The Dreaded "In-Between" Phase: Fashion for Your Natural Hair Funk Stage
I’ve been natural almost four years now, and you can bet I’ve experienced my fair share of funky hair stages. You know — the point in your journey when it’s a little too long to be considered a cute TWA anymore, or the period when there’s some too-long-in-the-back and too-short- (or too shrunk) on-the-sides-mullet action going on. I’m currently going through this phase (*stretches out sides of hair*). I’ve been through — and am still going through — it all.
How am I coping, you ask? How have I maintained the slayage that was once exclusively reserved for my coke-can-melting, creamily cracked tresses? (Insert hymnal, “Aaahhhhh.”) That’s right —with fashion.
Sure, there are a myriad of hair style demonstration tutorials flooding YouTube-Land, but there aren’t many channels dedicated to the fashion side of enhancing one’s natural mane. And I don’t know about you, but I’m getting quite restless with perusing the internet for bomb “natural hair and fashion” looks; only to haphazardly peek at my phone’s clock and realize an hour of my time has flown by.
So, I’m here to do (some of) the work for you, and share what I deem to be some essential wardrobe staples and tips to get you through ANY stage of your natural hair journey. Cue ranting and possibly too many Solange visuals for reference:
Pretty obvious stuff here, but when it comes to spotlighting your natural hair, décolletage-enhancement is the hail Mary of prime Black girl magic occurrences. Everything from statement earrings, to chokers to nose rings (real and faux) are going to be your best friends. Additionally, incorporating statement pieces like quirky and bright colored handbags and shoes is highly encouraged.
What's Working: Bold sunnies, poppin' lips, off shoulder top slayage.
What's Working: Them earrings, tho'.
Shameless plug. It's me! What's working? Statement earrings, bold lip, detailed sleeves and neckline!
Yes, you read that right. Basic wardrobe pieces are to a fire natural hair look, as edge control is to them laid edges of yours. The trick with pulling off a basic look is the application of the aforementioned statement accessories, or general statement pieces like bold outerwear.
What's Working: The bold-colored trench and textured top along with the statement necklace coupled with the basic mom jeans and sneaker pairing are all solid wins.
What's Working: The statement bag! Also, you can't go wrong with some leg action.
Me again! What's Working: I'm wearing the most basic of basics here. This sort of look would work with any stage of one's hair journey.
TAKE IT OFF THE SHOULDER
An almost always foolproof way to enhance your hair at any stage is with variations of off-shoulder tops or dresses. Whether it’s off one shoulder, or giving the cold-shoulder, or baring it all; you can’t lose with incorporating these pieces into your look.
What's Working: Everything.
What's Working: The stand-out top paired with the bold red lip and simple, yet statement-making hoops.
What's Working: Pulling the look together with the teal green clutch is, well, clutch.
A successful natural hair look is ultimately all about balance. Marry that off-the-shoulder top with your most flattering, non-stomach-suffocating, high-waisted jeans, a pair of your baddest, heeled-boots, and proceed to pronouncing yourself bad and bougie natural.
What's Working: The statement top paired with the matching silver heels, tied together with the coral lip is pure gold, or in this case, pure silver.
What's Working: When it comes to the balancing act that is fashion, Solange always wins, hands down. Not a lot of people can pull off polka dots, let alone in three different colorways. Why does this look work? The white shoes pulling from the white dots in each of the pieces, brings everything together.
What's Working: Again, everything. Don't be afraid to try out bold looks.
With the weather being all topsy-turvy, this suggestion is still relevant, OK? Successfully achieve that Solange-esque, how do you always seem to pull it off, natural hair ensemble with smart layering techniques like pairing a basic tee with a strapless dress and a statement coat.
What's Working: Funkiness. Funkiness is working. Don't be afraid to get a little funky with your layering.
What's Working: This is how you layer not-so-basic, basics.
What's Working: Pattern-mixing can work if layered just right.
JUST, GET A BIT RISKY
All in all, a successful natural hair journey (if there is a such thing) is a matter of tons of trial and error. For me, the choice to go natural was the catalyst for trying all sorts of new things with my hair, my makeup and my style in general. You’ll eventually grow to find things that work best for you and your newly embraced coils.
Now I’m curious. What do you do to enhance your natural hair? How have you been coping through your journey?
Leave a comment below!