Natural Hair Chronicles, Part II: Style + Versatility

Sunday, December 9, 2018
Natural hair is SO versatile that we can go from a Blowout to Havana Twists and back to Curly all in a week's time. We can literally have a different hairstyle every day of the week and that's what makes being natural so much fun for me! Before you style, you want to make sure you have a clean and moisturized base to start with; so if you haven't already, check out my Wash Day post for some of my personal tips and my list of must-have products. I know this follow-up post is loooong overdue; but, here we are!

I wanted to ensure that I provided you all with a post that was not only based on my personal experience, but also based on professional knowledge. So, I have called on the Natural Hair Extraordinaire herself, Ms. Kindale Godbee a.k.a. The Heir, to help us navigate the adventure of styling natural hair. For more professional tips and to see the amazing work that Kindale does, follow her on Instagram @_theheir_ and subscribe to her YouTube Channel.

There are so many different styles that we can try (some will pop, some may fall flat, literally); however, in this post, we are going to focus on protective styles, blowouts, braid/twist outs and other curly styles (perm rods, flexi rods, ya know). Although styling natural hair is fun and the results are [usually] worth the process, the process can definitely be a burden! Hopefully these tips will help. A scrolling list of 'products to try' will be at the end of this post for your purchasing pleasure. Let's get started!
Let's start with blowouts. "New hair, who dis?" is always my mood when I get my hair straightened. This is the perfect time to get those ends trimmed or try a new cut. Blowouts typically last me a week or so (depending on how much I work out). If I request that my stylists adds body after straightening, it will last a few days longer. Once I feel like I'm losing volume, I will put about six flexi rods in to add some baaawdy back. The more volume you have from the beginning, the less likely you are to re-style your hair with more heat. When trying to combat frizz, try to stay away from water-based products to keep your hair from reverting back to curly.
Professional Heir Tip: Be sure that you ALWAYS use a heat protectant spray (not oil, oil will burn hair) that can provide protection for up to 450 degrees. Be sure that your flat iron is Titanium to ensure an even distribution of heat and make sure that you go no higher than 350 degrees. After heat styling, wrap or pin curl your hair every night and do not put any more heat on your hair after the styling process. 

Braid/Twist outs
These are the styles that we do on a regular basis! I looove a well-moisturized, defined twist out. These styles may sometimes feel a bit repetitive; however, you can switch it up based on the types of twists you do. My go-to is a flat-twist out - these are essentially the twisted version of cornrows. It can be more time consuming than two-strand twists but the definition is worth the time. Check out this flat-twist out tutorial from one of my favorite naturalistas, Mini Marley! Some of my friends, like Ariel, have amazing results with chunky, two-strand twists! And other friends, like Angelica, achieve flawless definition with two-strand twists also. An important thing to remember when doing your twists, is to detangle your hair all the way through so that your twists are smooth and tangle free. Some of my less desirable twist out results have been due to being lazy with detangling. Once you unravel your twists you can do so many styles: half up-half down, a middle or side part, a curly puff, etc. - the possibilities are endless! Here's a video tutorial!
Professional Heir Tip: Be sure that your use a leave-in conditioner to lock in moisture while doing your twists. After your twists are dry, use your favorite oil to take down your twists and to add moisture in between styles. For oils, Kindale suggests fattier oils like Avocado or Castor - fattier oils will penetrate your hair and retain moisture rather than simply coating the top of the hair.

Protective Styles
Protective styles are great when you want to switch it up or when you want to give your hair a break from frequent manipulation. Box braids and Havana/Marley twists are my summer-time, vacay go-to; but, protective styles are literally perfect for any season! Here's some information on my favorite braider in the Raleigh-Durham area, Ms. Airico. I have found that the prep for protective styles is most important in order to ensure that the style lives up to its name and protects your hair underneath. So your wash day before a protective style is going to make a huge difference. You can refer back to my Wash Day post to read about my routine. I have tried weaves before and keeping my hair moisturized was quite difficult (the weave pat was real).
Professional Heir Tip: Before- Prep your hair by deep conditioning and oiling your scalp. During- Your braids (including with wigs & weaves) should never bee TOO tight; the style is no longer "protective" if there's too much tension on your hair/scalp/edges. You should oil your scalp AT LEAST once a week (lighter oils for sew-ins, fattier oils for braids). After- Make sure that the take down goes well. You should expect shedding, but you don't want to cause breakage. Saturating with detangler and/or conditioner before washing is key!
Other Curly Styles
Now I liiiive for a poppin perm or flexi rod set. I'm not going to lie, these are extremely time consuming but the style is worth it! For flexi-rod sets, I usually blow dry my hair and then apply the flexi rods because I hate sitting under the dryer and it takes my hair FIVEever to dry; however, the style does not hold as long when I do this. When I get a perm rod set done by Kindale at The Heir Salon, it can last me up to 2 weeks (yeah, I was shocked too). I usually don't manipulate/separate my curls until about the third day. At night, I put my hair into 4 "mini pineapples" and in the morning I fluff it back out with my fingers. These styles don't require as much prep or product, but you still want to make sure that you learn a technique to applying perm rods or flexi rods because this can make or break the style. The size of your rods will depend on how big or defined of a curl you are desiring. Here's a perm rod tutorial and here's a flexi rod tutorial (on blow-dried dry hair) to get you started!
Professional Heir Tip: It's best to do these styles on wet hair because less tension is used. Be sure to use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner since you will be sitting under the dryer for this style. Using a wrapping foam will help your style last longer (Kindale prefers ORS'). Before you go under the dryer, spray a heat protectant all over (with rods already in). When taking rods out, your hands should be saturated with an oil of your choice to reduce frizz. Be sure to wrap your hair at night to preserve and protect this style (bonnet or pineapple method).
Flexi Rods
Perm Rods

What is your go-to style??

Products to Try:


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