College Coils

Untold Stories

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In my previous post I mentioned my trip to Belize to visit my family for the holidays. As always, I am absolutely amused by my younger cousins who love their natural hair. So I decided to do a little mini photo shoot with them. They were a pleasure to work with as I styled their hair, and they picked out their outfits. I love that they’re always opened minded to trying new hairstyles styles, even if it means no clips and barrettes. 

At such a young age they’ve already expressed extreme appreciation for their natural hair. Of course, when they’re older they’ll have the choice of deciding whether or not they want to stay natural or try something different. But in the meantime, they’re already absolutely- one hundred percent sure that they’re wonderfully and beautifully made and they’re not required to change that for anyone.

As a young girl growing up, you’re completely targeted by the media (not to mention their aren’t too many people that look like us being popularly represented on tv and in magazines). I completely salute my little cousins, for all of their pizazz and self confidence. Watch out world, these little beauties are forces to be reckoned with. 

Divine (5), Ahnya (10), Ceazia (8)

Filed under Naturalista natural natural hair browngirls brownbabies naturalhairkids youngnaturals blackgirls blackgirlsrock francesca chaney belize dangriga collegecoils cousins naturalhair naturalhairdaily naturalhairsyles naturalkids naturalkidsstyles nature afro afrocentric afropunk blackhair

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Hey Ladies, 

I’ve been gone for a while, and during that time I decided to cut all of my hair off. Cutting my hair was something that I contemplated for a while. A few months ago I told myself “One day you’ll find the courage to cut all of your hair off”, but that day actually came sooner than I expected. While I was in Belize over winter break I decided to take a trip to the barber shop on new years eve. My decision to cut all my hair off was not something that my family agreed with, I can’t tell you how many times I heard “but why would you cut off all of that beautiful hair?” My response was always, “It’s going to grow back.” I remember sitting in the barbershop and feeling so sure that this was what I wanted, and after my hair was all gone… I knew for sure that THIS WAS IT- Exactly what I needed! After cutting my hair there were a whole bunch of unexpected lessons that came with along with the chop, but I embraced these lessons because they taught me things about myself.

1). Cutting my hair introduced me to my face, growing up with big/long hair it never dawned on me how much my face hid behind my hair. I was able to see my facial structure and my features looked way more defined. I remember looking in the mirror for the first time and saying “wow, you’re so beautiful!”

2). I also learned to listen to myself, and not to worry about anyone else’s opinion, especially when it comes to the little things like hair. The people in your life will accept you for who you are and the decisions that you make as long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else… and here’s the big part: If they love you, they’ll learn how to accept your decisions or at least respect them.

3). People will form their own opinions (even before they’ve started asking questions) and the truth is you don’t owe them ANYTHING! You don’t owe them an explanation and you definitely do not owe them answers to any questions you don’t feel like answering.

4). Last, I learned that we go through stages as human beings and we owe it to ourselves to embrace our evolution and the stages that we’re in. Personally, I knew that in order for me to evolve and move forward to my next stages in life I would have to leave behind a few things and my hair was one of them. It’s okay to grow, and it’s okay to leave a few things behind in order to prepare for a new awakening. 

Just. Be. Free.

-Francesca Chaney xoxo

Filed under natural naturalhair naturalhairteens collegecoils browngirls francesca chaney selflove growth newdiscovery bigchop blackgirls blackfeminism blackgirlsrock afro afropunk bighair naturalhairdaily naturallove naturalista college hair

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The days of “bad hair days” are long gone with the help of a few stylish accessories!

I decided to channel my inner Badu, so I wore a printed fabric scarf that I got from South Africa underneath a brown hat (thrifted), the color-coordination mended perfectly for the earthy feel that I was going for today.

This style is perfect for twisted or braided hair, “bad hair days”, or simply to add an extra pop to your outfit, all you need is a hat and a scarf and you’re good to go- literally!

