Let’s Meet Instagrammer: Shanilla26
Her Instagram name is Shanilla26 in honor of her eldest daughter, but her name is Soraja pronounced (So-ry-a).
Soraja is a mommy of two whose hair posts of her daughter’s beautiful styles on Instagram gained her Instagram fame and more than a few shares on other favorite social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. Soraja currently has 283K followers and counting that tune into her Youtube and Instagram to see all 840 posts dedicated to her haircare and hairstyling journey with her daughters Shanillia and Janelle.
What Has Made Soraja’s HairGramming So Special?
Soraja’s hairgramming has set her Instagram apart because of her informative and quick posting style.
Soraja aka Shanillia26 posts multiple times a week, and she makes sure to include the tips that moms are scrolling and hashtagging to figure out on Instagram or other hair enthusiasts wants to know. In all of her posts, Shanillia makes sure to post how long the style typically takes, the products used, where she got her accessories from and a bonus which is the catchy songs used for her videos!
Soraja’s Instagram also gained popularity because of her adorable daughters, the eldest Shanillia and her little sister Janelle. The girls are always featured rocking different looks and recorded enjoying all of their mother’s visions for their hair.
While both girls have long, healthy hair, they have incredibly different textures and tastes in accessories that make it fun to watch their transformations week to week.
Shanillia’s Unique Hairstyles
Shanillia is the eldest of the two sisters and has 4C hair. 4C hair has a tighter curl pattern, is usually a dark brown color and is thicker and coarser than other textures. Before styling her hair is often stretched or blow dried.
Style 1: Bantu’s And Braids
The Look, Bantu’s and Braids:
I loved this fun hairstyle for Shanillia. Her hair braided in three directions, and instead of ponytails or twists at the meeting of her braids, her mother finishes off the look with Bantu knots in a straight line across the length of her head.
How To Achieve This Style:
To get this style Shanillia’s mother to blow dried her hair then sectioned it off into four equal parts. She then sectioned off enough hair for two braids just above the ear and braided those sections forward. Next, the middle sections of the hair braided towards her ears. The hair in the middle of Shanillia’s hair gathered into four small ponytailed sections then twisted and made into Bantu’s going across. The last part of her hair braided into individuals.
To polish off her Bantu’s And Braided look add some beads to the braids bordering her ears. And one individual in the back was given a golden thread. The style took 2.5 hours to complete and was posted May 17th.
Style 2: Natural Triangle Braids with Gold Accessories
The Look, Natural Triangle Braids with Gold Accessories:
This style is regular ‘poetic justice’ braids a few sizes smaller created with Shanillia’s natural hair and jewelry placed throughout her hair.
How To Achieve This Style:
To get Shanillia’s look the hair must start off freshly blow dried or stretched and then parted horizontally across the length of their head. After making a straight horizontal part, make multiple slanted parts throughout the hair sectioning to make ‘triangle shapes,’ securing each section with a rubber band for security. Each portion of the hair is braided down to the end of the hair, with the steps repeated until the entire head is braided. The style completed with Gold hair clips, golden thread, and gems placed on each braid purchased from Ali Express. The Triangle Part Braids posted on March 1st.
Style 3: The Black Unicorn (Named by Shanilla!)
The Look, The Black Unicorn:
It’s composed of braids lining the sides of Shanilla’s hair and Bantu knots going down the middle like a Mohawk.
How To Achieve This Style:
Shanillia’s hair was saturated in curls moisture curl Gelle to add hold to her hair, then sectioned into three portions, the middle part is the largest. On both sides of her head, she gets two cornrows backward that meet into one larger corn-row. Then the middle of her hair is section across into four equal parts that are then twisted and turned into Bantu knots. To add some color to her style, she has ‘Satin Rainbow Cord’ attached to the endings of her braids from Ali Express.
Janelle is the younger sister with hair just as long and beautiful as her older sister! She has slightly less dense 3B hair which means she has a looser curl pattern and her hair has a lower porosity.
Style 1: The Jasmine Style
The Look, Jasmine Style:
In this style, which gained its name after the princess in Aladdin, Jasmine, Janelle’s hair creates puffs in a straight line back down the middle of her head.
How To Achieve This Style:
The Jasmine Style on Janelle was created by creating two parts to make three equal vertical sections of hair. Next four horizontal parts were designed on the scalp to give even sections of hair. Janelle’s hair then tied in rubber bands in the middle of each section and then pulled into the next part and continues throughout the hair until the ending which can be left straight or curled. This style is beneficial because it is quick to create, low maintenance and requires little braiding, twisting or pulling. The Jasmine style posted on June 16th.
Style 2: Zig, Zag, Bun!
The Look, Zig Zag, Bun:
Janelle’s Zig Zag Bun style brings together creative parting, buns, twists and braids for a unique and refreshing look.
