I’m a black girl with short natural hair. I’ve kept it in the same style for the past two years, and I feel like it’s time to try something new. I don’t wanna get a weave or relax my hair, though, and I still want to keep it short. Got any tips, ideas, or suggestions? —Leah, NY
It can be hard to find cool styles for a TWA (teeny-weeny afro) because we don’t have enough hair to do the cool up-dos and such that you usually see on YouTube and Pinterest. But short hair doesn’t have to be boring. Depending on your desired length, you could pull a Lupita with tapered, practically buzzed sides and a fauxhawk on top:
That way, your hair will still be short, but it’ll have dimension—sort of like when longer hair is cut into layers. Based on your preferences, you can dress up the ’hawk many ways, including a twist-out or your favorite headband.
You could also try a rad temporary hair color. Check out this DIY by Indigo about this very thing. Creamy eyeshadows also help to create a dramatic look that you can change anytime you want (without a super ton of chemicals)! Check out some cool tutorials here or right here:
Finally, if you ever want texture without having to use a straight-up texturizer, I recommend Paul Mitchell Foaming Pommade, which really transformed my TWA. Get your head wet and massage the formula throughout your hair, swirling pieces into curls with your finger. It creates an awesome, piece-y look that will take your normal style to the next level. Other useful products for you and me are a nice leave-in conditioner (I like this one) and a putty (here’s my favorite) that you love and trust. Hope that helps! —Chanel
I am a mascara fanatic! I can’t go a day without swiping on some black lash paint. I’m good about removing it every night, and I’m really gentle about it, but I still sometimes pull out a lash or two. I want my lashes to be thick, but they seem to be thinning! Any advice on how to NOT pull my eyelashes out? —Bella, 14, Washington, D.C.
First, be aware that some lash fallout is normal: Like the hair on your head, eyelashes have life cycles, and eventually need to replace themselves. This article breaks it all down, PLUS ALSO includes the following quote: “Because each individual lash is in its own phase of the growing cycle, it’s normal for a few lashes to fall out most days.” They grow back, though, unless you pick or pull at them significantly, and if you’re doing this, see a doctor—you might have trichotillomania, which, HI! I do too! If your lashes seem to be thinning a lot without your strident help, though, get thee to a dermatologist.
Ruling out those scenarios, here are some other things to consider:
Are you using an actual eye makeup remover, or just soap and water, me beautiful Bella? If it’s the latter, make it the former! Since makeup removers remove mascara quickly, they’re way easier on your lashes and, added bonus, your skin! Just put some on a cotton swab, tissue, or clean washcloth, and delicately swipe at your face until the makeup is gone, then rinse with water. I like this funky little jammer, as far as products go.
Now: What kind of mascara are you wearing? Waterproof mascara is more difficult to remove than regular, so you might be putting extra stress on your lash follicles when you try to get it off. The same is true of old, clumpy mascara that causes your lashes to stick together and form a hardened mass, so throw away your chosen “black lash paint” (yes, even if it still “seems OK”) and re-up every three months. Also, be sure to use an eyelash curler before, not after, you apply mascara. In any case, I’m sending love to you and your lashes! I bet you will both be fine—but I bet that EXTRA hard if you go see a specialist about it, comet head. X ARS ♦
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