Accented Glory has kicked off our #BeDifferent campaign with Accented Glory Naturals Facebook Group content curator Lorna! Lorna is a natural hair enthusiast whose specialty is locs and loc care. She's an amazing creative who wrote a #BeDifferent Haiku!
My natural self
Challenges accepted norms.
Those "norms" then conform.
This guest blog post by Accented Glory's visionary was originally shared in Curlebrity online natural hair community! Click name to check out this new online community.
Too often, hair accessories get a bad rap and are accused of causing damage to hair. One of the primary suspects is the headband. As a hair accessory designer and natural, I embrace opportunities to educate other fellow naturals on what to look for when purchasing and styling with hair accessories. So for the record, it's not the headband that's the problem. It’s the misuse of it, bad fit, or material used to create it that’s an issue.
As naturals, we must be mindful of protecting our hairline when choosing hair accessories. We all desire those perfect flat edges. Often times we use too tight ties, bands, or scrunchies to achieve this look, which cause damage to our hairline. I recommend using hair care products to lay down your edges and not hair accessories.
So how do we know if our hair accessory is a proper fit? The accessory doesn’t hurt - our headbands should not cause pain or headaches. Many people experience headband headaches, because their hair accessory is too tight. Headaches caused by headbands are known as external compression headaches that are the result of continuous pressure on forehead, scalp, and behind the ears.
Naturals need to also avoid headbands created with fabrics that will cause friction with textured hair and dry out the hair. Course fabrics, such as tweed, can cause friction and lead to breakage. Some cotton fabrics have a tendency to dry out hair as well. Many naturals already struggle with dry hair and there is no need to further contribute to the dryness. Softer fabrics with a smooth finish like satin are better suited for naturals because they don't cause friction or dryness.
Adjustable headbands are a great solution for headband headaches because they allow the wearer to adjust and control the amount of tension placed on their head. Also, being able to control the tension protects the hairline from stress. In addition to adjusting headband tension, we should always moisturizer our hair before wearing hair accessories. This too will minimize damage to our hair. As naturals, we can safely rock a cute headband and save our edges at the same time!
Tonya Cross - Hair Accessory Expert | Accessory Designer | Natural Hair Enthusiast
You can shop for "natural hair friendly" adjustable headbands at Accented Glory! Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for great content relating to natural hair and natural hair accessories.
Click Styling With Hair Accessories to purchase Accented Glory’s styling e-guide on Etsy!
Accented Glory Fam, do you have that favorite winter hat that you're unsure about wearing because you're afraid the fabric may cause some damage to your natural hair? Or you're cautious when wearing it, but is tired of having to remember to put on a satin cap first? Well, NO MORE WORRIES...I Got You!
Check out my NEW video tutorial below on how to make your hat natural hair friendly! You can find more tips/advice on styling with and purchasing hair accessories in my styling e-guide that's available on Etsy. Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/AccentedGlory to purchase and download my e-guide!
February is the month of LOVE! Couples spend a lot of time and money planning Valentine's Day activities for their significant others. This year I plan to switch things up this month and chose to love me first! I'm going to use my time, energy, and resources to show love to myself too. Without loving yourself first, you can't effectively love others. Below are some "Love You First" ideas you can explore this month as well!
1. Escape Room - Have you ever said I want to be in a relationship with someone that's going to stimulate my mind? If that's you, I got you! You can intellectual stimulate your own mind and have fun at the same time via an escape room. Even though it's advertised as a team building activity, it's definitely something you can do solo! Most escape rooms gladly accept a single person to complete a team roster. The themed adventure usually lasts an hour and you team up with others to solve clues to escape a room. Google escape rooms in your area to find one close to you!
2. Nature Adventure - Outdoor activities are great for engaging with nature and getting in tune with oneself. Being outside and having time away from technology can be both refreshing and replenishing. More importantly, you'll also get in some physical exercise! Search your local parks or outdoor centers to see what activities they have scheduled this month. Most offer hiking, obstacle courses, or walking trails. If you're located in area of colder climates, your local parks or recreation centers my offer some indoor activities as well.
