I recently officially launched my line of Anu Essentials Natural Hair Care Products, and it was important for me to look as fabulous as I could for the big event. For me a big event = big hair! I wanted to have big hair, like a big kinky weave since my natural hair is not naturally thick.
My sister w/ Baby Curl Twist and me with my kinky weave – Chubby Twist Weave
What I love about wearing kinky weaves is that because my hair and hairline are very healthy (yes, after decades of braids, Locs and weaves, I have a full, healthy hair line) I can show my hairline off when wearing a kinky weave. Showing my kinky hairline flawlessly blending into my kinky weave, leaves people in awe when I tell them the big hair is not my own. They can hardly believe it. They always say, “No” and I reply, “Yes”!
Care free in paradise with Cornrows
But I had to be realistic. I knew that the very next day after my launch that I would be flying to a Caribbean paradise, with aquamarine, azure blue and emerald green clean and clear waters. Wild horses wouldn’t be able to keep me from getting in that water. And a kinky weave would not work under those circumstances… That would be one, hot, mated mess!
The smart thing to do, get a fly ‘protective’ style of cornrows. I have noticed and noted previously that cornrows are not too popular. Many women wouldn’t be caught dead wearing cornrows, unless the cornrows were covered over by a long, straight weave. I don’t know why cornrows have this bad rap, but here is some of what I’ve heard:
1. Cornrows look too African (well, we are African)
2. Cornrows look too childish (It depends on how it’s styled)
3. Cornrows pull out your hairline (only if installed too tightly or with too thick an extension). Make sure to see a true professional who has years of experience and concern for hair care to avoid this possible malady.
4. I don’t like cornrows, because I don’t want my scalp to show! Hair does come from the scalp and is the foundation for creating dynamic designs. Although, if done right and your hair is thick enough, you can have tiny cornrows that show no scalp.
The truth is cornrows in my opinion are the Queen of braiding techniques because:
Braid Style inspired by Essence China of Rare Braids Salon in Glendale, AZ
1. Since cornrows don’t hang off the head like single braids, they do not stress the hair at your roots. Instead, they encourage the thickening of your hair. By virtue of their composition, cornrows can be left in for long periods of time without any hair loss or worry of your hair dreading or knotting.
2. Even when braided lightly, cornrows give a nice (temporary) face lift, making your skin appear tighter, refreshed and renewed.
3. No matter your age, cornrows do give one a youthful appearance. Next month I will be turning 56 years old and I think my cornrows give me a youthful appearance that I appreciate. I just love that idea, 56 and still wearing cornrows!
4. Cornrows are carefree. All you have to do is oil your scalp a couple of times a week, unless you expose your hair to sea water or chlorine water. Then of course that has to be rinsed and shampooed out of your hair.
After a little wear and tear, cornrows can become a little fuzzy/ frizzy. You can refresh them by lightly adding a little water and gel in your hand, smooth this combo on your cornrows and then brush your cornrows with a soft brush in the direction that they are braided. Follow that up by tying them down for a fresh look in the morning. Honestly, I don’t ever do that at night. I just brush them in the direction that they are braided in the morning and keep it going. While on vacation, I may not even do that.
HOW I HANDLED MY CORNROWS IN PARADISE:
I didn’t do much. After frolicking in the sea and laying in the sun, once I returned to my room, I would just rinse my hair under the shower, use a tiny amount of Anu Essentials shampoo, and using the palms of my hands, I would lightly run my hands along the cornrows creating a light sudsing. I would only shampoo once, then rinse the shampoo out. I would follow that with Anu Essentials conditioner, then I would rinse that out thoroughly. I would lightly oil my scalp (and it would be thirsty after taking in all that sun) brush my cornrows in the direction that they are braided in. You can then tie down your cornrow style, but it probably won’t be necessary at this stage because fresh cornrows don’t frizz up too much in the beginning. But if you want to make sure to keep your cornrows neat, a recap of detailed directions for doing so are below.
So if you’re looking for a carefree style that you can take on vacation, let me tell you Cornrows Are So Awesome! I’ve been back for over two weeks and I am still rocking these cornrows and loving how easy it is to cover my head from the frigid temps of winter in New York. And now that I am back and my cornrows have become a little fuzzy, this is a recap of how to get them to look fresh again:
1. I start by spritzing my cornrows with water and adding Anu Essentials Hair Oil to my scalp and to my cornrows for moisture and sheen.
2. I then place a little dab ( a very small amount) of Anu Essentials Soft Set Gel into the palms of my hand, rub my hands together and then run my hands along the cornrows in the direction that they are braided and then I brush the cornrows in the direction they are braided with a soft bristled brush. And then I tie my hair down.
3. I do this at least an hour before leaving the house in the morning because, my scarf never stays on through the night.
With this 3 minute braid care ritual, my cornrows are refreshed and look like new again and I am still receiving compliments on them weeks after returning from my vacation. That’s why I believe, “Cornrows Are So Awesome!