All the Best Naturalistas,

Francesca Chaney

Filed under francesca chaney college coils natural naturalhair naturalhairsyles naturalhairteens afro style protectivestyle blackbohemian earthy earth tones south africa africa lalibela browngirls

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It’s that time of year again folks… winter time! Some of you may be experiencing snow while others may be experiencing extremely dry air quality- either way there is no denying that this time of year definitely calls for some extra hair care. I live in NY so “Wash and Gos” are not an option for me during the winter; I’d catch pneumonia in a heartbeat! I like to wear beanies also, but if you’re like me, trying to stuff big hair under a beanie just leaves your head looking like a bean-bag instead. No worries, I’ve found the perfect go to method for this time of year that will last for about two weeks- or more (if maintained well)- provide you some versatility, and will also make it easier to wear hats and actually rock it (for all my beanie babies out there!) - Heat-Free Hair Stretching. I’ve been rocking my stretched out do for the past week or so and it’s such a breeze, I put it in two to four plaits at night and take it out in the morning, sprinkle a bit of water and olive oil and just get up and go! I also love the extra-length that I get from hair stretching, which makes it easier to do an elegant up-do or wear a lightly tamed fro! I’ve provided a step-by-step picture tutorial below, let me know how you guys like it!

Happy Winter Naturalistas,

Francesca Chaney <3

Step 1: Start off on old hair - twist out, braid out, etc.

Step 2: Divide hair into four sections.

Step 3: Lightly spritz hands with water and smooth on section one.

Step 4: Gently comb hair from bottom to top, occasionally adding light sprinkles of water- If necessary- try not to add too much water to prevent hair from reverting.

Step 5: Repeat steps three and four on all sections.

Step 6: Apply Extra Virgin Olive oil to both hands.

Step 7: Divide hair into two sections and apply olive oil, be sure to focus on those ends!

Step 8:Part hair into two sections  and plait hair downward. Bobby bin tips for extra styling and throw on a ribbon! Take out in the morning or leave in for a few days for a more defined wave pattern. (optional)

Filed under natural natural hair afro afropunk curls kinks college coils browngirls Hair hairstyles naturalhairsyles naturalhairtutorials winterhaircare francesca chaney

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Name, Age, Hometown, School, Major

Francesca Chaney, 17, Queens, NY, SUNY Purchase College, Anthropology

What has your natural hair journey been?

As a young child my older cousin would braid my hair or put them in little twisties or put them in plaits- The traditional style for any young black girl. As I got a little older, around the age of 9, I wanted to wear my hair like my cousins, and the girls I saw in my class- long straight and flowy. Occasionally my mother would take me to get my hair blown out and straightened but as I reached the age of 11, I wanted to have my hair straight all of the time. I would go to the salon twice a month to get my hair pressed and I stuck with this routine until I was about fifteen years old. Around June of 2011, my tenth grade year of highschool, we had an extremely humid summer in New York and I knew that it would be unreasonable to get my hair straightened so I started to wear my natural hair pulled back into ponytails and buns. One of my close friends who had been natural all of her life had told me “It says a lot about a girl when she chooses to wear her natural hair” and she suggested that I keep rocking my hair without heat. That summer, I brought a whole bunch of products and experimented with what worked for my natural hair- I found that less is more, minimal is best-. Since then, I’ve done a “mini-chop” as I like to call it, in December of 2012, to cut all of my damaged and colored ends off.

What’s your style and how has it changed since you’ve gone natural?

My style has changed greatly since I’ve gone natural. In my opinion my natural hair represents my freedom, so I make sure that my clothing represents that as well, a lot of the material that I put on my body, whether it be the actual clothing,shoes or accessories that I wear has meaning and purpose. I don’t wear any major name brands, expensive clothing or anything that would be considered “flashy”, I just don’t believe that clothing should have that type of power over me as an individual. I’ve come a long way from a few years ago when I felt like the image that I had to uphold had to reflect the images of the girls I saw on tv, or in magazines. I usually stick to earthy colors and prints, to express my oneness with nature, and I wear lots of loose clothing because I hate feeling confined and I need to be able to move freely. I love canvas shoes, because their simple and they go with everything. I also wear headwraps often because of it’s a major expression of who I am, where I am from, and the culture that I am a part of. With every outfit that I wear, I always wear this little medallion, (as you’ll see pictured above) It’s a Lalibela, from Ethiopia that I never take off, simply because of what it represents.

How have you changed since you’ve gone natural?

