Embrace The Curls—How to Take Care of Curly Hair

It’s safe to say that in most cultures, hair plays an important role in beauty and there is a constant drive to have good-looking hair. We even praise those with “good” hair, but what makes hair beautiful? Growing up in the Latin community, straight hair was the ideal and those with curly/kinky hair had pelo malo—Spanish for bad hair. I, along with many of the women in my mother’s family had pelo malo. Growing up, I would watch them routinely blow dry and straighten their hair. Following the example that was given to me, I learned to hate my curls.

For about nine years, I spent endless hours undergoing heat damage and spent my time researching ways to get straight hair—from heat-less methods to even chemical keratin treatments. I had hair envy to those with a “prettier hair texture.”

One day, however, I noticed how brittle and straw-like my hair was getting. It was not pretty, it was unhealthy. I took it upon myself to aim for healthier hair. This, of course, meant cutting eight inches off of my hair and starting new—saying hello to my natural curls.

Here are the three main ways I learned how to love, nourish, and embrace my curls.

1—Discover your curl type & experiment with products.
 Did you know that there are curl patterns? I sure didn’t. Curl types can range anywhere from 3a-4c—in other words, loose curls to tight coils. On one head you can have anywhere from one to three different curl patterns. Learning more about your curl type is very useful when determining what products work best for your hair. For example, a type 3a curl may be fine with a moisturizing leave-in conditioner, but a 3c hair type may need stronger products to keep their curls defined. Know that not every product will work for you! A major part of this journey is experimentation. There will be a lot of bad hair days before you can find your perfect hair day!

2—Follow empowering people. One of the most beneficial things that made me love my hair was following social media influencers who embraced their hair and were passionate about educating others on how to care for their hair. Seeing someone else passionate about their curls makes you feel confident and sure about yourself. A lot of the hair knowledge that I gained wasn’t from family members, but from spending hours watching and learning from YouTubers who had a hair journey of their own.

3—Patience is key. There have been many times during my journey that I wanted to give up on my hair because maintaining my hair took too much effort. Deep conditioning, wide-tooth combing and diffusing to achieve perfect ringlets often takes hours; however, if it wasn’t for my patience, my hair wouldn’t be as healthy as it is today. Now, my curls are dear to my heart and without them, I don’t feel like myself.

How’s your relationship with your hair? Let me know in the comments below! 

How to Master Effortless Curls for Any Occasion

If I ever came across a genie who were to grant me three wishes, one of my wishes would be to wake up every morning with perfectly curled hair. Unfortunately, this wish cannot be granted to everyone. In the meantime, I have been mastering effortless curls for any occasion in only 15 minutes or less, and make it last for days. This look is perfect for a summer wedding, the first day back to school, or a night out with friends. Read on to see how you can master these effortless curls.

1—Prep. Every outfit needs the right undergarments, every beauty look needs a clean and fresh face, and the same goes for your hair. To start this look it is important to brush out any knots and apply heat protectant, which will help to prevent heat damage to your hair. I would recommend sectioning your hair in at least two sections if you have thicker locks. This will make it easier to grab pieces when you start curling.

2—Grab your tools. The type and size of your curling iron will determine the type of curls you will get. The bigger the barrel, the bigger the curls, and the smaller the barrel, the smaller the curls. For this look, this Fashionista used a one-inch tapered curling wand. This wand creates more of a wave curl as opposed to tight ringlets that a curling iron with a clamp would give you. If you want bigger curls or waves, opt for a 1 ½ inch or 2-inch barrel.

3—Curl away. Begin wrapping one-inch sections or more of hair around the barrel. Alternate which way you wrap the hair around the barrel to give your hair more dimension. It is best to hold the iron in a downward position to create a tapered curl.

4—Spray and style. After you’ve completed curling, it’s time to shake out the curls for a relaxed look. To avoid sticky and stiff hair, switch out your hairspray for sea salt spray. I love this Surf Spray from Bumble and Bumble. This product will help give you more of a beachy texture and still hold the curls just as well as hairspray.

