Protective Styling 101

Hey, readers!! First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!! I want to take this time out to wish you all the best for the year 2017!!

Lots of hair growth and minimal hair breakage!!! (lol)

Ok! So you decide to go natural. You make the decision primarily based on the fact that you see other naturals rocking their curls and you think, “Oh cute, let me do it too!” That’s great! No problem, in fact. That is except for the fact that you need to protect your hair every so often.

It is perfectly ok to showcase your curls. Isn’t that the whole point? Yes, it is. However, let me ask you a question. What is your hair goal?

  1. Is your hair goal to have full, healthy hair?
  2. Is your hair goal to have long hair?
  3. Is your hair goal to have hair that is not damaged, splitting or breaking?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you must incorporate protective styling into your hair regimen at least every three months or so (quarterly). The good news is that there are many options for protective styling. You just have to find the one that is right for you. In this article, I will break down various protective styling options for you.

1. Twists

Twists are great if your hair does not matt (or loc) easily. You can do any size twist that you want. You can do bigger twists (which are friendlier on your hair) or you can do smaller twists (which in my opinion look nicer). Twists are good because they prevent your hair from getting tangled together which happens whenever your hair is not twisted. If you choose to wear this style it is still important that you protect your ends. You can tuck them away using bobby pins or by opting for a bun style or roll tuck and pin style. The frequency with which you will need to refresh your twists is highly dependent on your hair texture. The courser your hair the more frequently you will need to re-twist your hair to avoid matting or loc-ing.  At night cover your hair with a satin wrap or cap and sleep well.

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Medium-sized twists on freshly washed hair

2. Roll, Tuck and Pin

This style is incredibly quick and easy because you literally just grab hair, roll it, tuck it under itself and pin it in place. You can do this in whatever style you choose. The idea is simply to hide your ends (the oldest and most vulnerable part of your hair). This style is good for persons who are pressed for time. The downside is that the style will only look fresh for a few days. However, you can just mist your hair with some water, add oil or cream and do the same style again. No combing or brushing necessary.  At night cover your hair with a satin wrap or cap and sleep well.

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Roll, tuck and pin style on a twist out

3. Bunning

Bunning is another good option because it hides your ends. Your hair would have to be long enough to go in a ponytail, however. You also should refrain from making the bun too tight or the purpose will be defeated. Simply draw your hair up into a loose ponytail and taking section by section from your ponytail just roll your hair and pin it in place. You may use a toothbrush to touch up your edges. This style can last for a while, maybe a week or two; but then your hair will require some moisture. If you have a problem with your hair being too dry you may want to mist your hair with some water and oil in a spray bottle every so often. At night cover your hair with a satin wrap or cap and sleep well.

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High bun on stretch hair

4. Braiding

Braids are also another protective styling option that lasts longer and allows you to literally leave your hair alone. Make sure whoever is braiding your hair does not braid it too tight. If after you have your hair braided blinking hurts, then it is too tight!! Sheesh! Also, the bigger the braids the more protected the hair. Micro-braids may not be the best option for a protective style. The tension on the hair is not good, especially around the perimeter of your head (your edges). Braids last anywhere from 1-3 months.

5. Weaving and Crochet Braiding

I place these two styles, although they are different, in the same category because they have the same foundation. In order for you to do either style, you must start by braiding or corn-rowing your own hair. The weave or the crochet braid is then woven into your own hair. The only downside to this, in my opinion, is that if the person doing it braids your hair too tight it can also cause tension around the perimeter of your hair. The good thing about this, however, is that (like with braids) your scalp can breathe. You may add an oil to your scalp to keep it from flaking as well. These styles can also be versatile as you can style them in different ways. I would say these styles last anywhere from 1-3 months also.

6. Wraps 

I love wraps, because they give you that African vibe. You end up looking like this conscious sistah that a brovah just gotta say hello to (LOL). No, but really, I do use them every time I just want to switch it up or when I just don’t feel like combing or styling my hair. OR..when I have no idea what to do with my hair! They are also great to give your hair rest as well. You protect it from the adverse effects of the climate (hot or humid). It is also extremely versatile as there are all sorts of ways to wrap your hair using whatever cloth you choose. Have fun with it!

7. Wigs

Wigs, to me, are the most versatile because they can be easily removed. I also find that with this style your hair is left alone and does not have the tension that braids, weaving or crochet braiding may have. You simply wash and condition your hair, twist it in very big twists with some oil or shea butter and cover it with a wig cap. You can then just place the wig on top of your head and secure it. You may change up the wigs or you can remove the wig and wrap your hair with a scarf. Leave the wig cap on while you wrap the hair with your cloth for added protection. This way your hair goes into what I call hibernation. Take off the wig and wash your hair as often as you would like.

me
Curly wig from Janet collection

So there you have it, ladies. Protective styling options for every length and type of hair. Let me know if you decide to try one of the options and how it is working for you.

Enjoy!!

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