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This Latina Shaved Her Hair Off After Hair Extensions Started To Make Her Go Bald

When you grow up being told that your hair is the single best accessory you already own, you can wind up feeling pressured into making sure it lives up to strident beauty standards.

To meet the mark, we often end up sacrificing the health of our hair in order to style and alter it for certain trends. We willfully dye it, bleach it, relax it, burn it — essentially consciously damage it (things we’d never do to our skin) all in the name of beauty.

YouTube vlogger Vanessa Martinez knows all too well the caca we’re willing to put our hair through to obtain a certain look, and in a video she dropped on Friday, she decided she finally had enough.

In her most recent vlog, Martinez revealed that after years of putting extensions in her hair, it had become severely damaged.

Sipping on that teaaaa?? did you buy anything for cyber Monday?

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Martinez’s 2 million YouTube followers have watched Martinez regularly switch up her hair styles from one week to the next. She has rocked short extensions dyed red, long extensions slicked back in ponytails, bangs and long bobs all in just a few months’ time. Her look is constantly changing and doing the most all thanks to the magic of her hair extensions. And, yet, despite all of their allure, the negative impacts of her extensions began to take their toll on Martinez’s hair in very visible ways. As she points out in the video, the tug and pull of the extensions left various bald patches throughout her scalp making her hair look thin and uneven.

“As you guys can see, I have extensions in. This is not my own hair. I have individual microbes,” Martinez says at the beginning of the vlog before pulling back a section of her hair to reveal bald circles around her scalp. “No matter what extensions you put in your hair, you’re going to go slightly bald from it, just from the weight.”

Of course, it’s easy to recognize the perks of extensions. They’re one of the quickest and most noncommittal ways to vamp up your look. Still, it doesn’t take long for extensions (particularly when they are used longterm) to generate breakage and hair loss.

“I’m not stressed. I’m not going through anything because I am stressed. My extensions left me bald, and it’s my fault because I got them,” Martinez admits.

The negative consequences were bad enough to make her reach for the clippers.

Bitch….lol

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Anyone who has ever had to deal with damaged hair knows that one of the greatest frustrations is feeling powerless to the inevitable that comes: unrelenting breakage. It can take weeks or months, but damaged hair is damaged hair, and while the process of it shedding can be slowed down, its loss is inevitable. It’s impossible to truly heal your hair afterwards. Once your hair is at that point, you have two options: cut it or watch it break off. No matter what you decide, you will see it go in some way or form eventually.

Instead of waiting to watch the extensions take their full toll on her hair, Martinez opted to take control of the situation on her own terms. Determined to give her hair and scalp a fresh start, she shaved it all off. “I’m just making myself balder and balder, so why don’t I just cut all my hair off and start over,” she says matter of factly before jumping into the process with a friend who was there to help.

Throughout the clip, Martinez joked about the reactions she knew she would get.

As exampled by nearly every season of “America’s Next Top Model,” most hair transformations can be extremely emotional. Almost always we can expect tears or other displays of emotional reservations. It’s particularly true when such a change includes overhauling your look from mermaid with cascading locks to cueball.

But there weren’t any tears in this video. Martinez and her friend cracked jokes and laughed as the alteration took place. “Now if something does happen and I have to cut all of my hair off, I won’t cry about it. Because I know what I look like bald now,” Martinez says to her friend.

That’s not to say that moments of insecurity and awareness of what others thought didn’t creep into Martinez’s thought process.

Took my dog out to shit and the light just kinda hit me

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Naturally, there are moments in the video where the blogger contemplates what her dad, brother and boyfriend will say. “I’m still going to wear wigs, so don’t get me wrong,” she says before joking about being certain that boys will no longer think she is cute (which, truthfully, seems pretty impossible). At one point, she picks hair up off of the ground and puts it on the side of her face for a look similar to Larry David.

But by the end, Martinez was happy she had done no hair deep dive. “I feel very liberated,” she said, grinning into the camera as she checks out her new look. “New trend, new bald, 2018.”

Read: 25 Witchy Tattoos To Wear Your Magia On Your Skin

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Safe Winter Hairstyles For Afro-Latinas To Keep Your Rizos Defined And Moisturized Even When You Want To Wear Them Straight

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Safe Winter Hairstyles For Afro-Latinas To Keep Your Rizos Defined And Moisturized Even When You Want To Wear Them Straight

Wintertime can be a rough season for black women. Not only do we have to remain hyper-vigilant about moisturizing (ashy skin is a big no-no), but we also have to go the extra mile to make sure our hair is properly hydrated. Seasonal elements like wind, dry air, and cold temperatures have been known to wreak havoc on already-fragile strands. And as most naturalistas know, lack of moisture = breakage. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

So to help out all of the Afro-Latinas who are struggling to keep their strands shiny and their rizos bouncy in the midst of the roughest season of the year, we’ve compiled a list of protective and low-heat hairstyles for black hair this winter. Check it out below!

