Well its that time of year again ladies, 'wen de hair pun mi hed mus get tuck way', don't laugh, I know I ain't alone in this. The braids, the rows, the twists and the locs are about to make a comeback and become front and centre for all occasions.
Whether your hair is naturally dry, overly oily or modestly nonchalant we all want to get up and go in the winter with minimal effort but still looking as though all the effort was made. But before you grab that hair appointment, book that day to do hair at home or start head watching your girls for the do you will be rocking because theirs looks fly, do your hair a favour by treating it with some love.
Whats the love, wash me, yeah I said it, and coming from me who is a long time between my hair wash days, I feel no way about telling you this. Before a protective style is applied to my hair, my hair, has to be clean. That style you are paying for, sitting for or spending hours on by doing it yourself will be applied for 4 to 6 or more weeks. No one wants the frizz affect or unravelling, do overs here and there caused by soaking down your head mid wear, so do yourself a favour and wash your hair, before applying the style.
Once you've washed, don't go, now throw on a treatment. I'm not here to tell you of what, its your hair you know what works for you, hmmmm or maybe you don't, in which case do your research. First, identify your hair type and scalp needs and explore products that work best with those unique hair characteristics. You noticed I dropped the the word unique in there, yes, because you are and so is your hair! There is no one-size fits all and for some at different times of the month due to hormone production, one product may be less effective than normal or worse, cause damage, so yeah ladies, watch your cycle. My top tip here is use natural sources where-ever possible and if not or you choose off the shelf, look at the ingredients list and choose products with 10 or less ingredients. If you can not read the ingredients or don't know what the ingredients are, question yourself, should I be using this?
Next, lock in that love, with a leave in conditioner or a lock and seal method. I like to part my hair in four, band each section, then open one section at a time and split that into four. I apply product to each of those sections twist them individually and then dress my scalp between eat twist with some oil or oil based product. By the time I have done my whole head, my arms are tired lol, that is actually true (and maybe why this is not a regular ting for me) but also my hair is stretched, super soft and gives off salon vibes!
So, be consistent and minimal with products. Obviously we want every stand to be shiny and perfectly placed, but consider the excessive build up of product. If we are not careful we will be creating damage to our scalp, not to mention the brain cells we are traumatising by walking around doing the black girl pat lol!
Done all that, yeah, so now let's move on to your do! Up, down, to the side, to the back, what are we doing ladies?
The box braid - A personal favourite of mine. I would encourage a medium size and length braid. Remember, this beautiful style will make you look flawless for any occasion but too much weight can cause tension, pull and brake edges, fine hair and weak areas like the centre of the head are particularly vulnerable to breakage.
Havana Twists - This is a light and chunky twist that in up-do's can last a minute. The hair is soft and does not need to be tight and so easy to sleep in. The great thing about keeping the style fixed means it is easy to maintain and can be changed up but accessorising the hair with hair jewellery or beads.
Ghanian braids - From straight-backs to the swirl effect these look great in all colours, with or without your slick down baby hairs and are sometimes tied with cotton to hold shape or up styles in place. However you rock them, these are keepers.
Braided bobs - Personally, I have never had one, but they are seriously cute and won't take your whole day to be finished. What ever type of braid or hair is used, they will be significantly lighter than any long braid styles. My old-self would say they are not for every face shape, and that is likely to be the reason why I have never got them. But, my growing self says, do you boo, you be happy in them, smile and rock that bob!
Bantu Knots- These are so cute and easy to do with both your natural hair or extensions. What I would say is be mindful of weight. These can be very small sections of hair which is then overloaded with extension hair that is then drying out your hair and scalp simultaneously. As they are so easy to achieve maybe redo regularly and add flair to your hair by parting it differently each time, squares, triangles or diamond shape, this will also protect your hair from being constantly pulled in one direction.
Crochet braids- These are made to look easy, hmmm...anyone tried doing them themselves, let me know if they are really a buy and do. They are definitely light and can be a real statement piece if you go wide. When I see them on a sis, I instantly think she's making a bold statement, she wants to be seen. Guess what, I've seen her and so have you, hell you might be her, so rock your bold braids sis!
Senegalese twists - OK these are gorgeous and I have to be complementing women up and down the planet when I see them, because I genuinely feel they suit everyone. They look so sophisticated you could be in you p.j.s in the supermarket and still look stunning, OK too far hahaha, you know what I mean!
Marley braids - These I have only seen pre-done and so attached rather than braided in, but shout me if I am wrong! The hair is light and soft and as such is said to cause less damage to natural hair when braids are thick, long or plenty. They can lose their shape when wet and so if you are in the gym daily or pre-menopausal, your style may need a make over sooner than you would like. If either of those apply to you, maybe get the braids, but go for a fixed style to make them easy to maintain.
Natural hair clip ins- These are about to be my try buys. I would love to wear my hair out more but the effort it takes is draining and at time frustrating, leading to a hair up-do day AGAIN. So, why not stop trying to make your hair do all the work, look for the style you desire and buy some clip ins that will allow your natural hair to sit and look pretty amongst them.
Locs- Faux and trying out the look or Real and making your natural hair grow abundantly and healthily, these are the one. Black women are rocking Locs with pride, comfort and with abandonment, because we do not care! Gone are the days when old stereo types or cliches would keep us from wearing this style. We are now, unapologetically us and Locs give off that, ' I know who I am vibe'. These styles can confidently hold hair jewellery so bedazzle your dos.
That's it ladies, my tricks and tips, styles and accessory ideas for keeping your winter hair sassy! But, don't leave me yet, 'tel mi sumtin, which one is you, head-tie or bonnet?