When Function Meets Style
Hair that works — in the gym and the office
by chioma nkwodimmah valcourt
Fall is a time of transformation and it’s not just the weather. From fashion to hair and the changing leaves, it’s all about transformation. During this time, too, women often ask about the best hairstyles. What they’re really asking is whether they can transform into the images they see in media. Or when they see their favorite celebrities pull off amazing looks like Rihanna’s siren-red hair and wonder: “Can I look good with that hair color?”
Whether going from licorice black to fire-engine red, long to pixie short or from natural to textured hair, you should consider both fashion and function when making a change. Balancing nature and nurture is just as relevant to your hair decisions as it is in other areas of your life.
Permanent color and bleaching alter the physical property of hair. A single process is safer than a double process or mixture of chemical services. Different types of hair react differently to chemicals. Natural hair, for example, takes color better than chemically-treated hair. Factors to consider when coloring are damage, porosity, density and texture.
Highlights are subtler, grow out more gracefully and are easier to maintain. If going from dark to blonde, start with highlights to create that golden halo affect. Color should only be applied to healthy hair. If your hair is damaged, give it some time to rebuild. Instead, add hair extensions in the color you desire to create highlights.
Longer locks: Do a health check on your hair. If damaged, cut your hair into a style that fits your personality. It’s important to consider comfort and the ability to rock your style with confidence.
To help protect your hair from occupational hazards, natural elements, chemical straightening and heat processing, go with hair extensions, which give hair time to restore.
Long to short: If your hair is healthy and you want a change, get extensions at any length and achieve your favorite short cut without making a permanent commitment. For a really sassy short cut, get your long tresses braided in tiny sections flat to your head, and then add extensions to the braided base to the length of your desired style.
Changing Texture: If your exercise routine is intense, it makes sense to create more textured styles such as weaves, curls and crimps; they’re easier to maintain when working out several days a week.
Changing hair regimen to fit your workout routine: Something as simple as changing the day you get your hair done can make it easier to tackle a vigorous workout. Tailor your hair appointment around your workout regimen. If you’re working out on the weekend, get your hair done on Monday or Tuesday. By the time you finish exercising, you’re close to your scheduled appointment.
Accessories: Explore the bejeweled, colorful and feathered hair gems to add flare on a pulled back bun or curly look. In the process, ease the stress of maintenance.
Black and Brown women are fortunate to have so many options. Take the time to consult with your stylist, even if you’ve been going to him or her for years.
Taking care of your health and body does not have to mean ending your stylish hair.