1. Jumbo Flexi Rods

Flexi rods are the perfect tool to use if you want looser, bouncier curls without resorting to damaging your hair with heat styling. Jumbo Flexi Rods are one of the latest trends that have been sweeping Instagram’s natural hair community. Devotees love them because they’re low maintenance, low-damage, and long-lasting. Not to mention, they’re fun to put in!

2. Box Braids with Triangle Parts

Since box-braids made a huge comeback in the last few years, black women have been putting their own spin on the protective-style staple. The latest craze is parting your braids into triangular sections as opposed to the traditional “box” parts. That makes this style both protective and trendy.

3. Faux Locs

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Got a birthday reading from the amazing @readingsbyvida this past Friday and spent the weekend marinating on all the things she confirmed and enlightened me on. So good!! Check my stories for one of the invaluable things I received from my reading and comment below if you will be joining me for the #GoodVibesandChill challenge this month. ✨💜 P.S Still dying over these #fauxlocs! I felt so beautiful. My first protective style ever done by the beautiful @andranita_bita. Still so crazy to me how she even ended up doing my hair LOL Scroll back down on my feed to last summer for the story. Love her! I have a video on the process on my channel too if you want full details. Happy Monday Vecinas!

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Faux-loc extensions are a stylish and low-maintenance way for black women to keep their hair protected from cold, wind, and dry climates during the winter. So, not only do they protect your hair from breaking, but they are 100% Instagram-able.

4. Senegalese Twists

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Senegalese twists have been around for years, but they’ve recently gone through a renaissance. All you need to do is search Instagram or Youtube for your favorite natural hair beauty guru, and you’ll find a picture or video of her rocking this stylish ‘do. And like box braids and faux-locs above, this hairstyle is almost always extensions, so your natural hair will be protected from the harsh winter climate.

5. Roller Set/Tension Rollers

Tension Rollers are great for black women who want to occasionally wear their hair straight without worrying about compromising their natural curl pattern. The look is achieved by naturally stretching the hair follicle over a jumbo curler. The curl is then “set” under a hair dryer. Because this look is done with low heat, there is less damage, and therefore less breakage. It’s a perfect look for Holiday special occasions.

6. Clip-In Pony Tail

The clip-in ponytail is perfect for the woman who wants to look fierce but has a limited amount of time to do so (and let’s be honest–isn’t that all of us?). Many of us are in the thick of our natural hair journeys and our lengths might not be exactly where we want them to be just yet. Say what you want about clip-in extensions, but there’s no denying that they’re fast and they get the job done. If you’re worried about clip-in extensions looking too obviously artificial, invest a little more money in real hair.

7. Micro Braids

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqX4fBdncm2/

What little black girl didn’t pine after Brandy’s era-defining micro-braids in the 90s? Well we’re in luck, because the look is finally making a comeback! While not as low-maintenance as box braids and Senegalese twists (micro-braids are known to tangle), they’re still a protective style. Not to mention, the braids’ thin width makes them easy to style into other hairdos like twists and braids.

8. Braided Updo

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqs0FUwFjmi/

If you’re tired of extensions, but you don’t quite have the time (or energy) to commit to brutal wash n’ go’s, then a braided updo might just be the middle-ground you’ve been searching for. A half-braided ‘do is the type of look that looks much more elegant and time-consuming than it actually is. Go to your trusty salon (or maybe your madre or tía, if they’re talented) and ask them to cornrow your hair only halfway through your crown. Not only will it be less time-consuming, it will be less expensive too.

9. The Whitney Bob

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqtlNk-h-BX/

If you’re in the middle of your grow-out phase after the big chop, don’t despair! This phase can be one of the most rewarding when it comes to playing with edgy haircuts and experimenting with hairstyles. One vintage mid-length cut that’s going through a renaissance is “The Whitney” afro-bob. But before you get this cut, make sure your stylist knows exactly what you want, because shape is everything when it comes to this style. Once you’ve achieved the desired cut, stick to roller sets for a low-heat, loose-curl look.