How To Achieve This Style:
Janelle’s hair sprayed with CurlyQMilkshake, and then CurlyQMoisturizer was distributed throughout her hair before being brushed out. Then starting at the nape, her hair parted in a ‘zig-zag’ pattern. Afterward, each section was secured using a rubber band and intertwined together to create a glowing upwards back like the jasmine style but smaller. The front was then sectioned off with one braid coming forwards dropping above each ear and another braid centered down the middle of her head braided towards the back. Then finished with two buns to top off the style. This style posted on February 8th.
Style 3: Kids Sideways or Lemonade Braids
The Look, Kids Sideways or Lemonade Braids:
The sideways braids have been made famous after Beyonce’s visual earning them the name ‘Lemonade Braids’ and also seen on Nicki Minaj in the Motorsport video.
How To Achieve This Look:
On freshly washed hair, the hair is parted starting from either the left or right side and braided until the hair ends at the opposite side of the head. For Janelle’s braids, the back of her hair plaited to the right, and the front braided slightly forward. The braided style on Janelle took one hour and posted on January 2nd.
Many of the girl’s styles are left in for a week or a week and a half.
The girls also have ‘break weeks’ after wash days when their hair is shampooed and treated and then placed in loose buns, afros or chunky twists to allow the hair to breathe from all of the styling and products.
The girls are currently both wearing individuals with added kinky hair that matches their hair texture as closely as possible for the last month of summer as a protective style!
What Kinds of Products Are Used to Create These Looks?
The products used on the girl’s hair varies between each child because of the differing needs of their hair. Often they use products from Curls.biz websites such as the Milkshake serum, or the hair moisturizer to add softness and shine to their hair.
Since Shanillia and Janelle are different people with two different hair textures who do not get the same styles at each period, their hair needs varying products at different times to compensate for each person’s need for moisture, less tension or extra hold.
Why are Shanillia’s and Janelle’s Hair Textures Different?
Another thing that makes Soraja’s page so interesting is the relatability.
As the youngest of two girls, I know that the struggle of having a texture different than your sister can be like! My sister has always had long, thick, jet black hair while my hair was shorter, thinner and brown. Talk about opposite ends of the same pole! It’s hard on the parent to switch up hair care, styles and work with what each kid has. Additionally, it can be hard when both girls are unable to rock the same styles.
However, it is a huge mistake to assume that all of your kids or you and your siblings, whether girl or boy, will have the same hair. Shanillia and Janelle are sisters, their voice, walk, and fingerprints are different, and the same goes for their hair. Just like siblings can have varying skin tones and eye colors, they can also have different hair textures like Shanillia’s 4C and Janelle’s 3B hair.
Soraja has thick hair that sits just above her shoulders, and it’s evident that her girls both inherited their hair from their mama! However, siblings hair can be different even though their genetic makeup consists of the same mixture, each person’s genetic coding is different and will produce their physical qualities.
Hair is apart of the body and is an extension of the skin, so it is incorrect to assume that all siblings will have the same hair length, properties or texture! This varying texture does not have to be a negative thing.
As individuals, each person is allowed to figure out what styles and products work best with their hair and experimenting is always fun!
What Is Important To Shanilla When Styling Her Daughters?
Not only is Soroja’s page flooded with informational and fun to watch videos.
But her photographs of her daughters drip with real tinges of the struggle of maintaining natural hair, as well as the plight of mothers instilling self-confidence in their children at such a young age.
In addition to teaching good hair practices, they learn that hair is not everything in spite of their dutiful hair journeys. Her messages are aimed to showcase her variety of styles, teach good hair health and give mothers and daughters the same reassurance in their self-image and hair textures.
The most critical objective in Soraja’s posting is to ensure that she can show people that you don’t have to be a cosmetologist to provide healthy hair for you or your children. As well as the enjoyment that a family can have together when bonding over hair!
Lastly, a strong message in all of Soraja’s posts is that hair growth, and strength takes time to develop and that parents should express patience and care when dealing with their children’s hair health.
Furthermore, it is apparent that she wants people to know that although she runs a hair page dedicated to children’s hair that ‘good hair’ is not the essential thing in life to have.
Obsessed With This Family’s Hair. Where Can I Find More?
In addition to their Instagram Shanillia26, they have another page ShanilliaandJanelle and a Youtube with longer full-length videos and Q&A’s on the channel Shanillia26.
I recently stumbled upon their YouTube, and I am in love. The videos are more extended versions of clips that she has posted on Instagram and break down the process of proper hair care that includes videos on how to take down braids, ways to avoid breakage and how to maintain hairstyles.
As well as videos on completing these original styles that Soraja has created for her two girls!
How A HairGrammer Like Soraja has Changed The Game
Soraja dedication to ensuring that her daughter’s hair is matching their personalities, strong, beautiful and always growing! Soraja’s videos of her daughters make doing hair for others fun, realistic and easy to follow.