Protective styles are important during the winter months but not everyone likes the time consuming ones or the ones that take a mid to long term commitment. Braids, twists and certain style of weaves usually have long installation times, especially if you do them yourself. The last time I installed Senegalese twists it took me 14 hours. I had to get them done before going on vacation so I couldn’t spread it over a few days. Because of that experience, as much as I like braids and twists with extensions, I’ve decided to do short to medium term protective styles. It also allows me to take the style out whenever I like without feeling like I’ve wasted the time, effort and expense it took to do. Next time I do braids or twists with extensions, I would like to try a local braider because they braid much faster and efficiently than I could doing it myself.
Protective styles are most effective and beneficial if left in two to four weeks at a time, where the hair is not manipulated for the duration. However, even if you do weekly protective styles you are still protecting your hair and at least keeping up with your usual wash and moisturizing regimen, which can be neglected if you leave the styles in long term.
Here are some quick protective styles:
Two strand twists in a side bun
This is one of my favourite protective styles. As the twists are medium to large it does not take too long to do. The style can be pinned beautifully into a side bun, which can be accessorized for formal occasions, or worn casually. It is also a good style for working out. To maintain; mist the hair lightly with water, smooth your edges with your fingers and cover with a satin scarf. After 10 minutes the twists and edges will appear neater and smooth. Twists can also be sprayed with aloe vera juice to combat frizz and you can also use gel or edge control cream. The style can also be changed into many other two strand twist updos.
These are quick and can be done immediately after washing the hair. It is important to not do them too tightly, especially if wearing them daily. Use a donut or create your own bun, low, high or to the side. Textured buns from an old twist out or braid out are also great, as they can be done loosely but still look polished. The bun can be loosened at night but the hair can be kept up into a loose ponytail to make it easy to redo in the morning. Check out some tips on refreshing the style below.
These are relatively quick to do. One giant French braid can be done down the middle or two side braids work well. This style can also be done with Marley hair for greater length and longevity. I usually style my hair this way while it is slightly damp or on stretched hair. When done on damp hair, the braids can turn into a chunky braid out at the end of the week. This style leaves your hair with great volume. Textured French braids can also be achieved from an old twist out or braid out. Again, at night spray your edges lightly with water and put on a satin scarf for them to be smooth in the morning.
Check out this tutorial for using Marley hair with this style
Low braided ponytail
This is a good style for keeping your ends stretched and combating knotting. When I find my hair starting to shrink towards the end of the week I simply put it in a ponytail and braid it. This leaves my hair stretched almost to blowout proportions and with lots of volume when it is taken out. It is also a good style to do before a detangling session. Stretched hair cuts down the time spent dry detangling the hair.
When your styling options are restricted due to bad weather and you don’t want to deal with your hair too much, these styles are great options. They are protective but still allow you to enjoy your hair by giving you styling options that can be changed weekly.
Do you prefer quick protective styles? How long do you leave in your protective styles? Please share below.