I’ve evolved greatly. Before going natural, everything I did was based on the reaction or fear of the reaction I would get from other people. Today, I feel like going natural has kind of brought me through to a rebirth and cleansing process, now that I am not afraid of my natural hair I’ve become great friends with my natural self and I love her greatly. I have more self love and appreciation for every single part of me that the creator has blessed me with. My creator makes no mistakes, so to shelter or hide any part of my being because it doesn’t adhere to the standards that are set by our society, or the media is now a foreign concept to me.

What’s your regimen?

I wash my hair with with Shea Moisture’s moisturizing shampoo, and deep condition with Crema Negra. I also mix my own conditioners which include eggs, mayo, and honey or sometimes avocado, mayo, and honey. I conditioner for about 30 mins to an hour, with a shower cap and then I’ll rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and water. Afterwards, while my hair is still damp I apply extra virgin olive oil and shea butter and then I twist or bantu knot my hair tie it with a silk scarf and then I’m off to bed.

How has your regimen changed since you’ve started college and is it difficult or easy to maintain your hair with classes, exams, extracurricular activities and/or work?

That’s a great question, before I left home for college my friend’s mother and Khamit Kink’s Hairstylist told me “make sure you take care of your hair”. Since I’ve started school, between all that has to be done, sometimes taking care of my hair isn’t a great priority. Since I’ve started college, I’m guilty of going to sleep without a scarf on, and even forgetting to comb out my hair- it happens. So what I do is reserve a saturday night or sunday to examining my hair and really listening to it’s needs which may include doing a protective style, or doing an oil treatment. I will say, sharing communal bathrooms and having less space creates a limit on the amount of things you can do with your hair. So no, I don’t mix my special conditioners in my dorm room, but when I visit home I take advantage of the opportunity to walk around freely with kitchen products in my hair. Protective styles have been my best friend since starting college, but when I do rock the fro, I make sure I keep my spray bottle handy - moisture is key!

Do you feel like your hair makes you stand out on your campus, If so what experiences have you had (good or bad)? Give one example.

Yes of course! I can’t think of a specific example but I get a lot of compliments on my hair, whether I’m just walking freely on campus or I’m in an actual setting. In class, I sit in the front and I always get nervous that someone will tell me they can’t see because my hair is so big but it hasn’t happened yet so I’m good!

Social Media Contact

Facebook: Francesca Chaney-Diego, Girls Advocating and Innovating the Nation (GAIN)

Instagram: @QuirksofaQUEEN @GAINGlobalMovement @CollegeCoils

Twitter: @ChessieChaney @GAIN_Org


Youtube: ChessieChaney, CollegeCoils

*I’ve provided social media contacts for myself, my organization - Girls Advocating and Innovating the Nation (GAIN), and CollegeCoils!*

Filed under natural natural hair afro protectivestyle college coils college Hair hair styling francesca chaney gain girlsadvocatingandinnovatingthenation

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Name, Age, Hometown, School, Major

Trisha Garcia, 23, Dangriga, Belize, University of the West Indies, Major: geology and Minor: physics (alternative energy)

What has your natural hair journey been?

I’ve been natural for the most part of my life. My mom couldn’t fix my hair the way I wanted, so I took complete control of my hair when I was ten (I know that’s early, but I’ve always been expressive). By the time I got to high school, I would get complements on my hairstyles (cornrow with major styles, twists, high bun, everything). I did my own hair every week, took it out on Saturday, washed and styled on Sunday. When I went to Junior College, I had to commute for 3 hours every Monday and Friday. Consequently, my hair was neglected. The day before my graduation, I permed!!!!!!! It was long and flowing and bouncy, but it wasn’t me! When I started College a year later, I started my transition; about 8 months after I trimmed the split ends (I had a Goku/Super Saiyan 3 haircut- and I LOVED IT). Exactly a year after, I big chopped- felt like a new woman!!! 

What’s your style and how has it changed since you’ve gone natural?

I have always been more on the conservative side. I believe in leaving some things to the imagination! Before I big chopped, everything about me was conventional. After I big chopped, everything about me is TRISHA!!! My hair speaks volumes; NEVER GAUDY, ALWAYS… big and bold and beautiful!!! So the rest of me had to compliment my hair! 

