Protective styling is used to ensure the protection of your ends, protection from the weather, other natural elements and to break from everyday styling. Three popular protective styles to definitely try are box braids, crochet braids and bantu knots. These styles will give your hair and both of your hands a well deserved break.
Box Braids – These braids circa the 1990’s are making a huge comeback and for good reasons. Not only are they stylish and trendy but they also allow versatility. It is best to start by moisturizing the scalp with a natural oil as it will be more difficult to get to, once the braids are installed.Part the hair in sections of about 3/4 of an inch braiding in the toyokalon or kanekelon hair fiber to the length of your choice. Be careful not to part the hair too small or to add too much hair while braiding as this can later result in breakage. Maintain this hairstyle by moisturising the scalp daily and wearing a satin scarf on your head to bed.
Crochet braids – Crochet braids are great for those who love the style and versatility of braids but don’t have the patience to sit while braid after braid is being installed.Start by cornrowing all of your hair straight back or across your head making sure that your braids aren’t too big or bulky and make sure that they lay flat. This will create the base on which the braids will be installed. You’ll need a “latch hook” needle, scissors and about three packs of a synthetic deep wave pattern.
Begin by taking the latch hook in hand, with the latch open, slide it underneath the braid.
Take the synthetic hair and fold it to the desired length.
- Loop the hair onto the hook, close the latch securely, reverse and slide the hair back underneath the braid.
- Remove the hook, taking your thumb and middle finger to create an opening at the loop.
- Feed the ends of the hairs through the hole.
- Now twist the loop and feed the ends in the loop once again, pull and secure, repeat these steps until the whole head is complete.You can also easily access videos on YouTube for how to install crochet braids. Maintain this style with a spray and cleanse method using a leave in shampoo and wiping the scalp vigorously to remove any build-up. Tie your head in a satin scarf at night before going to bed.
Bantu knots – Bantu knots are a cute style reminiscent of our childhoods but can also emulate class and elegance. It is best to start out with hair that is well moisturized preferably with a hair lotion.Section the hair by parting them in squares or triangles making sure that the knots will be evenly spaced all over the head. Start by braiding or twisting the sections of hair to the ends and then wrap the braid or twist around itself creating a “knot”. This is an excellent hairstyle to fight shrinkage and retain moisture. Protect your bantu knots by moisturizing the scalp and wrapping your hair before going to bed.
All three hairstyles are very complementary and preserving for natural hair. It is recommended that you change your protective style every 5 weeks or so to minimize breakage and damage.