Styling Options for Natural Hair

June 18, 2013 by tash01  
Published in Hair

Dealing with two-textured hair is often voted as one of the most difficult and discouraging aspects of going natural.

Curly styles: Curly styles such as straw, roller and rod sets downplay the difference between relaxed and natural textures as the entire head of hair is in ringlets or curls. Not only are these styles elegant and complementary to most persons, but they also require low manipulation and can last up to two weeks.

Twist/braid outs: Described by many who are transitioning as the ’saving grace’, twist outs and braid outs are easy, do-it-yourself styles which can last up to three weeks. The two-textured hair is sectioned equally while wet/damp and either twisted (twist-out) or plaited (braid-out), left to dry and then pulled out and worn in a ’scrunched’ style. Persons can also add a bit of moisturiser to the damp hair or to fingers while loosening the twists/braids in order to reduce frizz. Smaller plaits or twists give more defined results when loosened.

Cornrows/twists: These are the more traditional styles which have come to be associated with natural hair – especially in Jamaica. When done well, these styles are timelessly beautiful and can give one a youthful flair.

Headwraps/scarves: Wearing a headwrap or scarf is a great funky addition to any outfit, especially on the weekend. They offer an alternative for those days when you have to make a quick exit from home or on those lazy days when styling your hair is just not an option. Scarves are available in solid colours and prints. Visit youtube.com for easy headwrapping tutorials.

Extensions (braids, weaves) and wigs: If you are totally opposed to having your two-textured hair displayed, you have the option of wearing braids, sew-in weaves and wigs or a combination at different intervals during your long-term transition. A braided style is ideal for persons who do not perspire heavily from the scalp and have problems with scalp irritation. However, it is important to note that braids should not be done too tightly as this can result in traction alopecia, especially around the hairline. Persons who opt for braids should also remember to maintain their deep conditioning, protein and moisture treatments between braiding. Braids are an affordable option as some styles can last up to three months. Many persons worry about washing their hair if they choose braids. However, persons have reported that washing the hair while braided is possible (depending on the style of braids). The downside to braids is that the process of putting them in can take up to seven hours.

quick change

With a sew-in weave the hair is styled into cornrows and the extensions sewn in. Weaves offer a quick change to your look and the process isn’t as lengthy as braiding. There is also a wide variety of weaves that can be used depending on the look you desire (straight, wavy or curly weaves). Weaves will need more maintenance than braids as they will have to be tightened and/or redone every two-three weeks in order to keep that ‘fresh from the salon’ look. One downside is that depending on the hair used, weaves can be very expensive – particularly those made from human hair.

Wigs also offer one of the easiest alternatives when transitioning – it is simply worn over the hair and removed as needed. Wigs also come in a variety of styles. Lace-front wigs are also increasing in popularity as these give a more authentic look.

With these options, we hope we’ve made the long road of transitioning look less daunting. Until next time!

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