(Pictured: For Kinks Collection Available at heatfreehair.com)
Box Braids. Yarn Twists. Wigs. Weaves and Cornrows…Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways…
That first leap into the world of natural hair is a glorious one because once you transition or “big chop” your relaxed hair, there is a sense of calm and frenzy that rushes over you all at once. When you first return your hair back to its natural state, it is as if you are experiencing an initiation phase into the naturalista club. You instantly become a product junkie and find yourself using natural hair care lingo in your sleep.
You start with the TWA (teeny weeny afro) and move on to the wash n’ go. Then, you head for the twists and braid-outs to the bantu knots, pin curls and flat twists. Next, you start trying everything from baggy methods and inversion methods to LOC methods.
Now, you’re two years in and you’ve finally figured out the right amount of leave-in conditioner and essential oils to put in your hair to get that perfect style. At this point, you’ve had your hands in your head for so long, you forgot how good it feels to give your strands a break.
Bring on the protective styles!
Protecting your precious and often vulnerable ends should be the main goal as a naturalista. Protective styling gives you the opportunity to protect your ends from harsh temperatures, cotton sweaters and even overactive ten-month olds who like to pull on and eat your hair.
Braids are the sweatpants and fuzzy, bunny slippers of protective styling. They provide an easy, low maintenance style that prevents the need for heat or constant manipulation. The joy of feeling the sun on your face when you wake up in the morning while in the back of your mind knowing you don’t have to untwist, shape or style your hair for fifteen minutes before you walk out the door is the closest thing to happiness manifested.
Weaves and cornrows are amazing, too. But be mindful of your edges. While these styles are certainly cute and stylish there’s nothing cute about tight braids that put undue tension on your fragile edges. Weaves are fleeting. Edge protection is forever. Go curly, go straight, go wild but please don’t go bald. When done with proper care, weaves and cornrows provide a much needed break for your hair for about six to eight weeks.
Wigs, when done right, can help you change your entire style in less than 15 minutes! They are a great protective style as they still allow you to moisturize your hair daily and wash/co-wash your hair when needed. Heat Free Hair Royalty Wig Collection
Don’t get intimidated by the goddesses who go from two inches to 22 inches in one year. Many times, good genes are the culprit. In many other cases, naturalistas have embraced the benefits of protective styling. The operative word in the term is “protective.” Protect your hair and retain more length. If you haven’t heard about it, ask somebody!
Get you some Heat Free Hair, a reliable bottle of leave-in conditioner and essential oils and give your hair a much needed break from constant manipulation. Move over TWA! Waist length hair, here I come!