I’ve let the Ask Afrobella questions stack up too high. I apologize. Allow me to get back to Afrobella basics.
I post this photo with a disclaimer: it took me a LONG time and a lot of back and forth discussion before I decided to post this photo. I don’t aim to be one of those sites that regularly features photos of myself. But the photo kills two birds with one stone.
1. For all of you who have asked, what did your hair look like straight? Here you go. This was my big chop, pretty much. Never looked back after that.
And 2. This photo helps to answer this Ask Afrobella question from a reader named Nichelle.
With the “wedding season” quickly approaching do you mind doing a post giving tips that would relate to us afrobella’s getting married or that know someone getting married? Specifically hair tips and make-up. I’m getting married this summer and I have no clue what to do with my hair!!!! Currently I wear a curly free form ‘fro, but for my wedding I’d like to do something extra special. Most bridal magazines have styles for white women, women with relaxers or loose flowing curls, which doesn’t do much for me. Yes I know my wedding is a few months off, but I’m really stressing about my hair! Any input from you would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Nichelle “nikki j”
Believe me, Nichelle — I know how stressful wedding planning can be!
This photo of a photo (we didn’t have digital cameras at that point) is from our wedding five years ago. As you can see, I didn’t follow the wedding trends. I got married in bronze sari fabric, and I cut my hair off before the wedding. And I wore dyed-to-match ballet flats — the dress was so long you couldn’t even see my shoes anyway. My point is, forget the sameness that’s being shoved down your throat in the typical bridal mags, and do YOU.
Your wedding is the one day that you are the center of the room. You are the star of the show. The eyes of the room are constantly on you. So I say play it to the hilt and rock a tiara. Why not? When next will you get to wear some fabulous, over the top hair accessory?
My tiara was a loaner, and my dress was designed by Meiling, Trinidad’s most amazing designer. You can see some of her older work here, and here, with images from Caribbean Fashion Week 2004. I’m not sure if Meiling made the tiara herself, but I know it was made of copper and seed pearls.
If you’ve got a longer free-form ‘fro, maybe you want to pull some of the hair back in a chic, romantic up do with a few artfully arranged, loose curls around your face.
For a hippie wedding, a flower could be the way to go — get a fake one at Claire’s, or pick a pretty real one from a local florist. Trim the stem short and use a bobby pin to make sure it stays put all night long.
If you’re doing something more elegant, a hair pin could be the way to go, and the hair berries by Spipo designs could make for a memorably gorgeous wedding day ‘do. A cluster of hair berries costs $20, and single berries cost $10.99. Plus, if you e mail Rickina, the designer, she can create a custom color and design for you.
If you want to go bold and fabulous and ethnocentric and dramatic, go for one of Brunsli’s Hair Ties. They range from $12 to $28, and are just FABULOUS. I have one — The Bella, natch! And when my hair was longer, I loved wearing it. (I just got a special haircut last Saturday, so look out for a giant post on that next week!)
Brunsli’s hair ties are unique, and really work well for women with locks. Her jewelry is made of shell mosaics, amber horn, and abalone. She’s got amazing how-to-wear photos and more hair ties on her blog.
Look at the Jade Dragon, and tell me that wouldn’t make for a fierce and unique wedding day hair accessory. It’s bold, brave, and most of all, memorable. I’d rock that with pride.
If you don’t want to go the accessories route, I’d suggest you find a hair dresser who loves to work with curls (NOT the kind who looks at you in horror when you enter the salon), and get them to practice some alternative styles — demonstrate some updo options, or maybe try twists, a twist out, or fingerstyling some of your curls into Shirley Temple spirals with a gentle and moisturizing gel for a different look. Deva Curl Arc Angell is utterly amazing and will leave your curls springy, super defined, and replenished with moisture. (Lots more on Deva Curl next week!)
Afrobellas have just as many options as anyone else when it comes to wedding day hairdos. However you choose to work your look, Nichelle — live it up and make sure you feel comfortable and look the way YOU want to. It’s the perfect time to show off your fabulous ‘fro and make your own unique fashion statement through your hair style!