How have you change since you’ve gone natural? 

Since my rebirth, I’ve become more conscious of what goes into my body and on my hair. I have realized that what goes on my hair affects my skin/ face. So I have opted for natural oils like the black castor oil and coconut oil. I’ve also started drinking more water and taking daily vitamin A supplements.

What’s your regimen? 
I wash my hair every Sunday with Tresemme Naturals Shampoo and Conditioner. If I’m having a rough week or if it’s really hot, I Co-wash with the Tresemme Naturals conditioner. I oil my scalp with a castor oil and coconut oil mixture (I’m black, that’s just what we do). I two strand twist my hair, which lasts two weeks; after which, I either wear two strand twists or a puff for the week, then it’s back to the twists. 

How has your regimen changed since you’ve graduated from college (Easier, more difficult)?

Since I’m finished with College and I’m back in Belize, dealing with my hair is much easier. Since June of this year, I’ve braided my hair on three separate occasions. My younger sister does it, so I don’t incur too much expense. I simply wash and oil my hair every week. But might I add, I style the hell out of those braids!! 

Did your hair make you stand out on your campus, if so what experiences have you had (good or bad)? Give one example

My hair definitely made me stand out on my campus. I always have random people wanting to touch, asking if it’s real and wanting to know what products I use. I’ve had friends, asking me to do their hair, or asking for advice on what to do with their hair to make it grow or to make it POP for different functions. 

Weirdest experiences are usually from non-blacks. So I was sitting in the Salon, waiting to get my eyebrows done, a courteous young man walked in and immediately noticed my hair.

This is the conversation:

Him: is it real (while trying to touch my hair)

Me: uuuhhh yes!

Him: how long did it take?

Me: I took roughly 2 hours, with breaks in between

Him: wow!! You did that yourself. Let me take a picture and BBM it to my mom and sisters and my friends.

Me: exploitation! Don’t take a picture of my face. 

Him: so would you be interested in buying Taser or pepper spray? 

What advice do you have for naturals in college? My advice would be to play around with different things, let hair care become your hobby until you find your “go to DO”. And do not be afraid to try something new. Do not follow the gimmicks of natural hair. There are way too many products out there. Find the essentials and stick to it!! Also, know what your hair can do and cannot do: maybe a wash and go is not for you, maybe a braid out or twist out is better suited for your hair type. People tend to ridicule what they deem different or what they don’t understand. There are a lot of people who do not fancy natural hair of any type, be prepared for that. Be prepared to rock it, like Beyonce rocks her weaves!! 

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Name, Age, Hometown, School, Major

Joelle Charles 17, Queens,NY SUNY Purchase, Anthropology

What has your natural hair journey been?

2009, I was a freshman in high school and my hair was not cooperating- It was a lot of damage, it was falling out, it just wasn’t a good time. My hair was permed, most people are able to keep up with perms but I have very sensitive skin and it really damaged my scalp. New growth was awful, my hair is very fragile, so it kept falling out and it got to the point where my hair was falling out everyday, It was alarming! So I decided to start all over and that’s what I did! I had a really small afro for about two years and it just started casually growing, eventually I was able to style it and put it up so that’s where I am now!

What’s your style and how has it changed since you’ve gone natural?

I’ve been told very often that I stick to a natural look, I wear makeup and stuff but everyone tells me it’s pretty natural based so that’s what I stick to. I wear whatever looks nice, I don’t really keep up with a trend or a fashion, if I like it, I put it on. As for my hair, I usually get trapped into doing the same style, so I’ve been doing this ponytail thing for quite a few months. I usually find something and stick with it for a little bit.

How have you changed since you’ve gone natural?

Back home everyone calls me a hippie! I definitely see a change, from where I was five years ago to where I am now. My friend circle has changed, my style has changed, a lot has changed but it’s an ongoing process. I think change is good, it proves that you’re still around. I definitely think I see beauty a whole lot differently- unconventional beauty, I’ve learned since going natural that you don’t need a lot to keep yourself sustained. That’s where I am, I find interest in a whole lot more things. I think it’s important to find your place, and whether it be through your style, you can find people similar to you and that just helps you to keep going. I can definitely say much has changed because of my hair.

