieve flourishing curls is through a wash and go. Now, the frequency of the wash depends on your hair alone so it may be weekly or biweekly. You should shampoo and use a deep conditioner, but every day you can refresh with a little conditioner and water. Either air dry or plop with a t-shirt/microfiber towel to reduce frizziness and style with a curling cream or gel for definition. I would also suggest considering the LOC (leave-in conditioner, oil, cream) method to allow your hair to stay moisturized and defined all day. The type of products you use should also reflect your hair type and porosity. You want to use lighter products to avoid buildup with low porosity hair. Heavier oils and butters for high porosity hair will retain the moisture.
Long hairLong hair in many native South American tribes symbolizes health and well-being. To grow hair longer than you can imagine, you need to stay consistent with keeping your hair washed, moisturized, and free of split ends. To keep the hair healthy, wash with a gentle shampoo and moisturizing conditioner. For the moisture, find oils or butters that work well with your hair type. As far as trimming, every 6-8 weeks is ideal to ensure the ends are healthy, as it is the “oldest” part of our hair. Pay attention to the ends of your hair while you're taking care of it as well to keep them strong. Stay away from heat and chemicals as they hinder growth. Do not use cotton pillowcases or towels either, as it pulls hair. Commit to taking extra good care of your hair 24/7. Our hair likes to stay unbothered. One of the ways tribal women would ensure their hair would grow was by keeping it in braids to let the hair be. Maintaining braids back in at least two cornrows are good for the hair because it keeps it from frictional hair breakage. This usually occurs when hair gets in contact with objects like clothes or even people. Perfect for any season, wearing braids are good for keeping the hair safe all year round. The best part about the braids is taking them out and admiring your beautiful braid out!
AsiaPeople tend to forget Asia itself is made up of hundreds of cultures and trends that we can learn from and about. Today, I see a lot of Asian women finding themselves through hair. So if your hair is always straight, consider some curls. If you've never dyed it, what are you waiting for? Interested in testing your hair growth potential? What if you’ve never cut your hair before? It's 2018, and we are looking for new, bold styles that flow with our souls! Never be afraid to step outside your comfort zone because you’ll never know until you try.
PersonalityIf you’re wondering what style to try next, consider looking for hairstyles that describe who you are. For example, if you want to display that you are fun and approachable, try coloring your hair red or blonde! Darker colors will allow for a little more mystery. Longer hair says you’re carefree whereas shorter cuts show determination and strength. Straight hair is for the perfectionist, and curly hair is for the lively woman. Even the way you part your hair can tell a little about who you might be. Side parts give off softer, sweeter vibes while middle parts bring more serious, sexier looks. Play around, find what you like, and continue to express yourself in various ways.
Bald CutsAlthough it is wonderful to see more women shave their heads completely, it doesn’t remind me only of empowerment, I also think of tradition. Something that is new to some is old to others. In Africa, the reason young school girls would shave their heads and wear uniforms was to lessen the distractions and keep students focused on academics rather than their appearance. There’s nothing “manly” or “ugly” about a woman’s appearance if she doesn’t have a head full of hair. You can shave your head to get rid of damage, but you can also shave it off to simply start over and appreciate your crown just the way it is. When you type in bold hairstyles in the search bar, the first images you see are of women with buzz and bald cuts. One of the most empowering things a woman can do is to shave her head. Go ahead and make a bold change this year and enjoy the low maintenance as well. Spend more time focusing on your goals, getting your health right, and more. The hair will come later, and even better!
Hair Accessories and DesignsSome of the world’s finest hair jewelry and styles originated from Africa. The Fulani tribe across West Africa was infamous for braids that included beads, shells, and other family pieces that symbolized heritage as well as for aesthetics. Today we also see many modern styles of hair accessories from pieces to designs in the hair that can take your hairstyle to the next level. So no matter your style, whether braids, locs, or even natural hair, you can individualize your hairstyle. Being able to represent your background simply with a hairstyle is one of the best ways you can show who you are. Individual braids, locs, and twists are the best style to accessorize because the strands allow you to add things like clips/rings, yarn/string, and more. African traditions would call for symbolic hairstyles, which is how designs came in place. They were also used to send a message to others about one’s identity. So send a message through your designs. They can be subtle or loud, depending on what you like. Regardless it’s daring and can give an edge to your look.
Colorful HairIn Australia, they are making sure this season is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and finding the color(s) that match your persona. With endless options to choose from, you can choose vibrant colors or soft colors. Many celebrities are choosing rose quartz for example, which was last year’s color of the year. Experimenting with colors is possible for everyone, the key is to find colors that fit well with your skin tone. So since pastel colors are better for fair to medium skin, medium to dark skin can lean more towards vivid coloring. The only thing distracting about colored hair is if it's done wrong. Do not also forget to pay attention to placement as well. Sometimes it is not the entire head that needs to change color, but rather adding highlights/ombré can still give the illusion of color while still looking dynamic.
“Wispy” BangsBangs are amongst the most lively hairstyles that come in many different variations. They are defiant because they are short and free. We wish for our bangs to stay how we intend them to, but life happens, and that’s not always the case. With intentionally messy, wispy bangs, you can stay mysterious and fun at the same time. If I lived on an island, my hair would be just as carefree as me! To achieve wispy bangs all you need is length and fringe. Bangs should be long enough to lay just below the brow. They can be feathered, tapered, or cut to create the fringe. Depending on the exact look you are going for, adding layers can be worn well straight down and to the side. Messy hair allows more freedom to change up a style with no work.
Blonde Hair, No Matter Your SkinWe are now seeing more dark skin girls either dying their hair blonde or wearing blonde weaves/wigs. I'm so here for this! For so long, we have heard that if your skin is dark, you cannot have blonde hair or even do things such as wear blue contacts, but who says blonde hair and blue eyes are exclusive to certain ethnicities? Blonde hair also comes in shades, so depending on your skin and its undertones, it isn’t difficult to find the perfect shade of blonde that will accent your melanin just right. With the proper research between you and your stylist, you can find the blonde that’s best suited for you. Some of the most popular blonde styles seen on people with dark skin are:
- platinum blonde (which contrasts the skin beautifully)
- dark roots/ombre (for a smooth transition)
- honey blonde (highlights that help enhance the blonde look)
- bronde (brown mixed with blonde for the subtle blondie)
- ash blonde (the edgy, spirited blonde)
Jaw-length/Blunt CutsWhere are the people who live for low maintenance hairstyles that are searching for new options? As some people love long hair, many others prefer short hair any day. Like me, I love styles that are quick and easy, but doing the same routines over again can get boring. It seems now that the most daring hairstyles are the shortest ones. A blunt, chin-length bob can give off so many different vibes. Whether it’s a punk, professional, girly, edgy, or a simple look, you can achieve it all through different styling. Friendlier and more fun looks are curly hairstyles while sharp, neat looks are with straight hair. You can create your look by knowing the image you want to go for. With quick styling, you can switch up with ease.
Global StylingNo matter who you are or where you are from, your possibilities to express yourself are endless. As this is a new year, try something exciting with your hair that you’ve never done before. Step out of your comfort zone and ask questions. Remember, your hair is your garden, so you need to nourish and take care of it. Doing your research can help you find the best way to care for your hair and to lessen the chances of trying styles you might regret. Learn about different people’s customs and traditions and see where most of the world’s favorite styles got their inspiration. Make your statements with your hairstyles and find a signature look. Don’t be afraid to be yourself!
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