By Nomali Cele
Winter is a time for cultivation. It’s a time for hibernation not just to ensure survival but to ensure a stronger return in the warmer seasons. It’s no different for your hair. Autumn and winter should be a time for your hair to get strength and growth, free from frequent manipulation and styling, which is where protective hairstyles come in.
Other than masking and moisturising, protective styling should be a prioritised part of your autumn and winter hair care. The science behind protective styling is going for protective hairstyles that you will keep for six to eight weeks (or more!) that way your hair is free from manipulation during that part.
Box braids and twists
When it comes to protective hairstyles, box braids are a classic! Not only are they a statement-making hairstyle, they are an affordable and low maintenance hairstyle. Box braids and twists are perfect as they will allow you to play around with size, length nd texture – and if you work in an open industry, colour.
Faux locs (or goddess braids) have been enjoying a moment in the past two years and it’s not about to slow down. As the name suggests, faux locs resemble dreadlocks but they give you the look, not to mention the length, without the years of commitment.
Faux locs are also a great way to keep a bit of tropical inspiration with you as you go through the cold months – forget flowy “beach waves,” faux locs are THE look and feel of summer.
Cornrows can be the simplest of the protective hairstyles but that isn’t to say they can’t be creative and versatile. Cornrows are the easiest to pair with other styles. So you can protective style your hair with cornrows but wear a wig in that final week when the hair is in its ripest stage. Or add a puff or ponytail (depending on your hair’s texture). Cornrows can be dressed up or down, it all depends on what you’re aiming for.
Wigs are currently having a moment in South Africa and there’s no better time to wear one than in winter. The wig can be the main act of your protective styling or it can act as a reprieve from your other style. The thing to remember when using wigs as your protective style is that you will still have to take the step of braiding your hair under the wig – be it cornrows or isibhaca.
Bob cut braids
The bob cut braids are a classic yet edgy 1990s throwback hairstyle that all your style icons and idols from the 1990s had. The bob cut braids are a perfect protective hairstyle for someone who has grown tired of box braids and is looking to try something new.
The Sho Madjozi
All your nieces have probably had this style in recent time and there’s no denying its relevance. Both playful and cute, this style is where cornrows meet braids and it can be versatile in execution.
As long as you take care of the hair beneath your protective style and keep an eye on your hairline, you will thank yourself for protective styling during the cold months come summer.
What are your go-to protective hairstyles? Tweet us on @KayaFM95dot9 with #KayaOnline