Your afro-textured hair might not be better off left alone without occasional protective hairstyles. Leaving it unbraided can be a hassle. You might experience shrinkage and might have to sacrifice extra time to daily conditioning and combing, that’s why these hairstyles are the way to go.
Protective hairstyles are hairstyles that keep your hair tucked away and protect it from possible damage or breakage. These hairstyles are beneficial to afro-textured hair especially because they are prone to damage or breakage especially when dry or tangled. These hairstyles are not only for protection but they are also beautiful and can improve your appearance.
The following are the top 5 protective hairstyles you should try out (in no particular order)
- Box braids
This kind of braid is predominant in africa. It is called box braids because of the way the hair is sectioned in square shapes. These braids are versatile and can be styled in many ways based on personal preference. It is also beautiful and long-lasting. The braids are done by adding synthetic hair and tucking away the natural hair in them, protecting the ends of the natural hair and aiding their growth.
- Knotless braids
Knotless braids are similar to box braids but they can be sectioned in whatever shape. The braids are also knotless in the sense that the hair is braided starting with your natural hair then synthetic hair is added along the line.
It is more preferred because there is less tension on the scalp and they are less painful.
- Faux locs
Faux locs can be installed in two ways. First way is braiding your natural hair and then wrapping the synthetic locs around it. The other method is to make cornrows with your natural hair then crochet the locs onto them. They can also be styled in many ways and like braids they can last up to 4-6 weeks.
Cornrows are often weaved close to the scalp and are usually done in straight lines to the back although they can be styled differently. They can be done using natural hair or synthetic hair. If done with natural hair, it can be worn for about a week , it can be worn longer if it’s done with synthetic hair. It can aid hair growth if it’s done correctly and not too tight.
Twists are often done by people with afro-textured hair. They can be done using natural hair or synthetic hair. Like braids, they are also done by parting hair sections on the scalp but instead of three strands like braids, it’s often done using two twisted hair strands.
These hairstyles are beautiful no doubt and can be beneficial to your hair, but few things can alter its protective purpose. You should steer clear of these hairstyles if your hair is weak. Also, before making these hairstyles always ensure your hair is clean and moisturized or it could lead to scalp buildup and cause irritation.
Hair length also matters. In the case of faux locs or big braids, the length might make it feel heavy and pull at your scalp and cause breakage. When making these styles for the purpose of protection, the length should be put into consideration.
Also, you might think making these hairstyles tight might make it last longer, while this might indeed make it look neat for a long period, tight hairstyles will put at your scalp and cause tension in them and it can lead to hair breakage. They can also cause pain on the scalp and cause rashes at the scalp. Ensure these hairstyles are loose when making them so it can fulfill its protective purpose.
Lastly, if you’re going to be wearing these hairstyles for an extended period of time, don’t forget to wash them occasionally and moisturize to prevent scalp buildup that can cause your hair to break after taking the hairstyles out.