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Afro and curly hair blog with news, reviews, opinions and tutorials from journalist Lynda Moyo.

How to make long hair into a short box braids bob

Lynda Moyo

boxbraidsbob

NO CROCHET! NO SCISSORS! After some thought and Youtube searching, I figured out a way to make my mid-back length hair into a short length chunky box braids bob and I love it! It was so easy (only took around 3-4 hours) and you don't need anything other than some small elastic bands and kanekalon hair cut to your desired length. 

 This is the length of my natural hair when straightened

This is the length of my natural hair when straightened

The ombre hair I used is latchedandhooked.com. It's the three tone colour number 53 braiding hair (price $10:99 per packet). I used 1b dark brown kanekalon hair underneath by Dream Girl. Full video tutorial below.
 

How to tie a perfect African head wrap

Lynda Moyo

DSCF4097.JPG

I bought this head wrap from Sunu Ker ages ago but everytime I wear it I always get asked how I wrapped it so well and if it took a long time. The truth is I do it very quickly and it's so easy - anyone could do it with the right scarf and know how. 

Below is a tutorial of how I wrap my hair up perfectly in less than two minutes...

I highly recommend the head wrap I used from Sunu Ker - prices from £7.50. It's a real high quality fabric (100% cotton from 100% cotton straight from a Senegal fabric market.) and comes in the perfect shape - a long rectangle - with a label to mark the centre. You start by placing the label face down at the nape of your neck. Then get wrapping!

Ombre braids hairstyle for 2018

Lynda Moyo

ombrebraidsmainimage.jpg

Ombre box braids have been a rising black hair trend for sometime now thanks partly to Beyonce’s Lemonade which showcased so many amazing braids styles. 

I think ombre braids will continue to be the hairstyle for 2018. However, when I’ve looked in my usual afro hair shops in Manchester, I’ve never been able to find the natural, sun-kissed, well-blended ombre braiding hair I dream of. 

Luckily for me, a fabulous 100% woman-owned and black-owned company called Latched and Hooked have been admiring my braids styles on Instagram from afar - 4,000 miles to be precise, they are based in Atlanta in the USA but ship worldwide! They offered to send me some hair from their vast collection so I could share my results with my followers. Mission accepted!

Watch my full video tutorial below and scroll further for questions and answers about this look…

What is this fabulous braiding hair?

The hair I used for this natural looking hairstyle is from the Latched and Hooked Braid Collection. The hair is from their curated line of custom dyed synthetic textured braiding hair. 

The colour I chose is a three toned ombre number 53 and it costs $10.99 per pack. There are a lot of different colour combinations on their website from the natural to the completely whacky! Rainbow colours are really trendy right now too and Latch & Hooked has the entire spectrum! 

How many packets of hair were used?

I chose to do my box braids quite thin and I left the ends out to copy that Zoe Kravitz style that I love so much. I used a tiny pinch of hair per braid and it’s because of this that my whole head only required 2 full packs of hair. I had lots left over which I will use for a future style. A little goes a long way when you do very thin braids.

ombrebraidinghair.jpg

What products did you use under your braids?

I moisturised my hair using Blue Magic - this is a product I used to use when I was a kid and I've recently started using it again because my hair grew to my waist back then!

How long did it take to finish these braids?

I braid my own hair by myself and I never do it all in one sitting. I like to take my time and do it over a number of days. This probably took me about 15 hours in total. But when you break that down over 4 days it’s actually not so bad! And you can always hide the stages with head wraps - my favourite are from Sunuker, (another woman-owned black-owned company) - and by cleverly disguising the unfinished sections by tying it up in a bun. 

How do you seal the ends of the braids?

I don’t seal the ends when they’re this thin. This hair has a nice textured grip to it so it doesn’t slip out anyway. 

How did you get the braids to look wavy?

I wore these braids straight for Christmas and then in the New Year I wanted a new look so I made my braids into two chunky braids and then dunked them in boiling water. I dried them off and undid the braids and voila - wavy hair!

 Dunk the two big braids into boiling water (be careful). Pat dry then undo and the waves will stay.

Dunk the two big braids into boiling water (be careful). Pat dry then undo and the waves will stay.

How often do you need to wash these braids?

Personally I don’t wash my braids. This is personal choice. I have no issue with leaving them to marinate in their own natural oils for 4-6 weeks (lol) but some people don’t like doing that. 

How long does this braids style last?

It depends how well you look after them and how good the hair is - a lot of synthetic hair gets matted and tangled quite quickly. This hair is high quality and lasts well so I will leave this in for 6 weeks.

