Protective Style Update!

Hey lovelies! I felt like being productive today, so I decided to FINALLY write a new post. As you may or may not know, I have been trying to grow my natural hair with protective styles. 2021 is the year of protective styles for me and I’m proud to say that I’ve been sticking to my plan. I thought it would be fun to share my protective styles with you all and moving forward I will provide updates each time I change my style.

I like to wear protective styles that keep my natural hair tucked, twisted or braided and free from my fingers. If I’m able to run my fingers through individual hair strands then it’s not a protective style for me. Ideally I try to keep the style in for at least 1 month, but the longer the better. This way I am not manipulating my hair too often, as I switch from one style to another. I also aim to stay consistent with trimming or dusting my ends in between styles. So far I have trimmed my hair in January, April and my next trim will be around July. Now let’s jump in to the styles that I have already done for 2021!

January-March: Box Braids

Of course I had to start the year of with box braids! This was my longest lasting style so far, as I kept it in for 3 entire months. I did re-braid the front row after about 2 months, to give my hair a neater look, but other than that my braids were left the same. I really enjoyed this look, because braids are by far the easiest style to maintain. I also really enjoyed trying out this brown colour for the first time! These box braids will definitely be back later in the year when I return to school.

April-May: Goddess Box Braid Bob

Box braid bobs are a whole vibe. I highly recommend everyone to try this look at some point. This style was super cute, because I added curly crochet hair pieces to give it that “goddess” look. This style is great because I don’t have to worry about tying up so much hair whenever workout or go for a run. However, the curly pieces do get tangly, and I ended up cutting them out after about a week or two. I only kept this style in for a month because I couldn’t wait to try my next hairstyle.

May-Present: Cornrows/Wigs

Hot girl summer is approaching and I said I wanted my hair to be laid for the summer! I purchased a new wig in May and I was so excited to try it out. The wig I purchased is a 22 inch body wave and I absolutely love it. However, I will say that wigs can be very difficult to maintain. From applying the lace glue, to getting the baby hairs right, to blending the lace – it can be a lot! Thankfully, I work from home, so 90% of the time I simply walk around with my cornrows (even when running errands or working out). Cornrows on their own are actually an amazing protective style. I’ve been able to wash my hair, moisturize + seal my ends and oil my scalp all while my hair is braided up. I’ve had these cornrows in for over a month now and they’re still going strong.

Currently I have switched to wearing my other wig, a cute 10 inch bob. I wore this style last year, and I have recently fallen in love with it all over again. I could keep this cornrows/wigs style going for longer but I have plans to change my hair soon.

22 inch body wave wig
10 inch bob from last summer

Mid-June-?: Mini Passion Twists

So my birthday is right around the corner and I have been seriously contemplating which style I should choose next. After much consideration I decided that I’m going to do long mini passion twists with cornrows at the front. I’ve never tried this look before so it may very well be a flop lol. On top of that, I have never cornrowed the front of my hair for an actual hairstyle like this so… wish me luck! I saw a girl do this style on Youtube and I thought it was super cute. I’ve never seen mini passion twists done before, so I’m very excited to try it out. It will likely take me 2 days to complete, but I think it will be worth it. I will let you all know how it goes, so keep a look out for my next post!

Let me know how you like to protective style, especially during these warmer summer months!

I hope you have a blessed and safe Sunday, take care!

Wash Day Routine with Box Braids

Hey lovelies! Today I wanted to share with you my current wash day routine with box braids. I have had my braids in for almost 3 months now, and I’ve washed them at least 1-2 times per month. For me it’s very important to wash my hair regularly and keep up with my hair routine while I have a protective style. I also exercise quite often, so skipping wash days while my hair is in a protective style, is not an option for me.

The trick to successfully washing your box braids is to use spray bottles to apply your shampoo and conditioner. Using a spray bottle allows the product to easily penetrate the extensions and reach your hair strands. Also applying your products with a spray bottle reduces frizz on your wash day. So let’s dive into what this would look like!

Products and Technique

So I like to keep my wash days as simple as possible. I have definitely learned that less equals more when it comes to selecting my hair products. I use a simple moisturizing shampoo by Herbal Essences, followed by the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque by Shea Moisture to deep condition. The shampoo that I use is described as moisturizing, but I find it to be quite clarifying. It cleans my hair very well, but it’s not too extreme which is perfect for me.