5—Make it last for days. These curls aren’t just a one-time deal. To make this look last two or more days after the initial process, apply dry shampoo to your roots to maintain greasiness before your next wash. Over the next few days, your curls will become more like relaxed waves.

Where do you wear your curled hair? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

3 Natural Ways to Keep Your Hair Hydrated

Growing up, I was always told to use sunscreen to protect my skin. However, I was never taught how to protect my hair and keep it looking and feeling healthy throughout the warm weather. Much like any accessory, your hair can make or break your outfit. If your hair is exposed to the sun’s UVB rays for an extended period of time, then it is more likely to be prone to breakage and discoloration. Luckily, over the past few years (and through trial and error) I’ve learned some tips and tricks on how to maintain my hair’s health year round.

Hot Oil Treatments Are a Must

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “Wait, so you’re telling me the best way to beat the heat is with… heat?” Long story short—yes. Heat helps open up the cuticles of your hair which allows it to get the deep conditioning it truly needs. My all-time favorite hot oil treatment would have to be St. Tropica’s Organic Coconut Hot Oil Mask. Coconut oil is perfect for hydration and also leaves your hair with a luscious, natural shine.

The All-Purpose Avocado

You’ve seen them at grocery stores, on T-shirts at several clothing stores, and possibly even throw in a little extra cash for some guacamole at Chipotle. As if wearing avocado earrings wasn’t strange enough, it turns out that avocados also make a great mask for your locks. Since they are high in protein and carry several vitamins and minerals, avocados play a huge role in repairing dry, damaged hair. To make your very own mask, simply mash up a ripe avocado in a bowl. To create a smoother consistency, you can add a tablespoon of olive oil. After that, apply the mask to your hair starting from the bottom, and rinse out completely about 30 minutes later. Whether or not if you’re into the whole avocado trend, homemade avocado masks are certainly worth a try.

Honey, Please

Being a college student, I’ve learned to appreciate the most cost-effective hair remedies. Someone who suffers from color treated or sun-damaged locks could highly benefit from using honey. This natural sweetener helps attract and trap moisture, allowing any hairstyle to withstand the heat. All you have to do is comb about half a cup of honey into your hair while damp. Twenty minutes later, you are free to wash out the honey completely and style as you normally would.

I know a lot of these remedies might seem (and even feel) a bit weird at first, but trust me they work wonders!

What natural remedy are you most excited to try this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

How Updating Your Naturally Curly Hair Routine Will Boost Your Confidence

Curly hair is beautiful, edgy, and a hassle. For all my naturally curly haired Fashionistas out there, this is for you. Let’s bask in the struggle of accepting our natural beauty by enhancing it, not hiding it. I’ve struggled with my naturally curly hair all my life, but hopefully, my story and tips can help you boost your confidence too.

First Steps

Knowing your hair type is crucial in understanding how to take care of your unique curls. When I search the Internet for curly-hair tips, I rarely find any tutorials that actually benefit my hair. After some research, I know now that I have Type 3 Hair. This discovery led me to beneficial tips and wonderful curly-haired beauty gurus.

I discovered my hair type a little too late in the game, so my hair has definitely been on a long journey, and I’m still learning. Because I was uneducated on how to treat my hair, it did not grow in the past two years. My hair had two awkward layers: the bottom was short and curly and the top was long and stringy with no curl definition. A month ago, I realized this had to change. I faced my fear and cut my hair.

Now that I went shorter, my hair is healthier than ever. I am gaining back my curl definition and hair growth seems possible now. Finding better styling-products was the next step.

I have used mousse every day since sixth grade, but it wasn’t until this summer that I found out the hard truth. Mousse has alcohol in it which dries out natural curls, so for years I was slowly ruining my hair and I had no idea.

1—What products should you use?

My go-to products now are dry shampoos, sculpting crème/gel, wide-toothed combs, and a keratin anti-frizz serum. You also want to look for shampoo and conditioner with water as the first ingredient.

2—Need a little moisture?

Sulfate-free products are always the way to go. Finding a great conditioner is crucial because natural curls are always dying for moisture. My stylist also suggests a leave-in conditioner.