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Would I recommend this braiding hair?

This is some of the best braiding hair I’ve used. It’s really soft, the colour is very natural looking, blended perfectly like a true ombre and also it did not tangle up too much. I thought it was great value considering I only used 2 packs and didn’t waste any hair due to tangling. I also feel great knowing I’m supporting a black business woman by using this hair which sounds corny but it’s the truth, go listen to Family Feud ;-)

Want to recreate this style? Buy ombre braiding hair from Latched and Hooked.

Follow me on Instagram @maneofyourown.

 

My homage to new Vogue and Adwoa Aboah

Lynda Moyo

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This is my homage to Edward Enninful's new Vogue for December 2017 and cover girl Adwoa Aboah.

Why have I recreated this cover? When I was younger I didn't see a reflection of myself on the cover of Vogue. 

What's worse is I never questioned it either. It was just a given. British, brown-skinned freckled girls did not belong on the cover of fashion magazines. 

In fact, only 12 British Vogue covers over the last 25 years have featured any black women at all. That's roughly one every two years. That's unacceptable. And THAT Guardian interview with former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman is inexcusable. 

Of those 12 covers, it's also worth mentioning that only two black models (Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn) have graced the cover of British Vogue alone. I fear even worse for the statistics of Asian women.

But that is hopefully about to change. And it's for this reason the new cover of British Vogue and the changes that have led to it mean so much to me and so many others like me.

 The original and best! British Vogue Dec 2017.

The original and best! British Vogue Dec 2017.

No, I will never be the unique and stunning Adwoa Aboah, but with this cover I see me. Finally, I see me.

The future of this magazine is now exciting and I'm proud to be a new subscriber.

P.S. It's no coincidence that I chose to have my skin and eye makeup done by inclusive makeup brand Fenty Beauty at Harvey Nichols, Manchester for this photo. With thanks to @miss.ilunga. Products used below:

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Alicia Keys inspired pink neon braids

Mr & Mrs Brown-Colbert

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I saw Alicia Keys wearing these braids in Elle Brasil magazine. It's a protective braids style and Alicia Keys really suits it. And so colourful! In total these braids took me about eight hours. I used six packs of hair in total. Three packs of grey hair, one pack of vintage pink, one pack of light vintage pink and one pack of candy floss pink. You can find links to the hair and product I used below. 

Pink3.jpg

Grey hair (colour 60) Janet collection Kanekalon - bought from a shop that is not online! However this is a similar type of hair and colour 

Blue Magic hair & scalp conditioner 

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10 models with afros for Kendrick Lamar's Humble video casting call

Lynda Moyo

afro hair models

I’ve been following the controversy and backlash surrounding Kendrick’s Lamar’s music video for Humble, namely the issues with the lyrics ‘show me something natural like afro on Richard Pryor’ and the video scene featuring a model who, despite being a beautiful, natural and curly lady, has hair nothing like Richard Pryor’s afro whatsoever. You can see the Kendrick Lamar video 'Humble' video here.

I’ve read lots of different opinions on this debate, but the most articulate summary, in my opinion, can be found in the article Kendrick Lamar's 'Humble' and the Erasure of Black Women's Bodies and Voices on the blog Zizzi's Wardrobe. Go read it. She speaks from the heart.

 Image taken from YouTube - Kendrick Lamar 'Humble' video

Image taken from YouTube - Kendrick Lamar 'Humble' video

Following her post, Zizzi and I actually carried on the discussion and both came to the conclusion that it’s the casting directors who are to blame here, as well as the artist for allowing his powerful words to be manipulated in such a way. 

For the record, I’m of mixed race with long hair. Zizzi is darker than me, with the cutest teeny weeny afro at the moment. So in terms of representation, we’re pretty much covering the spectrum of this debate and share the same opinion which is that it’s high time the industry changed its beauty standards.

As Zizzi concluded in our conversation, “for the most part, the kind of girls who fit the description in Kendrick’s lyrics can’t even get their foot in the casting room” and it’s to that end that, rather than chastise the model who was chosen and berate her moment, I want to shine a light on some of my favourite afro hair models who do fit the description in those lyrics and coulda, woulda, shoulda been considered for that line of the song...

