Style

9 Headwraps and Hats That Will Keep you Cute and Cozy This Winter

In our sixth gift guide, we give you nine black owned headwrap and hat brands to keep your head warm and hair protected.

This is our sixth gift guide in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the Okayafrica Shop


 

As the weather outside gets frightful (on our end of the hemisphere), it's time for us to start planning ways to nurture our hair. This means a number of things: scheduling a salon appointment to install a protective hairstyle, or rather, styling it ourselves; amping up our moisture and conditioning regimens, and switching up our personal style to cater to the changing weather—with the help of some chic accessories.

The most popular (and my favorite!) go-to accessories for protective styling are headwraps and hats. Headwraps are dope because we can mold it into different shapes to match our outfits and mood. Hats are awesome because they’re versatile: you can wear a beanie with an oversized sweater, or a bowler hat with high waisted jeans and a printed blouse. With both accessories, you have the option of wearing a bang, or letting some locs hang loosely in the back. Add a pair of glasses, sleek eyeliner and a stunning matte lippie and you’re ready to conquer the rustling wind, snow and rain that awaits in the months to come.

We rounded up a list of black-owned businesses that make headwraps and hats for all your fashion-forward winter goals.

1. Fanm Djamn

Photo via Famn Djamn's 'Autumn Dream'n' lookbook. Photo by Alejandro Cerdena.

Founded by Paola Mathe, Fanm Djamn, meaning “strong woman” in Haitian Kreyol, is an online outlet that sells hand-made headwraps, original jewelry, bags and clothing. Their headwraps, both vibrant and regal, are fit for all styles and aesthetics.

Shop Fanm Djamn Here

2. Natural Born Hats

Photo via Natural Born Hats' Instagram page.

Used to wearing satin caps under your hats? Well, this hat brand eliminates that step, with their satin-lined headwear that protects your tresses while keeping your head warm.

Shop Natural Born Hats Here

3. Constant Covering

Photo via Constant Covering's Instagram page.

For some with different abilities, it can be a hassle to create the intricate headwrap designs many people rock effortlessly. At Constant Covering, you can order pre-tied, satin-lined headwraps that come in bow and knot shapes, as well as reversible and denim styled headwraps.

Shop Constant Covering Here

4. Baby Buddah Bug

Photo via Baby Junie's Instagram page.

This one is for all of the Teyana Taylor fans. The dancer-singer-rapper-mom started a headwrap company dedicated to her daughter, Junie. At Baby Buddah Bug, you’ll find an array of teeny-tiny headwraps for the little fashionistas in your life.

Shop Baby Buddah Bug Here

5. D Piper Twins

Photo via D Piper Twins' Instagram page.

Looking for hats that have the flair of headwraps but the comfort of a beanie? D Piper Twins’ hats are half African print, half comfy hat. These are perfect for days when you want to amplify your outfit with a cool pattern, but also want to brave a snowy day.

Shop D Piper Twins Here

6. The Wrap Life

Photo via The Wrap Life's website.

Perhaps the most well-known headwrap brand right now, The Wrap Life features eclectic wraps with colors from all over the rainbow and then some. In addition, you’ll find faux septum rings, hair jewelry and sacred items to cleanse your home and stimulate your senses.

Shop The Wrap Life Here

7. Caheez

Photo via Caheez's Instagram page.

Caheez features chunky crochet hats and cowl scarves lined with luxurious satin. Found in a range of bright, funky colors, they’re sure to turn up your winter.

Shop Caheez Here

8. Africanly Fab

Photo via Africanly Fab's Instagram page.

If you're like me, and seriously can’t get enough of African headwraps, here’s another brand to check out. Africanly Fab has bold headwraps with artistic designs and patterns.

Shop Africanly Fab Here

9. Simone Evans

Photo via Simone Evans' Instagram page.

Inspired by tie dye prints? Simone Evans’s fabrics are swirling with complex tie dye blends. She sells kimonos, robes and wraps that can be reconstructed into unique headwraps.

Shop Simone Evans Here

Culture

You Need to Listen to Luvvie Ajayi's New Podcast 'Rants and Randomness'

Listen to the first episode "Real G's Move in Silence Like Wakanda" now.

Honestly, who better to host a podcast, than our favorite Nigerian social critic Luvvie Ajayi?

The blogger and media personality's new podcast Rants and Randomness, is already garnering pretty stellar reactions from listeners—It currently boasts a 5 star customer rating on iTunes. All of this is unsurprising given her knack for humor and sharp wit that we've enjoyed over the years through her popular blog Awesomely Luvvie.

In her very first episode, titled Real G's Move in Silence Like Wakanda, Luvvie rants about Valentine's Day extraness—which is a very real thing, interviews Eunique Jones Gibson, the photographer behind campaigns like "Because of them We can" and "I AM Trayvon Martin," and shares her thoughts on Black Panther—and yes, she was just as blown away as the rest of us.