If you’re using 2 spray bottles you would fill one up with your shampoo, and one with your deep conditioner. Then add a small amount of water to each. You don’t want to add too much water, otherwise the solution will become too diluted and it will take a long time to spray all of the product onto your hair.

My absolute favourite deep conditioner! You can find many of these spray bottles at your local beauty store, or dollar store.

1. Shampoo

Personally, I don’t mind the frizz in my hair and I’m also a lazy natural – so I usually directly apply the shampoo to my scalp, without using the spray bottle method. I will shampoo my hair, using my fingertips to massage and clean my scalp, then rinse and repeat for a second time. I also like to apply the shampoo directly to my braids as well. I like to make sure that the hair is nice and clean all the way down the braids.

2. Deep Condition

Once the shampoo is rinsed out I will apply my deep conditioner. I use my spray bottle to spray all along my braids up to where my natural hair ends and at the roots as well. I find that sectioning my hair helps to ensure that the deep conditioner is applied to every strand. Then I place my hair in a bun, finish my shower routine for another 10 minutes and then rinse.

As I mentioned earlier, I am a lazy natural. On one wash day I actually didn’t even use the spray bottle method at all! I simply applied the deep conditioner directly to my hair and braids because I was too lazy to bother with the spray bottle. I actually would not recommend this, because I feel like I ended up wasting product. My deep conditioner is very thick, so I had to keep applying more and more product to make sure that the product was getting through the braids and onto every strand. Whereas using a spray bottle and diluting the conditioner would make the application process much easier. So please use the spray bottle method for thick conditioners!

3. Seal in the Moisture!

Once I’m out of the shower, I dry my hair with a microfibre towel and proceed to moisturize my hair. I like to use a leave conditioner, followed by an oil to seal in the moisture. To apply the leave conditioner I will again use the spray bottle method. I will saturate my hair with my diluted leave in conditioner solution and then seal it all in with a mixture of almond oil and castor oil. To apply the oil I use an oil applicator bottle to get to my roots and scalp, and then I will massage the oil onto my hair to complete my wash day routine. I let my hair air dry and that’s it!

Here’s a final tip – if you are experiencing lots of frizz with your box braids, make sure to tie your hair down with a satin scarf every night – no exceptions! Wrapping your hair with the scarf will tame some of the frizziness, lay your hair down, and of course prevent more frizz from developing.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my wash day routine! I’m planning to take out my braids very soon, and I’m super excited to see my natural hair out and free again! Keep a look out for posts about taking down box braids, blow drying natural hair and more! Thank you so much for reading.

My favourite protective styles for natural hair

Protective styling is great all year round, but particularly during these cold winter months it is even more beneficial to opt for a protective style. So in honour of protective style season, I decided to share with you my favourite styles and some of the pros and cons of each. I love each of these styles for their own reasons, so let’s dive in!

Passion twists 

I discovered passion twists recently and they are so ridiculously cute. I did shoulder length passion twists myself, but I will definitely be trying longer twists in the future. This style is great because you have access to your hair, as in you can still moisturize your hair while it is in the twists. However, I found that passion twists don’t last very long. The type of hair used for this style is very silky, and you will notice that your natural hair will start to poke through the twists very quickly. The hair also gets very frizzy and tangly with itself, so I’m not sure if I would recommend washing the hair. I haven’t tried it personally, but I would be very careful if you do.

For me this style only lasted about 3 weeks. I think moving forward I would try this style again in a crochet version. So instead of twisting my natural hair with the synthetic hair, I would crochet pre-twisted pieces onto cornrows. I’ve heard that this version will last a lot longer and it would also take less time to install. All in all, passions twists are a great option if you are looking for a fun new hairstyle to try, but don’t expect them to last very long!

Weaves 

I feel like weaves get a bad rep sometimes, but I’m still a fan. When I wear weaves, I always wear it with a closure – I no longer do leave-outs! This protective style is fantastic, because your hair is completely covered up by the weave and it’s nicely tucked away in cornrows. Where weaves lose some points is that there is no access to your hair with this style. You’re not able to properly moisturize or really wash your hair with a weave. For that reason I don’t wear weaves for longer than 3-4 weeks at a time.

However, weaves are lots of fun because they allow you to try hairstyles or colours that you may not want to try on your own natural hair. For example, I don’t like to apply heat to my hair (I have been traumatized by severe heat damage). So if I would like to switch things up with a straight hairstyle, I can achieve that look with a weave – with no manipulation to my natural hair required. Overall weaves are a good option if you’re looking to try a new hair style and you plan to keep it in for less than 1 month.