10. Hat With High Pony

The ultimate Bad Hair Day style has been transformed into the look of Instagram queens everywhere. If you’re in between protective styles, or you’re not about that extension life, a baseball cap and a high pony are a surefire way to disguise the state of your fifth- (or sixth-) day curls. All you need to do is throw your hair up into a high pony, place the pony through the cap’s closure, and mist your hair with some curl-reviving spray to bring it back to life. Voila! Instant Insta-baddie.

11. Mini Bantu Knots

Have you ever spent what felt like hours on your hair only to realize that you have to do it all again on the other side of your part? Well you’re in luck, because the Trend Gods have spoken, and they have determined that one-sided hairstyles are so in this winter. Especially one-sided mini-bantu knots. So you can claim your throne as a trend-setter and a women who protects her ends!

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Shared a Heartfelt Message About Her Relationship to Her Hair As A Latina Of Afro-Latinx Descent

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Shared a Heartfelt Message About Her Relationship to Her Hair As A Latina Of Afro-Latinx Descent

Newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has never been one to shy away from talking about hot-button topics. In the past, she has spoken out against everything from sexism to socioeconomic inequality. Now, Ocasio-Cortez can add “hair activist” to her list of accomplishments.

In a post shared to her Instagram story, Ocasio-Cortez shared her latest hairstyle: a single corn-rowed braid on the left side of her head.

Ocasio-Cortez described her decision to wear the braid as a way for her to “honor the African and Indigenous heritage that is part of being Puerto Rican.”

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Own your power. . For so many, it’s radical to feel comfortable in your own skin – and to know that you are more than enough, just as you are. . One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” . So take up space. Speak up. Hold the door open and take others with you. Accept that you will be criticized no matter what – that is the price of fighting for change and innovation. I consider constructive criticism a blueprint for improvement and a medicine for ego. . Ultimately, the people who get down, stay focused in adversity, and do the thankless work of change are the ones who transform society. We can all be a part of that, if we so choose. We can all knock a door, register our cousin to vote, or educate ourselves on an issue we’re curious about. . We are all capable of awakening and commitment. And because of that, we can all be great. . ????: @gigilaub

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Needless to say, the House of Representatives is hardly a place where braids are commonly seen on the heads of its members. Obviously aware of the precedent, Ocasio-Cortez explained why she felt it was necessary to wear her hair in a braid as a Congresswoman.

In her post, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “My family is Afro-Latina. When my niece was very little, it upset me to see how early she started to feel that her big, curly, beautiful, natural hair was anything other than gorgeous. I don’t want my little nieces to ever be told that their hair or their braids are “unprofessional”. That’s why I chose to wear one today–to MAKE it normal and celebrated, with respect and honor to our ancestors, and to let every little girl out there know that they can bring her braids to congress too”.

Ocasio-Cortez’s words rang true for many Latinas on Twitter who have gone through their own personal natural hair journeys.

Sometimes it’s hard for marginalized communities to even know what they’re missing in terms of representation until someone shows it to them.

Afro-Latinas responded to the heartfelt message with ones of their own.

As trivial as it may sound to some, something as simple as wearing a braided hairstyle in a space that has historically been dominated by white men is enough to make a profound impact.

This fellow Baricua gave a shout-out to Ocasio-Cortez for using her platform as a woman of color to uplift other WOC who leave their hair natural.

In the past, women of color who have worn their hair curly or in traditionally black hairstyles like cornrows or braids, have been lambasted by employers for looking “unprofessional”. As we know, the standard for “professional” hair is socially constructed, with straight hair (i.e., white hair) being upheld as the ideal.

And of course, others decided to celebrate the fact that Ocasio-Cortez recognized her Afro-Latina heritage, which can be difficult for some Afro-Latinas.

As many of us know, many Latinas are hesitant to embrace the mixed black ancestry of their background because of Latinidad’s unfortunate inheritance of structural racism against Black people.

It would be an understatement to say that a politician talking about the ubiquity of Euro-Centric beauty standards is new territory. The fact that Ocasio-Cortez understands and speaks about the complex identity of being an Afro-Latina is groundbreaking in politics. Furthermore, her speaking out against the widespread idea that natural hair and braids are “unprofessional” is also groundbreaking. Again, this just proves that Ocasio-Cortez is exactly the type of phenomenal Latina our country needs in its government to truly make a difference.


Read: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Breaks Down Why The Holocaust Has Lessons To Offer Sen. Lindsey Graham In Twitter Spar

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