One thing about Black women, we change our hair like we change our clothes. While I might have a new hairstyle every time you see me, what I love most about our textured coils is their ability to transform into a multitude of creations. Flexing our God-given versatility, it's only natural for those not familiar with the culture of Black Hair to be in awe of how often we create Black girl magic in the salon chair. Now that we're enjoying the summer outdoors, there are so many 2021 approved hairstyle trends I've been dying to try.
Protective styles are essential to preserving our delicate curls as well as a fun way to express our creative freedom. Not all seasons are created equally, which means during extreme hot or cold weather, it's best to find the most manageable hairstyles in each circumstance. Guarding our hair from the sun to prevent heat damage, there are plenty of hair do's to choose from. From 2000 era throwbacks to classic looks that withstand any decade, here are the hairstyles you'll want to try this summer.
1. New Age Ponytail
A super chic look this summer, this creative take on a waist long ponytail by hairstylist Rosa Coleman is one of my favorite looks for summer. This updo is snatched to perfection, perfect for warm weather. Hassle-free and easy to manage, a slicked ponytail can be achieved using minimal to no heat with extensions matching your natural texture to achieve this look.
2. Butterfly Locs
Butterfly locs are a type of faux loc styled using the crochet method where strands of hair are looped into a braid using a crochet needle, loosely wrapped to give it a distressed/unraveled look. This Bohemian style has grown in popularity over the years and is perfect for an effortless summer look. Chopped short for a bolder a-line look, these lowkey locs are high on the list of must-try styles.
3. Passion Twist
One of my personal favorites, passion twists are a sweet alternative to the popular 90's style box braids. Two strand twists are another low-maintenance boho-inspired protective 'do that looks great all summer long. Perfect for black women of all shades and hair types, this is an easy eye-catching look you should want to try.
5. The Alicia Keys
Dani Leigh, @iamdanileigh
Whether straight back or a customizable design, it's never a bad idea to wear cornrows in the summer. Resurfacing is the early 2000 era aesthetic and it's making its way back into our everyday looks from head to toe. The famous zig zags and reverse braiding method made popular by singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, are having a moment yet again and I'm absolutely here for it. The mood is exciting and I can feel the creativity in the air. Have fun with your look this summer with a bold new look.
5. Textured Coils
As a huge advocate for natural and healthy hair, I'm inspired to rock my God-given curls this season. Our strands deserve to live young wild and free, which ultimately gives our hair and scalp a break from stressful tension. A wash 'n go is one of my favorite styles to wear all-year long. It's always the perfect time to be natural.
6. Textured Bob
One of the chicest hairstyles is the bob. This sharp cut with an edgy a-line is trimmed to perfection. Stopping just above the shoulders, this is a sharp alternative to long locks and helps to stay cool this summer. I love a textured look, especially to avoid extra heat in my hair. Summer gives drama, texture and boldness so our hair should match accordingly.
7. Half Up/Half Down
Nailah French, @nailahfrench
I love half up and half down hair moments. This updo is a classic style that looks universally good on everyone while adding a spark of youth. A sleek natural look makes this hair choice a winner, keeping it out of your face and easy to manage. For extra texture and length, add curly extensions to blend with your natural hair.
8. Bantu Knots
Cute and quirky Bantu Knots are always fun to wear. Easy to style, this can be a DIY look for anyone to try. Complete with swirls of baby hair and you'll be sure to catch compliments all day wearing these textured mini buns. This artistic hairstyle will always be an expression of black hair and Afrocentric culture at its finest.
Featured image by Getty Images
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s people who perform songs, and then there’s performers, and let me tell you something: Victoria Monét is a PERFORMER. I first fell in love with her as an artist after hearing her hit song “Moment,” and then when her album JAGUAR was released in 2020, I was hooked. JAGUAR was one of those albums that I kept on repeat as I and the rest of the world were going through the motions of being in a pandemic. I remember watching her perform her single “Jaguar” from the album on her YouTube channel, and the way she performed so effortlessly with such confidence, I knew I had to see her live.
Luckily, I got the opportunity. Along with dropping JAGUAR II, which features the viral single “On My Mama,” Victoria also announced The Jaguar Tour, and as soon as the tickets dropped, it quickly sold out. I attended her Atlanta show at the Buckhead Theatre, and besides being met with a sea of concertgoers from wall to wall, my ears were immediately hit with a beautiful voice from none other than Alex Vaughn, who opened for the mother of one. Once Alex finished her set, it was time for the main event.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
As soon as Victoria stepped on stage, it was hers. She commanded the room with her sultry voice and hypnotic dance moves, performing songs from albums JAGUAR I and II and previous projects such as Life After Love, Pt. 1. Fans were singing her songs word for word to the point where, at times, you no longer heard her singing. However, it was clear that she was in a room filled with love and support, and she also showed it back on stage. The singer rarely took breaks in between songs and dazzled fans with her smooth moves that is reminiscent of the legendary Janet Jackson.
One of my favorite moments was when she performed “Cadillac (A Pimp’s Anthem).” She dressed in a trench coat and fedora, complete with her pimp cane, and another big moment was when she performed “Stop (Askin’ Me 4Shyt)”. Overall, it was nice to vibe out to live performances of some of my personal faves like “Ass Like That,” “How Does It Make You Feel,” “Alright,” and “Big Boss.” In a recent cover story for Galore, Victoria revealed what she hopes concert attendees walk away with.
“On tour, I really wanna give people the best version of Victoria on stage, better than I’ve ever been before. I’m hoping people have the time of their life at the show,” she said. After working behind the scenes as a songwriter for so long, the California native now has all eyes on her, and it’s clear she was ready for this moment.
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Feature image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images