Adventures in Protective Styling


Source: via Juanita on Pinterest



Some time ago, I made a vow to experiment with new ways of doing my hair. When I first cut out my relaxer, I had three styles

Occasionally, I would do these two:

  • The ponytail (once I got enough hair)
  • Single strand twists/comb coils

Needless to say, this got boring after awhile. Even my husband complained a little about the redundancy of my styles. Once I admitted that I was a lazy naturalista, I decided to change that. So, I started watching YouTube videos and perusing blogs, joining natural hair groups on facebook. I even signed up on a few Natural Hair Meet-up group. Yeah, I became that girl.

While at work, I saw a girl who had a twisted updo with a side bun. It was sooo cute. But, I don’t have hair like that. So, I put the look in my mental rolodex for when my hair grew out some more. Some time later, I attended one of those Natural Hair Meetups and was finally inspired to delve into the world of protective styling. The presenter broke down the myth in my mind that protective styling is difficult. Make a bun with some hair extensions she said. If you can braid, you can make a quick and easy bun, she said. Instantly I thought of twisted updo/side bun. So, I went to the beauty supply and bought a 2.00 pack of good old Kanekalon Braid Hair. I can so do this hairstyle, and it’ll keep my hands out of my hair. This should be easy breezy, right?

Not so much! I couldn’t keep my tuck in place. It just looked sloppy and epic-failish, so I changed direction. I decided to flat twist instead, which is another technique I’m still learning.  In the end, I had upgraded from a hot mess to “if you place this bun just right, it’ll cover up these jacked-up flat twists in the back of your head.” I was determined to make it work, it took forever to do and my arms hurt from twisting.

So, here’s day 1:

The next night, I took out the back twists and redid the bun with the side twists only. Much better!

July 31 - Day Two Protective Style

So, what about the twisted updo/side bun? I’ll try it again. Just not right away. In the meantime, I’ll keep experimenting with my braid.

So, ladies, have you had any epic fails with styling your hair? Do you even attempt protective styling or would you rather seek professional help? Are you a fan of protective styles? What tricks and techniques have worked for you? How have you saved your hairstyle from disaster?

Dropping a little knowledge

What is protective styling? According to, Protective styling involves putting your hair into a style that involves tucking your ends away from the atmosphere to protect them from damage whilst your hair grows.

Examples of protective styles: braids, weaves, buns, bantu knots

What are the benefits to protective styling?

  • Helps to keep “hand in hair syndrome” at bay
  • Could foster hair growth as your hands are not always in your hair
  • Low maintenance
  • Time-saver (well, after the initial styling)

3 thoughts on “Adventures in Protective Styling

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