Alright ladies: please don’t think that I am trying to chase down the cold weather; I am still enjoying my bikini and shorts, I swear. But I have been thinking about my hair this coming winter. Last year the cold was brutal on my hair, and this year I want to be prepared with a protective style, and that might need a bit of planning, starting now.
I’m sure that I don’t have to stress the importance of protective styling in our regimens, apart from the length retention benefits. It also gives you a well earned break from the detangling sessions, which is always a good thing. It is crazy how these months just fly by, so I have made a list of a couple of protective styles that we can all choose from as the cold months approach check them out:
1. Box Braids
This hairstyle has made a huge comeback this past year and with good reason. I’ve personally had these installed over the summer, and it provided me with great retention, so I can only imagine it doing the same in the winter. If you choose to wear them for a long period, they’ll keep you warm, which is a huge bonus.
I know I’m suggesting this as a winter protective style, but I also don’t recommend keeping them in for over three months. With that being said, I would wait until winter is about to go into full swing (around October), or get them installed as soon as the weather gets nippy, and them maintained throughout the winter.
The sew-in is a classic style with many variations; there is the full sew-in where none of your hair is left out. The partial sew-in where a little bit of your hair at the top of your head is left out, and last but not least – the newly famous vixen sew-in.
I’m partial to the full sew-in simply because you don’t have to worry about blending your natural hair texture with the weave, with a relaxer or flat iron*. Sew-ins typically don’t have to be maintained as much unless a track slips loose, or your hair grows like crazy, which can be a good thing.
3. Senegalese Twist
Senegalese twists, like box braids have become fairly popular within the last year or so. It’s a very pretty hairstyle and elegant as well. They tend to be lighter than box braids, and slightly more versatile due to their flexibility. However, unlike box braids, Senegalese twist are more likely to slip or completely fall out, especially if whoever did your twists isn’t experienced.
We suggest to get them professionally done, so that they can last.
Now I know some people hear the word “wig” and immediately think, “old lady”, but let me tell you, the wig* game has definitely been stepped up over the years. Just check out a wig* group on your preferred social media, and you can see a lot of wigs* that look nothing like wigs*. Some look like sew-ins and others look like natural hair from your scalp.
The thing about wigs is that the really good ones can be somewhat costly, depending on what your budget is. However, if you’re only using it as a protective style in the winter, then its a great investment (if you keep it well) since you can bust it out as many times as you want. Wigs also cause less tension on the edges and nape area than braids, and you can get all the crazy colors if you want to, without worrying about damaging your hair with dye.
5. Crochet Braids
Crochet Braids are another style that have made a come back in recent years. Crochet braids can be seen as a sew-in utilizing your braided hair, and the cool part is you can do it yourself. Unlike sew-ins, they don’t tend to pull and tug as much.
Crochet braids can be a little complicated if you have never done them because there are so many different braiding patterns one can use, and it’s a trial and error type of thing to see what works for you. It can also be a pain to get someone else to braid your hair for you if you can’t cornrow yourself, but with tutorials online, nothing is impossible.
6. Yarn Braids
Yarn braids are a fun twist on the typical individual braid. The thing I personally like about yarn braids is that you can have a billion different colors in you hair if you feel like it.
The yarn is also much lighter than actual weave, so if you have fine hair or if you are worried about your edges, then yarn braids may be perfect for you. Be careful to get acrylic yarn because if you get regular yarn, you run the chance of your hair locing up if you leave the yarn braids in for too long.
7. Faux Locs
Faux Locs are pretty much fake locs. It may sound a little odd, but they really do make a great protective style. With Faux Locs, your hair is braided in box braids with weave or yarn, and then the length of that braid is wrapped with either yarn, or (typically) a more textured weave creating the look of locs.
The reason this is such a great protective style is because not only are your ends wrapped up in braids to keep them safe from wear-and-tear, but the full length of your hair is covered up which will keep it moisturized longer, and safe from the cold hair which can make hair very brittle.
Personally, I am thinking yarn braids for my winter protective style, but I’d like to hear from you ladies. What protective style will you be rocking during these cold months?