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Reader Q&A: "How Can I Style My Natural Hair for My Wedding?"
Calling all naturalistas! Do you have urgent tress questions? If so, you're in luck. Our ESSENCE natural hair experts will be solving your curly hair conundrums! Submit your questions by emailing them to BeautyEditors@essence.com.
Today's guest editor is Tamika Fletcher, natural hair expert, stylist and salon owner.
READER QUESTION: Hi Tamika! I'm getting married in June and want to wear my natural hair. The ceremony is outdoors and I want to wear my hair down but I'm afraid that it'll fro out immediately! Are there any options for an elegant styles that will withstand the humidity? Please help! —Lykia
A: Congrats on your upcoming wedding, Lykia! I certainly understand you wanting to wear your fabulous curls on your wedding day, but as you are well aware, natural hair can have a mind of it's own. Here are my top 10 tips on how to find a style you love while flaunting your natural flair.
1. My favorite go to look for brides is an elegant pin-up with blown out hair. If you wish to wear your hair straight, a blow out is the best option because it will give you an elegant look, while still maintaining some texture.
2. Leading up to the big day, avoid over-conditioning your hair. If you're going to deep condition or steam your hair I recommend conditioning three days before your big day as soft hair, is more vulnerable to frizz.
3. Avoid gels and leave in conditioner because they both contain a great deal of water, which, of course plays a major roll in frizzy hair.
4. If you'd rather flat iron you're hair, be sure to set the temperature at about 275, to ensure a safe, effective flat iron. 275 is the perfect temperature if your afraid of loosing your natural curl pattern.
5. If your wearing a curly afro, a braid out and coconut oil will sometimes hold better curls than a two strand twist out. Adding texture with twist or braids with before pinning up hair will help prevent frizz.
6. Before your big day make time to speak to a professional stylist. Make sure your stylist understands your vision. Bring along your headpiece, a picture of dress etc. Details such as if your planning a destination wedding or an outdoor wedding will play a part in your stylist recommendations.
7. When searching for pictures of style examples you are looking at the shape of the hair not the texture. Curly hair can be transformed with as little as a light blow dry to safely stretch curls. I've styled straight hair and curly hair into the same shapes.
8. While in transition blending hair can be a challenge. Hair extensions can be worn to blend textures for naturals in transition . There are some great curly/afro hair hair extensions that can be clipped into place to blend textures or add volume to buns or soft tucks. Brush out your choice of curly hair extensions and add wig clips for a simple snap in to add invisible volume to hair.
9. Short naturals should try adding texture with small twist that give hair volume without the stress of losing shape or style definition by the end of the day.
10. My top pop picks for fighting the frizz on your wedding day are Ojon Rare Blend Oil and the Deep Brilliance Blow Dryer by CHI.
Tamika Fletcher is a natural hair expert and co-owner of Natural Resources Salon in Houston, TX. Fletcher has traveled across the country educating consumers on natural haircare and DIY beauty. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.