Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we’ll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day in January that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from going without a cellphone for 40 days to trying the polarizing low-rise pants trend.
Doing my own hair has always been a challenge for me. Back in high school, I used to flat iron it every day because I always believed straight hair was more beautiful. Unfortunately, that ended up causing irreversible heat-damage and ultimately breakage. I started wearing weaves and when that became too expensive, I decided to go natural.
These days, I’m pretty happy being nappy and contrary to what might people think of me, I haven’t put much effort into switching up my hairstyle over the last decade. I’ve worn a curly afro for years now, and I’ve grown to love it. But don’t get me wrong— my relationship to my ‘do has involved a lot of trial-and-error. I’ve broken countless hair picks and tried every product and hair fad you can think of. (And spent a fortune doing so, might I add).
But the truth is, I’ve always struggled with hair because I tie so much of how the hair looks into my self-worth, which I’m sure a lot of Black girls can relate to. In other words, if my hair is looking busted, then I become super self-conscious and not to be dramatic, but it ruins my mood. When I heard we were doing another I tried It Month here at Who What Wear, I figured now would be the best time to finally become fearless with my hair and try something new every day for 30 days. And since salons are currently closed, I took up an even bigger challenge by learning to do all these styles alone.
Keep scrolling to see all the different hairstyles I tried, and don’t miss my favorite tips and products that kept me looking fly all month long.
I started this challenge with my hair being in braids. At this point, they were two months old so it was time to take them out. Not knowing where to start, I went on YouTube to find this style. I separated my hair into six sections at the top and from there, I tied each section with a colorful rubber band. Then, I twisted each section and pinned them all behind my ears. This style was super simple. I took two pieces of hair from the very top of my head and twisted them before adding gold jewel accessories to each twist. These colorful hair clips went with my outfit and made for a cute, simple style. When in doubt, throw on a scarf. It saves me every time. These were day-three curls, but my Eco-Styler gel and baby-hair brush saved the day. I loved this half-up, half-down look. For this style, I did three Bantu knots at the top of my head and put the rest of my hair in a ponytail. This hairstyle was fun but sadly the only soul who saw it was the clerk at Trader Joe’s. Get into these mini French braids! I did another set of Bantu knots thinking, in the end, I would resemble Tracee Ellis Ross. That didn’t happen whatsoever, but the end result was these effortless curls. You would think I used a curling iron, but no. This is just the power of Bantu knots. We’ll call this style a fro-hawk. I found a similar style on Pinterest and while it might look simple, parting the back of my hair in a straight line took longer than I thought it would. I love a good wash-and-go. Simple, but chic. Here, I tried a roller set. I applied about 10 rollers to my wet hair and slept overnight in them. As a kid, like many other Black girls, my mom loved putting barrettes and ponytail balls in my head so this style is an homage to her creativity. Love you, boo! For this style, I just added two braids to the front of my hair and secured the rest in a high bun. I wish I could say applying these beads was easy, but then I wouldn’t be keeping it real. Foil is the secret. There, I said it. I added these butterfly clips from Amazon to my hair on wash day and I think it counts as a fun style with minimal work. I was definitely unsure about this look until the girl working the drive-thru at The Habit complimented me. Wherever you are, thank you! I wish I could take credit for this Sade-inspired look, but all praise goes to the most high (my mother) for creating it. This look took five minutes. I parted my hair on the side and braided it up. My hair is pretty dry-looking in this photo, but it’s actually quite moisturized. I’m extremely proud of myself for finally learning to cornrow my own hair. I’m privileged to have four sisters who can all braid, so I’ve never had to pay a professional to do it. However, when I have kids, I want to know how to braid, so I tried it. This was the result! Sometimes, I just want a quick updo— especially when I’m on day-three hair. All I did was use Eco-Styler gel on my edges and lifted my fro up into a high ponytail. This ’90s hair moment is dedicated to Tia Mowry and Nikki from Save the Last Dance. I always wanted to look like them when I was younger. I blame them for all of my dramatics antics growing up but I thank them for inspiring this easy style. This is the closest I’ll get to being part of those iconic pop culture moments, but I’ll take it. I don’t even recognize myself! All I did was section off my hair and curl each piece with my one-inch flat iron. This was my favorite look. I kept my curls in from the day before and decided to do a quick updo. I saw this style on Pinterest and it was actually the easiest look of them all. Again, I’m paying homage to all the ’90s hotties. I’ve always wanted to have a hair flip moment and it’s finally here. You can’t go wrong with a part down the middle. When in doubt, crimp your hair out. This style took ten minutes to do using my flat iron A half-up half-down look with beach waves is always the move. Up next, see how our editor cleared her skin in three days using an LED face mask.