3. Reservations for One - Take advantage of the opportunity to spend quality time with yourself and get your eat on! Make reservations for one at your favorite or upscale restaurant. Put on your favorite outfit and treat yourself to a delicious meal. Be sure to order dessert whether before or after the meal; splurge on the calories for this special occasion honoring the value you bring to the table.
4. Love Letter - Write a Love Letter to yourself! It may sound silly, but trust me it'll be fun, healing, and inspiring. Begin the letter explaining why you're writing it. Expound on its importance and impact you desire for it to have. Then share the things you love about yourself and why. Continue with what growth you desire to see in the relationship with yourself. End the letter with affirmations. Remind yourself why you value the relationship you have with yourself.
5. Treat Yourself - I like to call this one "retail therapy" and it's one of my favorites! Treat yourself to something nice. I recommend you go out to a store instead of shopping online. Get out and try on your purchase in person. Be sure to catwalk in the dressing room and wink at yourself in the mirror before you pivot! Remind yourself that you're worth sowing into and rock the piece you purchase like the queen that you are.
6. Adult Coloring Book - Adult coloring is an activity I enjoy doing in my free time. Coloring can be therapeutic, relaxing, and healing. It's a great way to escape the noise of your world and drift into the calm of shapes and colors. This activity is an inexpensive self-care practice you can continue throughout the year!
I want to encourage you to love on you first! I know for some this statement my sound selfish. Trust me, it really is not. It's a necessity for self-preservation. So, go on and show some love to yourself, because can't nobody love you better than you!
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
P.S. This month Accented Glory is hosting "Love On You" Online Pop-Up Shop on Facebook. We are providing an opportunity for you to show some love to YOURSELF! We have ALL our Fall/Winter headbands and a few jewelry designs ON SALE! You have until Sunday, February 18th to catch our sale. Click link below to visit our event Facebook page for more details!
Hi Accented Glory Fam! This hair accessory style is created using an Inspirit Arts Expandable Headband. We recently added the headband design to Accented Glory's online store! The Ankh Earrings and Embrace Greatness Lady Tee that I'm wearing can also be purchased from our store at www.accentedglory.com.
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
Hi Accented Glory Fam! Do you have a hair goal for 2018? Do you want to take better care of your hair in the new year? If you answered YES to at least one of these questions, I want to invite you to join Accented Glory's Hair Goal Challenge! The challenge is taking place in our Facebook natural hair group Accented Glory Naturals. Below is a quick video that outlines the structure of our group challenge. Click here to join the challenge and let's make 2018 an Epic Year!
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
Our visionary, Tonya Cross, facilitated her first vision board workshop this December through our sister organization The Vine Events. Below is a short excerpt she shared within the Facebook event page. If you or your organization is interested in hosting a vision board workshop you can contact her here.
I often run into people who share with me dreams and visions they once had that were never fulfilled. These dreams were deferred not because they didn't have the skills or talents to pull it off, but LIFE simply happened. Something or someone became more of a priority and they had to put their vision on the back burner. I always try to encourage them and remind them that it's never too late to start over and pursue their dreams.
Then for some, they never take time away from their busy lifestyles to focus on themselves and what they desire. They may view it as being selfish, but I see it as self-preservation. There's nothing wrong with sowing into yourself and your vision; you are WORTH IT!
I want to encourage you to carve out some time for yourself. Use that time to determine what steps you need to take to make your deferred dreams a reality. And most importantly, start regularly practicing self-care. Meditation is a great and free self-care practice. Use your meditation time to focus on what you desire and things you want to accomplish. Be encouraged and love on you!
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
Do you practice self-care?
What are some other self-care practices that you recommend?
Please comment with your answers below!
Our visionary, Tonya Cross, is now a regular contributor to Dear Curl Friend. Dear Curl Friend is a digital platform for women to connect about their natural hair and receive beauty tips. See excerpt from her article below titled "4 Tips For A Healthy Scalp".
In 2014, the Accented Glory Naturals Facebook group hosted a healthy scalp challenge. Healthy scalp is the foundation of healthy hair. Like a vegetable garden needs good soil to produce good crops; a healthy scalp yields healthy hair.
Properly caring for your scalp can also be beneficial for your overall health. Scalp care is relaxing and relieves tension. Check out 4 questions at Dear Curl Friend that we answered for our Facebook group members from the challenge!
