Protective styling is, hands down, one of the most effective ways to grow tightly coiled hair. This hair type tends to be very fragile due to the nature of how the strands are constructed. Every bend of each coil presents a point of weakness along the hair shaft that may lead to breakage if not treated with care. Protective styles are great for mitigating mechanical damage caused by frequent styling. Plus, they are a huge time saver for us busy naturals.
One of the best protective styles out there would have to be feed-in Dutch braids (or twists)! It is versatile, practical, and it adds length to hair in a way that looks natural. Moreover, it doesn't take hours to complete. If you are one of the many naturals that prefer to wash their hair once a week, this is right up your alley. Since this style is so simple, the take-down process is a breeze. This means that you no longer have to spend any more than a few hours untangling and washing your hair.
However the feed-in Dutch braids hairstyle isn't the easiest to accomplish and you may find that your results aren't as neat as you would like. Enlisting the help of a stylist is a great solution, but if you are planning on doing this style weekly, that may not be best decision financially. Thankfully, there are some crafty natural hair gurus on YouTube who came up with a nifty way to achieve this style for those who are a bit challenged. The method used is latch-hooking extensions to the hair, or as popularly known in the natural hair community as crocheting.
What you will need:
Latch hook (Crochet) needle
Synthetic braiding hair
A wide-toothed comb and/ or a brush
Alligator or butterfly hair clips
After adding styling cream and gel to your hair, begin parting it into two half-sections; tie the other section off. In the first section, part two-fifths of your hair diagonally, then clip it away. Next, part one-fifths of your hair to be cornrowed. Then lastly, clip away the remaining two-fifths of hair. Take the middle one-fifths section and begin cornrowing it. Along this cornrow is where the extensions will be crocheted in. You can use whatever texture extensions you like, but for tightly coiled hair, the kinkier the more natural-looking.
When all the extensions are installed begin dutch-braiding your hair as you normally would. Take your time to ensure that the braid is as neat as possible. Repeat on the other half, then you should be all set! Here's a YouTube video that demonstrates this perfectly:
For those that do not like or know how to cornrow, you could flat twist your hair instead. But for those of you who can cornrow but aren't too keen on crocheting, you still have options. They include dutch braiding or flat twisting your hair some of the way down then adding the extensions towards the end. You can also just attach the extensions from the beginning.
Here are a few tutorials that show you how to do it.
Whatever method you choose to achieve this style, I hope the result will leave you feeling as chic and goddess-like as you will surely look!
Dougherty (DOH-wer-dee) is a beauty enthusiast and writer with a passion for natural hair and skincare. Her other interests include music and literature. When she's not blogging, she is enjoying spending quality time with her friends and family.