An Important Step Towards Loving Your Natural Hair

When I was growing up my mother always kept my hair in cute braided styles.  Every single day of the week I had braids and only wore my hair down for special occasions.  I used to love brushing through my thick hair on wash days but shortly after it was right back in those braids.  That is probably a big reason why I love to wear my hair out so much.  Hair gurus always tell us that you should wear protective styles for hair growth.  I want to enjoy my natural hair so I wear it down about 75% of the time.

 

I wore a tapered short cut during my TWA phase which was cute and easy to maintain.

One Thing You Can Do to Start Loving Your Natural Hair

Unfortunately, I’ve met people who haven’t had a pleasant experience when wearing their natural hair out.  I’ve been asked what they should do so that they can start wearing curly styles.  My response is almost always the same.  I usually suggest that they start by having their hair cut into a shape.  This goes a long way when it comes to loving your natural hair.   Pretty much every style will fall into place once the hair has been shaped. Everything from the wash and go to twistouts & braidouts will look so much more impressive after a shape up.

Find a Stylist That Specializes in Curly and Textured Hair

Going to a stylist can actually be kinda scary but is sometimes the only option for a good cut.  You should always look into whether or not they have experience with natural or curly hair before setting an appointment.  It may take some time to find someone but this step is key.  Then you’ll want to get an idea of what shape you want.  Do you want bangs?  Are you growing your hair out?  Have a plan for what type of cut you want prior to going in.

Where to Find Hair Inspiration

A perfect place to find hair inspiration is Pinterest.  If you follow my Fab Natural Hair board you’ll find tons of style ideas for all different hair lengths and textures.  I’ve taken a lot of time to curate this Pinterest board so that it has helpful information and images that are beautiful and inspiring.  Another great resource is Instagram.  If you type in the hashtag followed by things like “wash n go,” “hair to mesmerize” or “curly afro” with no spaces you’ll find plenty of hairstyles for curly hair.  

This curly afro with bangs look was inspired by images I found on Pinterest

Hair Inspiration on Instagram

There are also many stylists on Instagram who have pages showcasing their work with before and after photos.  One of my favorites is the “Curl Doctor,” Shai Amiel who has done curly cuts for Tia Mowry, and Kehlani.  His profile has looks he’s done on long, short and mid-length hair and all hair types.  Another Insta favorite for curly cut inspiration is CurlPop.  This page has lots of hair inspo, before and afters and videos of curly cuts in action.  You’re bound to find something that you want for your natural hair now or a style that you can set as a healthy hair goal.

 

This is my hair after the curly afro started to grow out.

 

Once you’ve narrowed down the style you want,  you can bring a few photos with you to show your stylist the look you are going for.  It’s alway a good idea to express to them what your hair goals are at this time.  Keep in mind though that a shape up may mean you’ll lose some length.  The shape of your choice may also require your stylist to add a few layers.  The trade off will be natural hair that falls into a style no matter what.  You can do a bomb twistout or wash n’ go without all of the extra effort.

Natural hair is so versatile and should be enjoyed at every length!

 

4 Protective Hair Styles in 4 Weeks

www.curlyincolorado.com protective hair styles

In January I started my own protective style challenge to see if it would help me with length retention.  Normally I enjoy wearing my hair out because I love how versatile natural hair is.  This made it a little bit harder for me to decide on a style for the challenge.  To keep it interesting, I decided to change up my protective style each week.  Here’s a rundown of each style I wore for the first four weeks of the challenge.

WATCH ME PREP MY HAIR FOR MY VERONA GIRL WIG BY FREETRESS

Protective Style #1-Synthetic Wig

www.curlyincolorado.com protective hair styles
Verona Girl by Freetress
Synthetic Wig

I’ve been experimenting with wigs off and on.  I thought that the challenge would be the perfect time to practice my wig skills.  I braided my real hair into two dutch braids underneath my synthetic wig.  I found that this was one of the easier styles.

Protective Style #2-The Bun
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Easy Low Bun

Now that my hair is getting longer, I can actually work it into a pretty decent bun.  For me this style works best on stretched hair.  I usually put my hair into a ponytail and split the ends into two sections. I twist each of them then wrap the twists around the base of the ponytail.  Then I use bobby pins to secure the ends.  I really like how this look can be worn for an everyday, casual look or dressed up.

Protective Style #3-The Puff
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Low Puff; Low Manipulation

Technically this isn’t a protective style.  However, it is low maintenance and keeps my hair off of my shoulders.  After cleansing and conditioning my hair, I detangle my hair and slick it back or up high using hair gel.  I use a ponytail holder or banana clip placed sideways to secure it into place.

Protective Style #4-Dutch Braids
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Dutch Braids on Straight Hair

This has been a go-to style for me for ages.  I just part my hair down the middle and do a braid on each side.  In the picture my hair was straightened but this look also works on wet, damp or stretched hair.

With each protective style I like to smooth my edges with Eco Styler gel which is a staple for me.  I also found that my hair needed heavier moisture for styles that are meant to last a whole week.  I think my favorite was actually the puff style.  My ends were out but it took the least amount of effort.  Overall, my first four weeks went well.  I’m planning on going for another four weeks wearing some of the same styles.  What are some of your favorite protective hair styles?

Protective Style Challenge Week 3: The Puff

www.curlyincolorado.com Protective Style Challenge week 3 The Puff
Keeping my hair up in a puff for this
week’s “protective” style

I have decided that in order to keep myself motivated to wear protective hair styles, I’ll be wearing one

style per week.  That way I can try different styles while keeping up with my weekly wash routine.  This is my third week on the protective style challenge and I’ve decided to wear my hair in a puff.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, a puff is not technically a protective style.  This is because the ends of my hair are not tucked away or, “protected”.  Still, I figure this style will work for me because it will keep me from combing and manipulating my hair.

To style my hair this way I like to use a banana clip placed sideways.  This gives me a much fuller effect than your usual ponytail holder.  I used to cut apart hosiery and use one of the legs for a long wrap around hair tie which also works.  You can watch how I use the banana clip on stretched hair in my Youtube Video.

As far as the products I used, I pretty much followed my usual wash n’ go routine.  After cleansing and conditioning my hair, I applied a leave-in conditioner and then grapeseed oil.  Then I added a thick creamy moisturizer to each section of my hair before applying hair gel.  My favorite gel at the moment is Eco Styler gel with Argan Oil.  I realized the order I used to apply my products basically meant I was using the L.O.C. method to moisturize my hair.  That means leave-in, oil and cream; in that order.  I’m curious to see if that will make a difference in how my hair feels
this week.

Next week I may end up doing a ponytail roller set on my hair so that I can experiment with an up-do.  Until then, I’ll be wearing the puff with a mid week co-wash to cleanse my scalp and add moisture.  Then back to the puff to ride out the rest of the week.