Hairstyles for natural hair African American Women

#1
I am new to the dance world and have a lot of unique things about me. First off, I am an African American woman, and second, I have a massive amount of natural (unrelaxed or chemically treated) hair. In researching to see if there were other natural hair African American women dancers, I have come to the conclusion that they are very rare or nonexistent. So that is why I decided to post this thread.

My inability to do the typical low/high buns is of concern to me as a dancer. I have way too thick of massive hair to execute these styles. So what I am pretty much asking is what can I get away as far as hairstyles are concerned with having an extreme amount of thick hair? I do not wear fake hair so wigs, fake ponytails, etc are out of the question. I am very proud of my hair and will not "hide it" because someone else may feel it is not suitable for dancing.


Thank you in advance for your help!
 

middy

Well-Known Member
#4
Maybe playing around with braids? Something like this would be lovely:



I saw a girl competing with super super short natural hair and she was gorgeous, but I guess cutting it that short isn't for everyone.
 

danceronice

Well-Known Member
#5
Style on the right would be kick-@$$ for Smooth/Standard (though I'm guessing that would NOT be cheap.)

For Rhythm or Latin I'd say go with neat natural. You can get away with more hair movement, assuming you can keep it off your face (just like pulled back.)
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#7
Those
Style on the right would be kick-@$$ for Smooth/Standard (though I'm guessing that would NOT be cheap.)

For Rhythm or Latin I'd say go with neat natural. You can get away with more hair movement, assuming you can keep it off your face (just like pulled back.)


Those braided updos costs hundreds of dollars and HOURS to complete, but they last for months.
 
#8
I'm not a fan of braids, but I will go with the idea of just wearing my hair nice, neat and out for Rhythm and make sure it is out of my face. Smooth/Standard is a different story, but I don't have to worry about that now as I will only be doing Rhythm at my first competition. Thank you everyone for your suggestions!
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#9
Is your hair of the texture/thickness that would allow it to be "trained" to stay subdued in a ponytail? Meaning brushed even slicked back out of your face and restrained at the nape of your neck?
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#10
I guess I should add that I have a close GF who does and several nieces who used to wear their hair natural. GF has relatively fine-textured hair and has it trained to do everything you could do with chemically straightened hair. The texture is not as smooth, perhaps, but it works out fine.

My nieces were forbidden to straighten their hair before a certain age -- not even press and curl which, incidentally, I would not recommend for a dance comp. Too much sweating. It would be hard to predict if/how much it would revert. Anyway, my nieces, who have shoulder length incredibly thick hair,would style it while wet and smooth it back into a ponytail.

When I wore my hair natural, I kept it cropped very short.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#11
Oh yeah and I should add. Not sure why you choose to stay away from wigs and ponytails, but, IMO, that's probably not a bad idea, whatever your reason. 1)It's very difficult to find a ponytail the texture of most unprocessed African American hair. Texture mismatch = eww, IMHO. 2) If you have LOTS and LOTS of thick, long hair, subduing it enough to fit into a wig cap and under a wig = challenging. It has to be braided or corn rowed (corn rolled? whatever you prefer) to get it to lie flat enough that your wig stays on properly. That's a lot of work and expense for a hairstyle you need to last a day or two.

Also not sure why you're against "fake" hair but what I used, back in the day when I was into competing, was hair weaves. Yep. Super fake. BUT I didn't have to touch my natural hair and I could use human hair that I could style any way I wanted. 12 - 14 inch hair = plenty to create a bun. No problem. Not nearly as expensive as braids, in time or money. Virgin hair underneath being protected from the elements. Just sayin. :cool: If you (or anyone reading this in future) decides to go that route, though, I strongly recommend that you stay away from quick, cheap, glued in weaves. That's a recipe for losing chunks of hair when you take it out.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#12
Oh yeah and the last thing I'll add is this. From my perspective, the ballroom competition world has a LOT of fake stuff in it. Think not? Go peruse the ballroom forum and count the number of threads on tanning, nails, make-up, eyelashes, etc. This is NOT a world in which most people go au naturale. It sounds like you're au naturale and proud of it, which is fine. No idea what level you're competing at or where (and not asking.) Just be aware that there are some very strong conventions in terms of what ballroom women do with their hair. (For example, there's an ongoing conversation somewhere, right now, about whether to wear hair up or down. A LONG conversation. :D)

I just want you to be aware that, at some point, your strong stance may bump up against some of those conventions. Which is also fine. There were quite a few people who didn't like my afro, the three years that I wore it. I didn't much care. But I did have to come to the realization that, regardless of what statement I was or wasn't trying to make, other people sometimes viewed things differently than I intended them to.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
#13
P, if she's got that much hair, I don't see that a wig would be very comfortable (or that she'd be able to stuff it all under one!).
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#14
True.I covered the part about difficult stuffing hair under a wig. (Corn rows help.) I didn't cover the uncomfortable part because,IME, wigs are uncomfortable, no matter how little or how much hair is underneath. You get used to them. That doesn't make them comfortable. :D
 
#16
I have nothing against fake hair. If you or anyone else choose to wear it, then that is perfectly fine. It is just not my style. If I have the hair to achieve the same look as fake hair, whether I straighten my hair, keep it curly or fro it up, I don't see any reason for me to have fake hair. That is all, plus it's just too much of a hassle for me and it is already a tough job trying to maintain the upkeep for my own hair, I don't need to add anymore to it.

I will take you up on your idea of attempting a ponytail while my hair is wet. I actually have not tried that and it may work. My hair is always more manageable when it is wet.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#18
Gotcha. Didn't mean to sound abrasive. I went through a period when I was about your age when fake hair, make-up, and everything remotely similar was off the table for a variety of personal and political reasons. Had no idea where you're coming from.

Yeah. Try styling it wet. :cool::)
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#19
Here's a very, very old thread that I think DM started around the time I joined DF. It's about African Americans n the ballroom world. Interesting, since most of the people participating are not African American. But still. Some interesting theories as to why African Americans are few and far between (but not non-existent) in the ballroom world.

http://www.dance-forums.com/threads/african-americans-in-the-ballroom-world.1471/page-5
 

Siggav

Active Member
#20
Super cute natural hair updo tutorial. I was watching retro hair tutorials when I came across it. It depends on the hair obviously but the concept of creating a bun through rolling under and pinning the ends of a ponytail might work well. Don't need to put the ponytail at the top of your head unless you want to.

 

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