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The Hairstyles Naturalistas Herald As Their Go-Tos When It's Hot Out

I reached out to 6 of my favorite naturalistas and got the tea on their go-to style when it's hot outside.

Hair

While summer is by far my favorite season, I hate worrying about my hair during this time of the year. The extremely high temperatures and humidity usually have my natural hair doing everything but what I need it to do which is just sit there and be cute. This summer (well pretty much since the beginning of the quarantine), box braids have been clutch! I am no professional but thanks to tutorials on YouTube, I have been able to successfully install box braids. By "successful", I mean they are not falling out. They are far from perfect so if you happen to see me in these streets in my box braids, just make sure you are social distancing––please and thank you.

Rather than torture you with pictures of my box braids, I reached out to 6 of my favorite naturalistas and got the tea on their go-to style when it's hot outside.

Angell

Angell, a blogger, photographer, educator, and business owner, said without hesitation that her go-to style for too-hot days is the top bun. "Honestly it's easy and foolproof. I don't like hair sticking to my face and humidity has a way of taking my curls to the next level in a bad way. I can go from cute, curly fro to, 'Did she stick her finger in a socket?' in less than an hour in humidity."

Follow Angell on Instagram @lifeofanangell_.

Kia Marie

Digital creator Kia Marie shared that her go-to style to stay cute while beating the heat is definitely her signature frohawk. "It takes me less than five minutes to do and with the humidity on 100 in NY, styles just don't stand a chance. Because of this I've been focusing less on perfectly defined stretched hair, so the frohawk is great."

Kia even has a frohawk tutorial on her Instagram page so you can try it at home!

Follow Kia on Instagram @thenotoriouskia.

Melissa Chanel

Lifestyle content creator and blogger Melissa Chanel said that her go-to style when it is hot and humid are mini twists. "[I] love using Cantu's new Flaxseed Smoothing Hair Wax and Flaxseed Smoothing Cream Gel when rocking this look. It's easy and can usually last me for about two weeks. Both are available at Target!"

Follow Melissa on Instagram @melissachanel.

Shiquita

Blogger and content creator Shiquita says that her go-to summer style would have to be some variation of the top knot. "It's the perfect way to keep my thick natural hair off of my neck when I know I'm going to be sweating. I love rocking a top knot with bangs but can't stand hair in my face. So, I prefer to rock it with 'side bangs'. It's not only a cute look but also very functional when trying to beat the summer heat."

Follow Shiquita on Instagram @unconventionalsouthernbelle.

Tiffany

Digital creator and mom-to-be Tiffany Laiben shared that her go-to hairstyle on a hot and humid day is definitely a sleek, slicked-back bun. "I love how it can be dressed up or dressed down. But most importantly, it's out of your way, and there's no hair touching you!"

Tiffany further expounded on her preferred protective style by sharing a brief how-to for those who might want to achieve a similar look: "I make sure to add leave-in conditioner throughout my head and detangle before slicking back into a low ponytail. I then braid or twist the ponytail hair and wrap into a tight bun. You can rock a middle part, a side part, or no part at all with it slicked back. You can also do intricate edges to add some flare to it, and voila! A super easy, chic look!"

Follow Tiffany on Instagram @tiffanylaibhen.

Yvette

When it comes to her go-to hot-and-humid hairstyle, model and content creator Yvette Corinne shared that her choice is a protective style favorite: "Short, chunky 90s braids to be exact!"

Follow Yvette on Instagram @yvettecorinne.

Featured image by Instagram/@thenotoriouskia.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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