She gives a full 15 minute review on the podcast, but you can read part of her review via this snippet from her blog:

My heart is full by the fact that this film feels like life-affirming in the way that cannot be taken back and it's long overdue. And the success of Black Panther should mean that more of these stories will be written and produced and distributed on a grand scale. I say SHOULD, because, well. Shit happens and whiteness loves to do dumb shit like ignore logic, all in the name of racism. More of these stories of Blackness, in all its forms, need to be shared to the world and the possibilities are endless. If nothing else Black Panther should show that our stories are profitable, amazing and necessary. We need more of them all the time in all forms. They won't all look like Black Panther, which is good. They need to be different but they need to exist.

So shoutout to Ryan Coogler and the cast who KILLED IT. And allowed us to come together in joy. I'm officially claiming citizenship of Wakanda.

We feel you, girl. Wakanda forever.

Read the full review via her blog. For more, listen and subscribe to Rants and Randomness via iTunes.

Video: OkayAfrica's 'Black Panther' Celebration at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

OkayAfrica partnered with Brooklyn Academy of Music and D'ussé for an advanced screening, followed by an exclusive Q&A with Ryan Coogler and an epic afterparty.

Ahead of Black Panther's epic release last week, OkayAfrica and Okayplayer hosted an advanced screening and Q+A between director Ryan Coogler and CEO Abiola Oke, followed by our #OkayWakanda afterparty at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

It was a jam-packed event filled with beautiful black folks, coming together to celebrate the film of the year. The Wakandan pride was strong and what's even better is that we caught all the action on camera.

We got a chance to speak with our incredibly dressed attendees live from the red carpet and after party about what the film means to them and why they came out to support it.

Check out all the action from the event and after party in the video below.


Politics

We Did It: Three Years of #FeesMustFall Finally Bears Fruit

This year's South African budget shows that struggle can make things better.

Yesterday, South African Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, presented the long-awaited 2018 budget speech. While he was heavily criticised for increasing VAT and the fuel levy, which will heavily impact the poor, students celebrated the R57 billion that will finally be set aside to fund their studies in their entirety.

It was 2015 and I was at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, along with thousands of students from all over the country, waiting to be addressed by former President Jacob Zuma about our demands for a 0% increase in fees for the following year. We were capable students, worthy of being at universities but we were also black and lacking the money to access institutions which were fast becoming financially exclusive. While our core demand was eventually met, we knew it wasn't a complete victory—what about the fees for the following year and the year after that? I still remember how days after that epic march, my ears were still ringing with the phantom sounds of struggle songs and the whizzing of rubber bullets. I don't know if South Africa or the world will ever truly know how that fight scarred so many of us.

In the years that followed, we watched as the government (which claimed it had no money to allocate to tertiary education) squander state resources time and time again. We protested relentlessly; fiercely. We were shot at by police, our campuses looked like war-zones and we wondered whether we would attain the degrees upon which our families hopes rested so heavily.

After Jacob Zuma's resignation a few days ago, I wrote about how the ANC would embark on a journey of some serious ass-kissing in the run-up to the general elections in 2019. I warned Fees Must Fall activists that if ever there were a more opportune time to act, that it was most certainly now. R57 billion rand has been allocated for the funding of tertiary education for students whose household incomes are less than or equal to R350 000 per annum. This will assist not only the poor black working class but the black "missing middle" as well. The entire duration of their degrees will be funded with the added promise of supporting students in terms of food, transport and accommodation costs, all key to making this announcement a full victory and not just a partial one.

Now does this magically solve all our problems as black students? Does it do away with the rampant inequality prevalent on all our university campuses? No, it does not. But what it is, is a step in a very hopeful direction. Of course, it remains to be seen whether this R57 billion will actually serve its purpose and not be misappropriated like so many of our state funds in the past. However, our acting President Cyril Ramaphosa, is looking to make a big splash. He's looking to garner not only our support but our lasting support, so it would stand him in good stead if he ensures his government keeps their word. He has seen (or at least read about) the destruction, the chaos, the physical and psychological damage to our young members of society following numerous Fees Must Fall protests and clashes with the police.

I will never forget that day at the Union Buildings when the police started throwing stun grenades at us and unleashing a barrage of bullets. I will never forget how a young male student stumbled towards my friend and I, his face completely drenched in blood. I will never forget how my friend and I ran out of sheer, naked fear, blindly into the busy streets of the Pretoria CBD and eventually hid ourselves behind a nearby bus stop. I was not as active on the frontlines as so many other students were, not in the least, so I can only begin to imagine the kind of trauma they still have to wrestle with till this day.

The #NationalShutDown in Cape Town on Wednesday, October 21 2015. Photo by Imraan Christian

That is why this announcement, as much as it was a string of words on a piece of paper for a lot of people, meant so much more to the rest of us. It's a sigh of relief for many black students. It means a glimmer of hope for so many black families. It's a chance to dream and to do so without inhibition. This is all we've been fighting for and it feels so damn good to allow ourselves, even for just a moment, to bask in the light that seemed so elusive back then.

Our fallen comrade Solomon Mahlangu, the young man we sang about in our struggle songs, once said that his blood would nourish the tree that would bear the fruits of freedom. He told us to continue the fight. And so to all my comrades, amandla!

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