Since I’ve started my natural hair journey, I’ve noticed that I never really wear my ends out. I don’t like looking at the difference between my natural roots and my relaxed ends. I’ve also been too lazy lately to blend the two with styles like twist outs and braid outs (I haven’t mastered them yet!). I recently straightened my hair for a length check during my February Coconut Oil challenge.
Yuck! My hair grew, but while my roots are thicker and stronger, my relaxed ends are still thin, split, and piecey
When I straightened my hair again for the first time since around November, two things immediately came to mind:
Why did I straighten my hair again?!
My ends were constantly being covered and damaged by the materials of my clothes – Cotton and other materials tend to be harsh on hair, especially the longer the hair gets. My hair isn’t the longest, but once it passes your shoulders if the ends aren’t tucked away they are susceptible to long term dryness and damage. Sweaters, scarves, and other heavy layers may have a negative effect on our ends.
So what’s the solution? IS there a solution? I think so. Protective styling is great because it tucks your hair away safely, gives you less maintenance time, and in the winter it can be a good alternative to a wash n go (I mean who wants to get sick!). Below are a few different protective styles that are cute and functional for this brutal weather.
Buns/ Marley Hair Buns (5-10 minutes)
I normally stick with sock buns, but Marley’s hair is great for extra fullness. Place hair in a ponytail. Wrap hair around itself and tuck in the ends. Take extension hair and wrap it around until it looks as full as you’d like. Secure with bobby pins. Wear a scarf at night and this style can last up to a week.
Wigs (time varies)
I used to never wear wigs! But they make an excellent protective style and they allow you to get creative and switch it up! You can buy a wig or make one yourself. Half wigs and U part wigs look realistic and require a little leave out to blend; full wigs don’t need any leave out. They can be switched up based on how many wigs you have! Make sure to leave hair braided underneath. With a full head wig, it’s a good idea to invest in a stocking cap or wear a satin bonnet underneath.
Weaves (1-2 hours)
Weaves are also a way to experiment with different types of hair patterns while leaving your hair under wraps. Weaves can be self-installed, but if you know how then feel free to install your own! Weaves can last a long time based on how you care for the extensions and your real hair underneath.
Box Braids/ Twists (1-4 hours)
This can be done with real hair or braiding hair. They can be small, large, long, or short. Done with braiding hair, braids and twists can last up to a month or more! Braiding hair is also very cheap.
The Senegalese twists were done by a professional hair braider. The box braids in the middle were done by a friend.
These protective styles are a great way to keep your hair protected from the elements in this gross winter. However, just because hair is in a protective style does not mean it won’t need maintenance. Wash your hair! Otherwise, there will be build-up that can block the follicles causing hair to not grow. I also suggest deep conditioning 1x/week or bi-weekly and sealing ends with moisture and penetrating oil (like coconut oil) to keep it healthy.
Do you use protective styles? If so, what’s your favorite protective style?