What’s your regimen?

I’ve noticed that the water here at Purchase is really harsh on my hair, because back home I was able to wash my hair everyday and I know a lot of people say that it’s no good but that’s what I did and it was working out really nice for me. When I came to school I noticed there was a difference in the texture of my hair, it started locking up and it wasn’t responding very well so I decided not to wash as often. Now I wash every two to three days, which is hard for me because I like washing my hair everyday. On the days that I don’t wash, I deep condition. I use Mizani products- The detangler, I spray it all over and I part it down the middle, followed by the conditioner. While I’m getting dressed and doing my make up, I put my hair in two buns and after I let my hair out and put it up like this!

How has your regimen changed since you’ve started college and is it difficult or easy to maintain your hair with classes, exams, extracurricular activities and/or work?

I used to wash every day at home and I used Kinky/Curly because the consistency would help my curls. I have very curly hair and when it’s out I would need to keep the curl defined. Since coming to school I’ve kind of lost the curl, so I just try my best to keep it conditioned.

Do you feel like your hair makes you stand out on your campus, If so what experiences have you had (good or bad)? Give one example.

I haven’t had any experiences on campus but in the past I have. There’s this big music festival back home- AfroPunk, and I’ve stood out and gotten compliments there. AfroPunk is basically a catalogue for many natural hair styles!

Social Media Contact Info

Facebook: Joelle Charles

Twitter: @joelleamiexx33

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We had a blast interviewing Joelle Charles of SUNY Purchase! Stay tuned for her interview, coming in just a few minutes :)

We had a blast interviewing Joelle Charles of SUNY Purchase! Stay tuned for her interview, coming in just a few minutes :)

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Name, Age, Hometown, School, Major

Synsorae Eutsay, 18, Jericho, Long Island, SUNY Purchase, Undecided.

What has your natural hair journey been?

About a year ago in September, I started losing hair in the back of my head due to stress and my hairdresser recommended that I go natural. I began my natural hair journey alternating between braids, weave, and twists every two months until I officially decided to “Big Chop” in May of 2013. I started out with a tapered cut so I’ve never actually had a fro. I actually kind of regret tapering my hair, because now I don’t have hair by my ears and it’s cold but it was a really great look for summer! Now we’re in October and I still have a fro on the top, but I’ve cut the sides at least three times since May.

What’s your style and how has it changed since you’ve gone natural?

I try to be fashionable, but I don’t follow trends. I like to play silhouettes- I like to look long and thin, so I usually wear dark colors, boots, lots of skirts and dresses but hardly any jeans. Since I have short hair I definitely try to dress more feminine than before, I never wear sweatpants or hoodies.

How have you changed since you’ve gone natural?

My perception on life changed before I went natural, but going natural was a manifestation of the perception. I don’t want to say I’ve become more Afrocentric but I’ve definitely become more aware and more conscious. I just wanted to be natural, I wanted my hair to be the way it grew out of my head. Thinking of it now, it was strange to say “I don’t know what my natural hair texture is”, I had never felt my natural hair. It just seems unimaginable that I went through most of my life not really being me.

What’s your regimen?

My hair has been in braids for two months, so I’m just starting back my regimen. I oil my scalp every other day with grapseed oil, I spritz with water throughout the day, I wash my hair and deep condition every two weeks, mostly co-wash. I keep it really simple, I don’t like a lot of products in my hair because it builds up on my scalp and makes my roots look really gross.

How has your regimen changed since you’ve started college and is it difficult or easy to maintain your hair with classes, exams, extracurricular activities and/or work?

It’s become way more simple. I had my hair in braids for the first month then twists for a week, I just need it to be really simple. This morning it took me twenty minutes to do my hair after taking it out and styling! So far I feel like it isn’t that bad especially since I only have my longer hair on the top so I guess that shortens maintenance by half the time but I only have early morning classes twice a week.

Do you feel like your hair makes you stand out on your campus, If so what experiences have you had (good or bad)? Give one example.

I don’t have any examples but I definitely think it makes me stand out, combined with my clothes and everything there’s a look and I have it. I get a lot of compliments on my hair!

Social Media Contact Info

Instagram: @glowaway