3—Want to avoid frizz?

Try to avoid putting any heat to your hair. However, if you can’t live without your blow-dryer, use the cool setting and don’t forget a diffuser to protect curl-definition. After washing or wetting your hair, do not towel dry, use a T-shirt.

Years ago, I wouldn’t believe I could be saying this but here it is: frizz is not always a bad thing, and you should never feel the pressure to live frizz-free. Embrace your natural curls, Fashionistas!

Since cutting my hair and ridding it of dead ends, I have made way for new beautiful curls. Every day I feel more confident after finding products that actually suit my hair type and letting go of the frizz-free mentality.

What has your hair journey been like? Let me know in the comments below!

7 Reasons Why You Should Try Short Hair

When I tried short hair, I felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders (both literally and figuratively). I always hid behind my long hair; it was like my safety blanket.

When I first discussed cutting my hair short with my friends, many of them expressed concern that boys wouldn’t find me attractive with shorter hair. Some people applauded my bravery for cutting off my hair and said they would never be able to pull it off. But you can and should try short hair. If you’re happy with short hair, then no one else’s opinion should matter. Feel free to redefine societal beauty standards! Here are some perks of having short hair.

1—It’s a liberating experience. I feel like an entirely new person. Short hair gave me confidence and a more professional, polished look. I even feel more feminine with shorter hair. Short hair can be more flattering than long hair as it brings more attention to your facial features. It’s a great way to change up your look. If you’re thinking about experimenting with short hair, a long bob or “lob” is a great starting point.

2—It’s low-maintenance. With my long hair, I was either straightening it or curling it every morning. Now I can embrace my hair’s natural texture. I wake up, tousle and scrunch my naturally curly hair, and maybe add some product to define my curls. Sea salt spray is an easy way to get that beach wave look. Short hair also air-dries incredibly fast. This means I can sleep in longer since I can get ready faster with less styling time.

3—It’s convenient. I never carry hair ties anymore because my hair is always off the back of my neck. I can go to the gym or dance practice without worrying about my hair. It also helps during the summer to combat the heat.

4—It’s fun. Hair flips and dancing with short hair are some of the best feelings. Lighter locks naturally give your hair better bounce and movement.

5—It’s healthier. Say hello to healthy hair. The ends of my long hair were damaged and my hair was always tangled; it looked dry and weighed down. Now, my hair is always voluminous and shiny.

6—It’s cost-effective. Save money by using fewer hair products such as shampoo and conditioner. Getting your hair colored or cut will also cost less with short hair, although you will have to take more frequent visits to the salon if you want to maintain the length of your hair.

7—It’s always in style.There’s something very timeless about short hair that has been embraced by women from the 1920s to today. Just check out these vintage Hawaiian tourism posters pictured below that show the timeless hairstyles of a bygone era.

Summer is the best time to experiment with short hair. Have you tried short hair? Let me know about your experience in the comments below! 

The Holy Grail for Girls with Curls

My hair, my own personal barometer, is like Mother Nature’s mood ring. When the weather is humid, my hair becomes large and kinky. When it rains, my hair calms down. When there’s a drought, or a couple days without washing it, my hair maintains a bun formation even when it’s released from the hair tie. For that very reason, I would like to dedicate this to the broken brushes, the lifeless hair bands, the impossible braids, and the clogged drains. They have done me the valiant effort of taming the beast.

Once upon a time, you wore the tiny moose emblem on your blouse and burned your hair until it was crispy-straight every morning, even if it meant sizzling, steaming, and splitting it. Ironing your hair became more important than ironing your clothes. My ringlets were too challenging to tackle on my own, so I needed my mom’s undeniable blow-drying and straightening powers. The whole process took two hours…so not worth it.

I eventually realized people wanted my hair. Correction—we all want what we can’t have. As desperately as I wanted gorgeous straight hair, some wanted my gorgeous curly hair. I stopped fighting nature and began loving my wild mane.