Our visionary, Tonya Cross, is now a regular contributor to Dear Curl Friend. Dear Curl Friend is a digital platform for women to connect about their natural hair and receive beauty tips. See excerpt from her article below titled "The Three H’s for Fall – Headwraps, Hair Cuffs, and Headbands".
Fall is upon us and soon the leaves will be changing colors! The changing of seasons also brings an opportunity to dress our natural tresses with hair accents. For Fall accessorizing, I recommend the three H’s – Head wraps, Hair Cuffs, and Headbands! Click here to read why these are great Fall accessories.
Click Styling With Hair Accessories to purchase Accented Glory’s styling e-guide!
Accented Glory's visionary had the pleasure of connecting with high end fashion designer Avnah Long, back in 2013. Our sister organization The Vine Events featured her for a "Black History In The Making" article. Our visionary and Avnah are from the same home town in North Carolina! Avnah now resides in Atlanta, Georgia where she launched her crochet swimwear and clothing line brand AVNAH Collection.
Her designs have been worn by various celebrities, such as Kelly Rowland and Cynthia Bailey. She has also been a featured designer during New York Fashion Week (NYFW)! We're thankful that she granted us an interview where she shares about her experience as a natural in fashion. Check out her interview below!
What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
I began my career in fashion as a crochet designer creating swimwear and clothing pieces, but I was inspired to expand my fashion line actually from my great grandmother Ida Davis that use to sew herself. I use to watch her as a child sew little thing around the house. Starting as a crochet designer was good for me, but it took a long time to make certain pieces as my visions grew. So, I started teaching myself how to sew. As I began designing pieces by using a sewing machine, it opened up a whole world for me as a designer. I was able to put pieces together faster than it would take me to crochet by hand and I was able to incorporate structure, play with fabrics and use other elements that allowed me to create a line that was diverse.
Being a featured designer during NYFW is an amazing accomplishment! What impact has it had on your career?
Being a featured designer during NYFW is always an awesome experience in itself, because the platform is so great. I was able to present my collection on a platform where many people in the audience is of some influence in the fashion industry. I meet a lot of people who connected me with textile suppliers, buyers, and gave me great feedback on the line in general. All of that is important when you're building a brand.
Share with us about your natural hair journey. What kind of experience has it been?
My natural hair journey started in 2003, when I decided to do my big chop. It was also around the same time that I opened my first salon in Atlanta. Many people don't know that I am a Master Cosmetologist and hair was my first passion. As my hair grew out some, I went through the twa (teeny weeny afro) phase until I could maintain my twist outs. Then I decided to loc my hair. I had locs for five year and I've big chopped three times since then. Now I'm just letting it grow out. I shampoo and sometimes co-wash, I use a shea butter mixture and I keep it braided up for protective styling. If I do wear it out, it's usually pulled back into a puff or I'm wearing it out in an afro.
With celebrities like Taraji P Henson embracing their natural hair, do you think it'll have an influence on the fashion world? Will we see more naturals on the runway?
I think a lot of celebrities and people in general are finally starting to embrace their hair. I am seeing more people on the runways wearing their natural hair and I actually tell many of my models not to straighten their hair for my shows. For the longest time people thought you had to have straight hair to look presentable, tamed, or well put together. Now we are loving and embracing the hair we were born with. Our hair is beautiful! There are so many textures and to have healthy hair that is thick, soft, curly, and can be styled beautifully is more important to a lot of people than being over processed with chemicals.
What's next for AVNAH Collection?
I have so many projects that I am working on including an accessories line. The accessory line includes neck pieces and I'm currently creating the beauty bangles. I'm also revamping the online store to make it easier for customers to purchase. I'm just having fun creatively right now. Whatever God puts in my spirit to create is what I'm working on. It's so much better for me right now to do it this way. I'm just in a really good spot right now with my brand and I'm excited to share the accessory line with my customers.
Avnah Long of AVNAH Collection
Cierra has been apart of Accented Glory Team since it's launch in June 2013. Outside of being an "Accessory Diva", she's a college graduate who desires to pursue a career in law.