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Frugal Fro: 3 Perfect Protective Styles

Contrary to popular belief, protective styles do not make your hair grow.  I know, I know.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  But the upside  is the less styling you do, the less damage to your hair. If you are newly natural or an old pro and haven’t yet found the protective style that fits you, check out the following recommendations:

1. Two-Strand Twists

Twists are an easy option to consider. Unlike a traditional braid, two-strand twists consist of using two sections of hair and wrapping them around each other. Be certain to seal the ends with coconut oil, or one of your favorite oils. This style can be worn as is or as a twist-out. A twist out is when the hair is unraveled, leaving you with a textured look. When untwisting your hair coat fingertips with your favorite oil to help reduce frizz. It’s wise to sleep with a satin bonnet or scarf to make the style last longer.

2. Braids

This style can either be done using your own hair or adding extensions. If you plan to use extensions, be sure to seek a professional. Maintain a clean scalp, don’t forget to moisturize and, above all, know your style’s expiration date. Anything longer than 8 weeks might be too long and your hair may begin to mat or loc. Now let’s talk cost. Braiding without extensions is obviously the most cost effective. But if a battle with carpal tunnel syndrome has you vexed, professionally braided hair might be a better option. When shopping for a braider, don’t just shop by price- reputation is equally as important. You definitely want to choose someone who has experience working with natural hair. Now, if you are a DIY kind of natural, pay attention to the amount of hair you add to each section you braid. Too much extension can weigh your hair down and cause breakage. Be mindful that braids should have moderate tension, but shouldn’t hurt. Remember the First Commandment of any braided style, Thou eyes shall not be pulled to the back of thine head.

3. Bun

This is a very simple yet chic style that works for any occasion.  You’ll need an elastic ponytail holder and bobby pins. You can don cute headbands or flowers to spice things up. Remember, it isn’t protection if that elastic band is pulling your hair too tightly.

The Wrap Up:  Winter air can be cruel on our tresses, but so can the garments we wear. If you are not using a protective style this winter, be sure to line those wool raspberry berets with a silk or satin scarf. Wool will pull on the hair causing breakage. The same goes for that fashionable wool coat, try draping a trendy satin scarf around the neck of the coat.  Your hair will thank you next spring.

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Got questions for this Frugal Fro writer?  Leave them for me in comments or send an e-mail to talkback@jetmag.com.

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About Nixgolightly

Nixgolightly is a longtime beauty fanatic who loves (and lives) to experiment with natural hair.  Check her out on Instagram and Twitter.