I often get lots of questions about my hair and the hairstyles I do, so I will dedicate the next couple posts to highlighting some of my favorite natural hair styles.
The first style: THE CURLY PUFF
First and foremost, I cannot achieve this style when my hair is freshly washed, in its most natural state. This style came as a result of wearing my hair in braids for a few days and then taking the braids down.
If I were to pull my hair into a puff right after washing it, it would look like the picture below. I love both styles, but when I put my hair in a puff right after washing my hair, my tight little hair coils tangle around each other and I have to spend hours detangling them again and again. Not fun. So I mostly create styles that stretch out my natural hair texture to avoid tangles (I'll write more on this soon). I still love doing an occasional wash-n-go style but not very often.
So how did I get the non-tangly, curly puff in the first picture?
First I braided my hair in about 10 cornrow braids. Here is a GREAT instructional video on how to cornrow:
I could have stopped at this step, wearing the cornrows for a few days and then take them down to create the curly puff. However, I don't enjoy wearing cornrows outside of the house yet because I'm not so skilled at making them nice and neat (I'm still trying to inherit my mother's amazing braiding skills!), so I chose to cover up my cornrows by crocheting mambo-twist extensions into my hair. Check out the tutorial video below from a Natural Hair Youtube Channel I follow. I've used videos like the one below to learn how to crochet extensions into my hair, to give my natural hair a break from time to time.
Click Here to Watch one of my favorite YouTube tutorials on How to crochet extensions into cornrows/braids
Crochet braids are a great protective style! Natural afro-textured hair can be rather fragile and break easily, so wearing protective styles where you can tuck your hair away for a couple days is great for hair growth and length retention.
The twist extensions I purchased were super inexpensive at my local hair store. I do NOT like spending much money on my hair if at all possible, and I'm a huge fan of DIY natural hair care. I used the 1B (extremely dark brown) hair color, and added in a few burgundy-colored twists for a fun look.
When I finished crocheting the twists into my hair, this was the final result:
It looked so natural, and it gave me a HUGE break from doing my hair each day.
After wearing this style for about two weeks, I took the twist extensions out, and I was left with my cornrow braids underneath. I then un-braided my cornrows, which gave me a super curly fro like the one below.
Then I pulled my hair back with a silk hair scarf and tied it on the top of my head to achieve my favorite curly puff ever!
I wore this puff for three days and each day it became puffier and puffier until it was no longer a curly fro, but an awesome huge afro puff! I loved it, but it was time to tuck my ends away to protect my hair from wear and tear. So I took down the puff, detangled, washed, and deep conditioned my hair. (I'll write a post on my wash-day process soon!). Once my hair was freshly-washed again, I went on to try another protective style.
There are a lot of great protective styles that you can do using your own hair (without extensions), such as buns, mini twists, and much more!. Just type "protective styles for natural hair" into Youtube, find a Youtuber with a similar hair texture as yourself and have fun with trial and error. I'll try to write a blogpost soon showing some of my favorite protective hairstyles that I do using my own hair, which are the styles I usually wear 90% of the year. More on that coming soon!