Spring is starting to give what it's supposed to give and that means it's time to get your house in order. Shoes, accessories and clothes are just some of the things we are standardizing as the temperatures reach new heights. More importantly, we are preparing for the hairstyles that will match the spring fare.
One thing about Black women, they don't play about their "HAIR(itage)". We spotted this term on Yara Shahidi's Instagram and it perfectly encapsulates our love for donning queen-like hairstyles. It represents who we are: change-makers.
When thinking of our HAIR(itage), we can't help but appreciate the way our African lineage plays a major part in how we continue to redefine our beauty through our tresses. Braids have been on trend since before trends were a thing. We are talking B.C. – before Christ, not before coronavirus. Dating back to the days when Queen Nefertiti ruled, braids have served as a form of art. Each strand is steeped in feminine power and unique creativity. To this day, they continue to empower us to wear our crowns boldly. While you have natural inspiration flowing through your veins, we are here to help with what's popping this spring. Ahead, find nine braid styles that have been lighting up our braid-ar.
Not only did Nhyira abuse us with her melanin but she also snatched all of our edges with this knotless braids style. Knotless braids are one of the most popular braid styles with its convenience and flexibility. Because it does not include the small knot that starts at the root like traditional box braids, they don't put as much tension and stress on your hair. This queen went for a classic half up-half down style and it is perfection.
Caleb went for the knotless style but made it her own with curly coils in a bob form. The honey gold hue of her braids complements her skin like magic. The two single strands in her face is giving us 90s sitcom vibes and we all know that those were the best of times for style and hair.
You heard our sis! The category is spring so it's time to let your creativity bloom. Butterfly clips are wildly nostalgic and while TikTok will have you thinking it's a new trend, it's been around for decades. You know a Black woman started this trend too. This aesthetic brings back so many memories. One of my favorites was going to the beauty supply store to cop the latest butterfly clips. Ugh, those were the days!
Can you believe Emani created this beaded braid look all by herself? She's basically superhuman at this point. It takes real skill to cornrow your own hair and also braid individuals in the back. This style shapes her face like a dream. It's a simple style but the beads elevate it to the highest of heights. Cornrows and beads have been popular since the 70s and we don't think they are going anywhere any time soon.
Courtesy of Morgan
Straight backs are the old faithful. Our ancestors provided us with a hairstyle that has withstood centuries and we couldn't be more thankful. It might be one of the most prolific styles across time, genders and cultures. Morgan decided to add extensions to hers for length but she could also rock this style with her luxurious natural hair. We recommend this style for your upcoming vacays once the world really opens up.
Looking for a sleek and chic braided option? Dineo is showing exactly how to pull it off. The braided pony is one style that can be worn for various occasions. No more excuses for not working out because you can literally hit the gym, shower then hit up a happy hour with this style. See the way it has Dineo glowing? That could you be you, boo.
Yordanos has put us on to a whole new style with this hybrid creation. This is what happens when jumbo braids meet bubble curls. According to Yordanos, this style was a mistake. The 2 a.m. adventure left her with the wrong packs of hair so she made the best of a tricky situation. It's really the way she innovated a whole hairstyle for us.
Tribal braids on Chey is all the inspiration needed. So much so that she inspired me to get this style. After searching the gram for my latest 'do, I found this photo and it was love at first sight. The color and the length exuded all the strength and flair I desired. Best of all, I can create various looks with this style to do some shape-shifting.
This list wouldn't be complete without our very own hair goddess, Krissy Lewis, in these Pop Smoke-inspired braids. The cornrow style occasionally uses the stitch method, where the hair is sectioned into thin or thick horizontal lines using braiding hair. Since the rapper made the style popular, it has been trending upwards for months. Krissy is a whole mood with this style; we have added it to our list of must-try styles.
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Featured image via Yara Shahidi/Instagram
Joce Blake is a womanist who loves fashion, Beyonce and Hot Cheetos. The sophistiratchet enthusiast is based in Brooklyn, NY but has southern belle roots as she was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Keep up with her on Instagram @joce_blake and on Twitter @SaraJessicaBee.
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 nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images