Nikia Phoenix

Would you just look at Nikia and her resplendent afro please? Stunning. I follow Nikia avidly on Instagram and I love it when she goes 'live' on there - more please Nikia! She talks about many thought provoking topics. She also runs BlackGirlBeautiful.com and a very fitting quote from the site is “Our textured hair is worthy of adoration. Beauty is not defined by the colour of one’s skin but the way darker skinned women are left out of mainstream conversations about beauty, you’d think just the opposite… Black Girl Beautiful celebrates our melanin, our bodies, our kinky and curly hair and our graceful spirit.’ WORD. Follow Nikia Phoenix on Instagram

 Image from Instagram @nikiaphoenix

Image from Instagram @nikiaphoenix

Karly Loyce

Karly Loyce made history in her debut runway show for Celine autumn/winter 2015, by simply wearing her hair as nature intended. And I just love the campaign she did for them. So natural, so beautiful, pretty much everything Kendrick speaks about in Humble. Follow Karly Loyce on Instagram

 Image Karly Loyce/Celine

Image Karly Loyce/Celine

Alana Henry

Born in Jamaica, raised in Northern England (YES GIRL!) Alana was scouted in a shopping centre at the age of 15. According to models.com, ‘Having racked up quite the e-commerce client base with shoots for Topshop and editorial for Elle and Vogue Italia among others, this girl is ready to stir it up!’ Follow Alana Henry on Instagram

 Image from Instagram @alanahenry._

Image from Instagram @alanahenry._

Herieth Paul

This is the model who posted an Instagram photo of herself alongside fellow models Maria Borges and Jourdana Phillips from backstage the Victoria Secret show in 2016. She wrote: ‘Our singing group is called the #buzzcutAngels #vsfashionshow #vsfs2016 #melanin.’ Follow Herieth Paul on Instagram

 Image from Instagram @heriethpaul

Image from Instagram @heriethpaul

Maria Borges

Mentioned above, Maria was actually the first EVER model to wear her natural teeny weeny afro in the Victoria Secret show in 2015. “I told my agent I wanted to walk in the Victoria's Secret show with my natural hair," Borges told Essence. "I was nervous, but I had to do it. When they said 'yes' I didn't expect it, but I was so happy!” Follow Maria Borges on Instagram

 Image from Instagram @iammariaborges

Image from Instagram @iammariaborges

Lineisy Montero

Lineisy was the only afro in a line of 40 slick ponytails on the Prada autumn/winter catwalk in 2015. Speaking to i-D magazine back then, she said: “I didn't expect this impact, I am just Lineisy Montero, a young girl from Santo Domingo. My hair has never been a question, it's always been natural. I didn't do anything special except walking in the shows. I see now that is a big thing for the fashion industry so I am of proud of it. If it changes the mentality in the business for models like me I would be very happy.” Follow Lineisy Montero on Instagram

 Image from Instagram @vogueitalia

Image from Instagram @vogueitalia

Paula Almeida

Paula chemically treated her hair to make it straight as a teenager but stopped at age 16 according to an interview with frolicious.de. She said “In the modelling industry its all about profiles, for what the brand is looking for to represent their company. So if the client is looking for a blonde girl or a brunette girl I wont fit what they are looking for. But If they want an afro girl, probably I will have some chance. I love my natural hair because it is me! It’s how I am and how I was born. Be yourself, love yourself.” Follow Paula Almeida on Instagram

 Image from Instagram @itspaulaalmeida

Image from Instagram @itspaulaalmeida

Jamelia

I think singer and presenter Jamelia would be absolutely perfect for this video. Kendrick’s lyrics actually made me think of Jamelia and her well-documented journey from weaves and relaxer to her fabulous afro. She actually celebrated her two year ‘annivers-hair-y’ recently and is starting a Natural Hair Series on her Youtube channel which I can’t wait to see. Follow Jamelia on Instagram

 Image from Instagram @officialjamelia

Image from Instagram @officialjamelia

Lilian Uwanyuze

I came across this model randomly on Instagram and I just love her photographs. She's so edgy. According to an article on Okay Africa, her childhood “was enveloped in moments of solitude, surrounded by the deadly chaos in Rwanda. Yet, she overcame this tragedy and blossomed into a colorful personality.” What a star. 

*Lilian is actually in the video already. Duh! Thanks to Nikia for letting me know. However, I would have liked to see her in the afro hair scene for sure ;-)

 Image from Instagram @lili_ann

Image from Instagram @lili_ann

Camille Munn

Camille was one of the models featured in the recent Gucci teaser campaign which appeared looking like some audition tapes. She was asked "What does it mean to have soul?" And she replied: "Part of black culture. I think of afros, the old school flairs, Soul Train.” She is so cute. And she’s British ;-) Follow Camille Munn on Instagram

 Image from Instagram @camille.munn

Image from Instagram @camille.munn