With the rise of social media, Black women are taking control of their strands. Thousands sistas fed up with beauty salon drama, and product-overload have created online communities to teach, share product reviews and support each other in their Do-It-Yourself (DIY) journey to natural, and healthy hair styles. These new networks are go-tos for Black women in search of solutions, style tips, and product suggestion.
HERE'S SOME OF OUR FAVORITES!
Who it’s for: Women who want to wear their hair in all its kinky, coily, and yes, nappy glory.
Why I like it: The site, founded by Patricia Gaines has special section dedicated to tips and resources on 'transitioning'—the critical and nuanced process of going from relaxed to natural.
Overview: Nappurality is for purists, topics often hit on the political aspects of wearing natural hair. Be ready for deep discussion about what it truly means to be nappy. That aside, Nappurality is the reining go-to-guide for thousands.
Who it’s for: Mostly geared to relaxed heads seeking to reduce breakage from over-processing.
Why I like it: There’s a new discussion topic everyday with useful tips and product news. The site is organized and easy to navigate.
Overview: Gennifer Miller, founder of Healthy Textures, reveals the secret to her near waist-length, 4b-textured hair is “stretching,” a technique used to delay relaxer touch-ups (usually done every four to six weeks) for as long as possible to prevent over-processing and retain the length gained between visits. Miller, an MBA graduate, produces online seminars, gives product reviews, and produces how-to video tutorials and DVD’s on everything from how to wrap your hair to roller setting. Miller’s social network boasts over 5,000 members and is growing at about 120 new members per day.
LONG HAIR CARE FORUM
Who it’s for: On this online community, relaxed and natural heads intermix. Get ready for some straight talk, these gals don’t mince words. Feel free to lurk, but if you want to contribute to the conversation, be prepared to fork over the $6.50 membership fee.
Why I like it: The site is totally addictive. Stories of hair growth drama abound, and postings are vigorous. You’ll see lots of before-and-after pictures of members who have successfully grew their hair.
Overview: Ladies on this board share hair growth advice from the mundane to the large (some posters on the forum swear dramatic growth from using minoxidil, an ingredient found in creams to treat yeast infections and athlete’s foot). Members encourage accountability through hair growth challenges, (e.g. the "No Heat Challenge," the "Deep Condition Challenge," and hands down the most popular, "Ovation/Mega Tek Challenge").
YouTube is also a great resource for online DIY videos for all hair types. Check out my favorite how-to here: Two-Strand Twists.