There was a learning curve that came with balancing my style and voluminous hair. For example, glasses with thicker frames and hoop earrings don’t get camouflaged by curls— instead, they become statements of their own. If accessories don’t exist in your daily routine, you can always invest in quality mascara that darkens and adds volume to your lashes for prominent eyes every day.

Beneath my sink, a graveyard of half-full products becomes dusty, and the liquids within the squeeze bottles coagulate into gunk. Here lays a community of anti-frizz creams, curl shapers, and Hulk-strength hairsprays that just couldn’t do the trick. The long-retired straightener, blow dryer, and curler are all shoved to the back of my little cabinet. On top of the vanity counter is the one product I haven’t gone a day without since elementary school: conditioner.

My Holy Grail may seem anticlimactic, but don’t click away to the dark depths of the internet just yet. My dirty little secret is generic Pantene Conditioner, but you can pull whatever conditioner you normally use in your showers for the following trick. Distribute a generous amount of your go-to conditioner through troublesome areas and lengthy bits. Curl and twirl the pieces whichever way suits you; your fingers are the best tool. Clips can also be used to strategically place each hair where you want them to dry. It’s as simple as that, and my hair has never looked better.

Did you try my trick? Or are you bold enough to comb out your own curly hair? Show us your curly hair pride on Instagram by tagging @CFashionista!

Out of the Office

When I landed an internship at an insurance company for the summer, I was excited to get a taste of the corporate world and spend my days being a “real adult” in dress pants and oxford shirts. Though I’m loving my job, the novelty of wearing professional clothes has worn off quickly, and I look forward to wearing something a bit more me when I’m out of the office.

This look is one of my favorites for a summer night out. I’m an advocate for white denim, despite my unfortunate tendency to spill coffee on myself at least once a day.  White skinny jeans look crisp and put-together at the office on casual Friday with a cardigan and wedges, but with a flirty top and accessories, they transition into a Friday night look. And no, I won’t be following the “no white after Labor Day” rule. White jeans can be styled for any season!

My embroidered peasant top is breezy and colorful (everything that an oxford is not), and works well with my favorite Kendra Scott earrings. I added wedges and a vintage bag in similar cognac leathers to tie the look together.  

When it comes to my hair, I learned long ago that my blow dryer and straightener were no match for the humidity of Wisconsin summers. For the summer months, I’m letting my natural curls do what they do best and giving my hair a break from the heat.  Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk is the best curl cream I’ve found for defining and moisturizing thick, coarse curls.  

Come Monday morning, I’ll be back in my dress pants, but for now, I’m enjoying this colorful, summery look.

What’s your favorite outfit to slip on when the work day is over? Let us know in the comments below or tag @CFashionista on social media!

The Best Protective Styles for Natural Hair

Over the last few years, more women have followed the natural trends by embracing their hair in its natural state. Now depending on the grade of hair someone has determines how much maintenance, time, and effort goes into taking good care of their natural hair.

How do I know this you ask? Well safe to say I’m what I like to call a “Natuarlista,” which is someone who is all about being natural and into wearing their natural hair. Similar to how the fashion industry has “Fashionistas” who are all about fashion, which I also consider myself to be.

Now there are many protective styles for all my natural heads out there. There is the infamous twist-out, high puff or the pineapple, wash and go’s, and flexi or perm rod sets. These styles are everyday go-to’s for a lot of my natural friends out there because they’re not too complicated to achieve on your own, especially with the help of YouTube.

However, with summer upon us, the humidity and heat just do not mix well with natural hair. I’m sure all my natural girls would agree with me on this. So trying to wear your natural hair out in this crazy weather will only result in frizzy and puffy hair. Now after washing, detangling, and using so many products to get your curl pattern to come through just to step outside and Mother Nature just destroy all that hard work? Now that’s just unacceptable.

But no worries. Some summer protective styles that can save your life and definitely time is braids, whether cornrows or individuals, faux locs which is a fairly new trend, and lastly, my absolute favorite, crochet braids.


Crochets are a low-cost style that recently took over the natural hair world before faux locs started to become popular. The style is very easy to install, maintain, and can last you up to two months, possibly more depending on your natural hair growth. I had my crochets installed back in March and just took them out this past Tuesday just to give a time frame. The style is very versatile. The crochet hair comes in a variety of different styles and colors and can be purchased at your local beauty supply store along with the crochet hook for installment.

