Creating protective styles whilst wearing natural hair extensions help promote healthy hair growth while protecting your own hair and your natural hair extension from damage that could result from the environment, over styling, using heated tools and other trauma we put our hair through every day.
1. Box Braids
Box braids are a popular hairstyle for black women because they last for up to six weeks. No matter how long your hair extensions are, box braids can keep your hair tight and secure. They are especially beneficial if you are concerned that over-styling has caused damage. Box braids are also one of the more versatile ways to protect your hair extension. Once they are installed, there are several ways natural braided hairstyles you can try.
Box braids are characterized by their square-shaped hair divisions. We recommend using human hair extensions when creating box braids. Typically, box braids come in three basic sizes: the normal sizes that are about the width of a pencil, jumbo box braids and very thin, micro braids.
Tip for Installing and Caring for Box Braids
- Make sure to condition your hair before installing box braids.
- Apply leave-in hair cream or serum.
- Tight box braids can cause hair loss. Once the braids are installed, make sure that your scalp and your hair is kept clean.
- It is important to keep your hair covered at night; this will ensure your braids stay looking better for longer. A silk headscarf will keep your braids smooth and help your hair retain moisture.
- We recommend not keeping braids in for longer than eight weeks.
- To properly maintain your braids, fill a spray bottle with coconut oil, rosemary oil or your favorite oil with a little bit of water.
- Decorate your hair with beads, metallic thread, or colorful highlights for a low-maintenance look.
2. Bantu Knots
Famously worn by Rihanna, Bantu knots at an instant 90s throwback that look great, whilst keeping your hair strong and protected. Bantu knots lock in moisture tightly and can elongate your natural curls when worn loose.
If you wear a kinky weave or crochet braids and don’t feel like you’re getting as much volume as you want, Bantu knots can offer that much need lift.
Tip for Installing and Caring for Bantu Knots
- Make sure your scalp is clean before this braided hair hairstyle, as much of it will be exposed.
- A leave-in conditioner will help protect your natural hair extensions and keep flyaway in check.
- Use smaller sections for shorter hair (as tiny as ½-inch wide or smaller) and larger ones for longer hair, up to 3 or 4 inches across.
- Make sure to wrap each layer of twisted hair closer to your head than the previous one, bringing the ends of your hair close to your scalp.
- You recreate with easy braided hairstyle using bulk human hair for braiding.
3. Fuhani Braids
Fulani braids are a very versatile protective style that won’t take forever to execute. This easy braided hairstyle is usually styled with unique patterns of thin-to-medium tightly plaited braids that are close to the head and taper into hair extensions of all lengths.
They have become an increasingly popular braided hairstyle for black girls, not just as a protective hairstyle but as a style statement.
Tips for Installing and Styling Fulani Braids
- Fulani braids differ from conventional cornrows as they consist of one cornrow braided down the middle of the head and either one or two cornrows braided behind the ear.
- Add a layer of textural dimension to Fulani braids with defined baby hairs.
- Use the feed in method where you add the hair extensions a little at a time as you braid. This will keep your braids nice and thin on the top and then thicker at the ends.
- Use may need at least four packs of hair.
- Alternative you can feed in hair at the tails of the cornrow, using only natural hair for the cornrow itself.
4. Senegalese Twists
Senegalese twists, sometimes known as rope twists, are a fantastic protective for black girls with Afro-textured hair. Senegalese twists are created by wrapping natural hair twist extensions around the root of your natural hair. The hair is then two-strand twisted from the root to the ends.
Marley hair is the most popular natural hair extension choice to use when creating Senegalese twists, although we also recommend Kanekalon (silky braiding hair) and Totokalon (yaki braiding hair). Although we usually recommend natural hair extensions, synthetic hair usually works best because the texture will stop the braided hairstyle from unravelling.
Tips for Installing and Caring for Senegalese Twists:
- Try to have at least 3/4 of an inch of hair growth so that the hair can be easily gripped without causing damage to your natural hair or your natural hair texture extensions.
- Try not to apply too much tension around your hairline as it can lead to damage.
- If you’re using Kanekalon, you may want to soak it in apple cider vinegar.
- Wrap your hair at night with a satin scarf or to prevent the hair and your edges from becoming frayed.
- Your Senegalese twists can last anywhere from 8-16 weeks depending on how well maintained they are.
Cornrows were originally used to manage kinky and wavy hair textures. Now they have become a fashion statement in their own right, incorporating natural hair texture extensions.
Their characteristic three-dimensional look is created by weaving the strands under one another while also collecting hair from underneath.
Tips for Installing and Caring for Cornrows:
- It is important that you condition your hair extensively with both an after-shampoo conditioner and good leave-in conditioner before creating a cornrow style.
- Make sure your cornrows don’t pull on your natural hair. Making them tighter will damage the hair root and hair cuticle.
- Slick down your edges with a non-flaky edge control gel and a clean toothbrush.
- Cornrows can be styled into ponytails and updos, depending on how long your hair extensions are.
- Hair should be at least two inches long when braiding hair extensions into cornrows.
- Braid the extensions at least one inch past the end of your natural hair.
Protective hairstyles keep the ends of natural hair tucked away in order to prevent tugging, pulling, and other types of damage. Protective hair styles when using natural hair extensions promotes natural hair growth and can save you time when getting ready in the mornings.