Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Favorite Protective Hair Style

2012 - Bra Strap Length (BSL)

The "french braid" is my ultimate favorite protective style, especially in the summer!  It can be worn for many different occasions.  And trust me, I have worn it for so many, including wearing it year round.

History of how I learned:  I learned this by accident!  My mother never knew how to cornrow and I was determined to learn at the time.  I might have been just starting high school...so I would play with my hair and try different things.  Trying to learn was a disaster because I wasn't holding my hand properly to create a cornrow, but accidentally positioned my hands to create a french braid instead.  I kept doing it that way and I liked it!  But I still never learned how to cornrow until about 3 years ago (Shhh...don't tell anyone!)

What I love about the style, it does not require much tension. You can manipulate the tension to make it look from loose to tight.  I stay away from "tight".  I love my edges too much to lose them!

The benefits of wearing this style for me:
 * My hair is moisturized; especially the ends,
* Hair ends are tucked in to help retain length,
* Most of the hair is tucked away and "protected" from certain elements.
* Low manipulation,
* Low to No heat to create this style

We have to remember that the very ends of our hair is the oldest part; it is vulnerable and has been exposed to more than the parts of hair closer to the scalp.   That is why the emphasis is there to moisturize the ends, do protective styles, be gentle with the hair, etc.

I had received so many compliments about the thickness of my hair while wearing this style.  It also sparks curiousity as to how long the hair really is.  I posted a few pictures below (and one above) of the french braid I did during the course of my hair journey, also added the length of my hair at the time.  Would you have been able to tell what length my hair was?
2008 - Above shoulder length (SL)
2011 - Bra Strap Length (BSL)


2009 - Shoulder Length (SL)
The trick to give this style the ultimate look of "thickness" is to basically let the hair airdry.  When airdrying, especially when you have relaxed hair, it will give the hair a slight texture although the hair has been altered to "relax" the hair strands.  Lastly, braid the hair a little loosely when you get to the bottom...it will give the braid some "body".

For the appearance of fullness and thickness:
 1. Wash or cowash the hair.
2. Moisturize the hair with a leave in conditioner and/or oil(s)
3. Be sure that the hair is well detanged, always comb starting from the ends and work your way up.
3. Part, comb and/or brush (soft one) the hair in the front to lay it down.
4. Tie a scarf to lay the hair down, especially in the front. 
    (The idea is for you to not use or use a minimum amount of heat.)
5. Let the hair airdy completely (or airdry to 70% or more and blow dry on low heat)
6. Continue to style as you like

Be creative and pizzazz it up!  Having a bang or swooping the hair in the front can give it a different look. I usually place a head band in the front...a simple black one. I am on a quest to get more bands to enhance this style and to place it on my head for other styles other than the french braid. 

I have also seen:
- Braids (micros, kinky twists) styled into a french braid
- "Braid outs" styled into a french braid
- French braids using wavy braiding hair to enhance fullness with the tail of the braid hanging down the back rather being tucked under.
- Wigs/ Sew-Ins french braided
- And french braids done to do a braid out.

Here's a video tutorial on the french braid:
Sdestra - French Braiding Tutorial

What are your favorite protective styles, especially for the warmer months?

Thanks for reading and God bless!

16 comments:

  1. such a cute braid. i still don't know how to cornrow! lol but i can do micros. don't forget my giveaway ends tonight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol! All you have to do is practice and have patience :-) (I did participate in the giveaway that day, thanks for the opportunity!)

      Delete
  2. Great post, love the detail girlie! My favorite at the moment is two twists going backwards with the ends tucked upward, I think it looks so regal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to see that! Any tutorials, vids and/or pics? I know it's beautiful :-). Thanks so much for reading my post Hun :-)

      Delete
  3. This is really nice! I will give the french braid another try. Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome hun and thank you for reading. Let me know how you made out :-)

      Delete
  4. you are invited to follow my blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the invite Mr. Finnell!

      Delete
  5. Ummm, when are you gonna french braid my hair? I've been waiting for like 3 years now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ummm...next time I see you :-) It would come out so gorgeous with those natural lush curls! Oh, your BCGs will get their hairs styled too...lol.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Wow amazing!! Gorgeous hun Have i done a turorial on this?

      Delete
    2. Yes I do! Here is the link :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvPlkKgbIQQ

      Delete