The steps to achieve this look are as follows:

1—Cornrow your natural hair down.

2—Use the crochet hook to install hair.

3—Style to your liking.

And that’s it! Simple, fun, and an easy way to try something new!

What do you think about the crochet technique? Do you like it, love it, or do you have another favorite protective style for the summer? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to share a photo of your latest protective style social media and tag @Cfashionista!

How I Embraced My Ethnic Hair

In the sixth grade, I learned how to straighten my own hair. By the time I was a junior in high school, I found myself straightening my hair every single day. It came to the point where many people didn’t even know I had naturally curly hair. I believed straight hair was easier to manage and looked nicer than my natural hair. I now realize how damaging this actually is. In a way, I feel like I was trying to hide my ethnicity by straightening my hair. Since then, I have learned to love my natural hair. Through research and using the correct products, I began to embrace my ethnic hair.

Both of my parents are Colombian. My dad has straight hair and my mom has curly hair. This left me with loose curls. Whenever I would wear my hair curly, I wouldn’t like the outcome. This is because I would use the wrong products. I would use things such as a mousse, which was not intended for curly hair. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that my friends introduced me to products intended for ethnic hair. I felt that by straightening my hair I was hiding who I really was. Because of my friends, I became more aware of who I am and decided to wear my hair curly more often and I haven’t looked back since.

I am currently using Coconut Curling Cream by Cantu Shea Moisture. This can be found in the “ethnic hair” section of the grocery store. I get mine from Walmart. While my hair is still damp, I take a quarter size amount of product into my hand. I spread it in my hand and then I scrunch it all over my hair. It is important to switch up the product once in a while so your hair doesn’t become too accustomed to the product. DevaCurl Styling Cream is excellent as well as Sacha Inchi Rescue & Repair Curl Defining Smoothie by Shea Moisture. In addition to the right styling product, finding a shampoo and conditioner intended for ethnic hair helps as well. SuperFruit Conditioner by Shea Moisture does wonders. More along the line, I plan to get a DevaCut, which is when your hair is cut dry and a treatment is put into your hair to help nourish and define the curls.

Each day, I love my hair more and more. It feels much healthier than before and it just took finding the right products.

Do you have some favorite products for ethnic hair? Let us know in the comments below!

Bringing the Beach to the Country

For some of us who live in the Midwest, it is sometimes necessary to bring a little beach to the countryside. This may mean it’s time to switch out those ball caps and ponytails for a new quick and easy hairstyle, or trade in a T-shirt and jean shorts for a floral maxi dress. Bringing the beach to the Midwest is not as difficult as it may seem. It can actually be easy and effortless. Now that summer is in full swing, it is time to touch base with some of the hottest summer trends to create a great look.

One trend that seems to never go out of style is beach waves. This effortlessly chic look only takes a couple minutes but will last all day. No matter what the occasion is, it is impossible to go wrong with loose curls. For this look you will need a one and a half inch curling iron, a light hold hairspray, dry shampoo, and a teasing brush. The key to achieving this look is to use your hands to help give your hair shape and volume. Here are my steps to getting perfect beachy waves!

1Brush out hair.

2Start curling medium sized portions of hair with your curling iron.

3Once you are done curling your hair, shake it out.

4Tease hair with teasing brush and use hands to give volume.

5Spray your roots with dry shampoo to give more texture and volume.

6Shake hair out again and comb your hands through it.

7Lightly spray hairspray throughout the curls.

Now that you’ve got gorgeous hair, what better way to dive into summer than with the perfect summer outfit. For this look I chose to wear a floral maxi dress. No matter what the season is, floral patterns are always trendy. The fun and flirty vibes it gives is perfect for summertime. During summer, I love to wear flip-flops. They are easy to wear and cute. Last but not least, I love completing my outfit with some simple pearl earrings. I love summer style because it is pretty and effortless.

What are some of your favorite summer trends? Let me know in the comments below.