Mini Twists 

Mini twists are super cute and also very convenient, because it doesn’t require any additional weave or braiding hair. I like to do this style right after washing my hair on my wash day. I will sit down with my leave in conditioner and Shea butter, and simply twist my hair in tiny sections. This does take about 2-3 hours to complete, but it’s worth it! With this style you can easily moisturize and shampoo your hair, as there are no extensions or braids getting in the way. To make this style even more protective, you can place your twists into a bun and only take it down when you are moisturizing or shampooing.

I typically only leave this style in for 2-3 weeks at a time. You could leave them in longer, but my hair starts to lock around the 3 week mark. If you leave these twists in for too long, your hair will begin to lock and then you will be fighting with your hair during the take down. So to avoid the hassle, I only keep this style in for 2-3 weeks. I will take them down, wash my hair and re-twist. Then repeat every 2-3 weeks. This is a great routine to try if you’re looking to grow your hair and you do not want to pay for braiding hair or weaves! Also on a side note, I have never tried mini braids, but it is pretty much the same concept and I believe they would last much longer.

Wigs 

I purchased my first wig this past summer and let me tell you, wigs are a game changer. Honestly, most of the credit goes towards the cornrows. When you’re wearing wigs you will have your hair in cornrows underneath your wig cap and your hair can be tucked away like this for MONTHS. Anywhere between 1-3 months is more than acceptable for cornrows. Wigs and weaves are quite similar in this aspect, but remember weaves are sewn down to your cornrows and there is limited access to your natural hair for shampooing and moisturizing. Unlike weaves, I can take the wig off at the end of the day, or even do a completely different hairstyle with my cornrows. There is lots of versatility and flexibility with wigs and your cornrows. And of course, you can moisturize and wash your hair in the cornrows at any time. This is hands down one of the best protective styles for long term protective styling.

However, let me caution you. When you first discover how to blend your lace front wig with glue you will feel like THAT girl. Yet, constantly installing your wigs with glue may cause damage to your hairline if you are not careful. If you are using glue, please don’t apply it to your actual edges, always apply it slightly in front of your hairline to limit breakage. The only other downside about wigs, is that you can’t simply get up and go in the morning (unless you’re sleeping with the wig glued down). Often times I would have to worry about fixing my wig before leaving the house, whereas styles such as passion twists or box braids require zero to minimal styling. But again, if you’re not glueing the wig down then this isn’t too bad. Either wear a closure wig – not a frontal wig – or pop on a headband real quick and you’re good to go! 

Box Braids 

Let’s just say if I could only choose one protective style for the rest of my life, it would have to be box braids! I think I first began wearing box braids when I was in grade 7. Ever since then she’s been my number one protective style. I have learned how to braid my own hair which makes this style even more convenient for me. It can take me anywhere between 9-24 hours to braid my own hair, depending on the length, style and my mood. However, box braids can last MANY months. Once upon a time, I even had box braids in for 4 months straight! Now this may not work for everybody, but I do believe that you can keep your hair healthy while keeping it in box braids for 2, 3, or even 4 months at a time. A simple hair regimen that you could follow is to wash your hair once a month and moisturize your hair at least once or twice a week. If you simply follow those two steps your hair should be just fine. Our hair flourishes the best when we leave it alone. I will do a separate post in the future about washing and moisturizing your hair while it’s in box braids, as I’m just about due for a wash day myself.

Anyways, this style hits all the major points – access to your natural hair, very long lasting, no styling required and your hair is fully protected. The only con to box braids that I could think of occurs when they are installed incorrectly. If your braids are too tight around your hairline, or if you have a large heavy braid attached to a tiny section of hair, that would be a recipe for breakage. I like to keep my sections medium sized, and I don’t braid them tight at all. As long as your braids aren’t too tight or too big, this style is definitely an optimal choice!

Final Thoughts

These 5 protective styles are each wonderful in their own way. I love being able to try new hairstyles, while protecting my natural hair at the same time. There are still so many styles that I have yet to try such as mini braids, flat twist up-dos, faux locs and more. Maybe I will do a part 2 in the future featuring new protective styles that I have tried throughout this year!

Let me know which protective styles are your favourite or which style you are excited to try. Take care and happy protective styling!