In the Afro world, there are some who rock natural hair and some who prefer straightening/relaxing their hair. For the relaxed sisters, we know that it is the most fragile hair compared to the natural one because it is chemically treated to change its texture.
You need a lot of (TLC) for your hair. Of course, you can rock it open but after sometime, you will need to keep it away, especially the ends to protect it from damage like frizz and breakage.
As you rock your open hair, be sure to try as much as possible to wear styles that keep your ends away from your clothes. The friction between your hair and clothes robs your hair the moisture and oils causing dryness and frizziness which eventually lead to breakage.
Good news is, there are many protective hairstyles that you will be spoiled for choice and out of these, there is surely one that fits your needs. I will mention them briefly and in my next articles i will go deeper on each and every styling.
These are basically what it says, additions. These you add on to your hair after packing your hair ends away. They come in different styles and colors from straight through wavy to kinky puffs and colour? Almost any colour you would like.
The good part about this is you get to directly moisturize your hair without a lot of manipulation and its quick and easy to do.
You also have room to change your look frequently without extra manipulating your hair by switching the additions depending on your mood.
You can get a variety of hair additions here.
Wigs as you know is a covering for the head made of real or artificial hair. This is a perfect way to protect your hair especially in humid and cold weather conditions because all your hair will be hidden behind the wig.
All you need to do is to braid your hair in a few cornrows, 6 – 10 or few 3 strand braids and you are good to go. To protect your hairline, you might wanna use a wig grip in place of a cap.
Wigs come in different types, length, texture and colour (more details here) which determine their prices as well.
Wigs have many advantages among them :-
- Protection – Your hair is well protected underneath the wig.
- Different styles – You get to change your hairstyle or look as often as you wish without manipulating your hair or making any permanent changes.
- Adventure – Wigs give you a limitless opportunity to try different looks, short, long, curly, kinky, coloured, wavy and the list is endless.
- Cover up – This is especially helpful for people suffering from hair loss for different reasons. As we know, good hair can boost confidence and wigs help to bring back confidence by hiding the thinning areas.
- Time saving – You don’t need a lot of time to wear your wig as long as your hair is wig ready (braided). This also saves you the numerous trips to the salon which eventually saves you money.
Cornrows are a perfect way to protect your hair especially when you have different textures caused by new growth.
There are limitless trendy cornrow styles that you will be spoiled for choice.
They should however NOT be done too tightly because this may cause breakage and wearing them for a long time may cause dryness, dullness and frizziness to the hair.
Moreover, your hair may break when undoing them because of the knots formed at the roots.
The longest you should wear your cornrows should be 6 to 8 weeks. Most extensions used for braiding are made form Kanekalon hair. There are countless extension brands used in braiding cornrows including : –
- Xpressions – Ultra braid – long, Pre pulled – Long, medium and short.
- Darling – Abuja Long and short
- Angels – Abuja long and short.
- American pride – Super Jumbo braiding – long
- Impression – long.
- Sensational (Jumbo braid – long.
- Outre – jumbo braid – long
- African collection – Ombre long.
Crochet hairstyle is something between cornrows and weaves i would say lol! Crochet is also a good way to protect your hair especially when you have new growth.
There are several styles you can crochet on the whole head but it is limited to waves, curls and pre-braided. Straight crochet may look nice but tend to start falling or slipping off after some time due to the frequent combing unless it is knotted.
The good thing about crochet is that you have spaces between the cornrows where you can frequently oil or moisturize your hair without any huddles unlike weaves where the cornrows may be from face to nape and the weave is sewn in from left to right.
The longest you should wear crochet is the same as with cornrows, about 6 – 8 weeks.
Most brands that make cornrow braids also make that crochet braids and you can find them online or in your local Afro shop.
Weaves are basically sew ins. Weaves are also a great way to keep your hair protected in between touch ups.
They come in 2 main categories, namely human hair, (Brazilian, Indian, Peruvian, Malaysian) just to mention a few and synthetic hair.
They come in different patterns including straight, wavy, deep wave, curly and kinky. Not to forget the different lengths, long, medium or short. Different colors, the list is endless. Get more information here.
Most synthetic weaves can only be used once, come styled already and do not have room to change the original style. In most if not all cases, you are not allowed to apply heat because they will burn and spoil your curling or straightening iron.
Human hairs on the other hand, given the proper care, can be used multiple times. Another advantage of human hair is that it gives you room for styling like dyeing, curling and straightening, it is basically human hair.
By braiding here i mean the single braids. These can be done in three strands or twists. They should also not be too tightly done since this will mess your hair line and could cause baldness.
The advantage of these braids is that you can access your scalp easily to moisturize, you can experiment different colors and lengths and you can try out different styles depending on the length.
The disadvantages of braids is that it takes a lot of time to fix and may need quite some time to dry after washing.
Braids come in many colors, you will be spoiled for choice and the most commonly used brands for braiding are the same as those for cornrows.
Since extensions used in braiding are mostly synthetic, you should not apply heat on it because it will melt or burn and ruin your hair. But, if you would like to have some curls or waves, the kanekalon hair used for making the braiding extensions allows you to do that by use of hot water.
Head wraps is just the mother of all the above lol! I say that because you can use it to protect your hair as well as cover a bad hair day.
You can basically use a wrap when having all the above hairstyles as well, either to enhance a style or just before you undo your braids.
The advantage of wraps is that you can get them in any colour or print and style it with your outfit. There are several ways to wrap your hair which we will get to in the next articles. You can get them in your local accessories shop or online.
While still at wraps, i have to mention that satin or silk wraps or bonnets are great for protecting your hair when you sleep. They lock in moisture and oils and at the same time prevent the friction between hair and cotton pillowcase preventing your hair from drying, frizzing and breaking.
Now that you have some ideas, you surely won’t luck one that you prefer. Regardless of whichever you choose, bottom line is to protect your fragile hair. You can rock them interchangeably if you wish.
Note that your style doesn’t necessarily have to be the most expensive to look good on you. You can experiment with the different options mentioned and find the one that is friendly to your pocket.
In the hair world, most of the time, the higher the price, the better the quality though not always. You get what you pay for kind of thing. Could there be something that i missed out? Feel free to contact me or leave a comment and i will be glad to read from you and will get back to you.