One of the perennial dilemmas of natural hair is keeping it moisturized and cute and frizz-free. Some naturals even (unwisely) opt to hold off on moisture just to maintain a style. But you don’t have to! Geniece and Cassandre share 8 styles that look fabulous, no matter how much you moisturize them, and retain moisture throughout their duration.
1. The Updo
Geniece: The kind of updos that I’ve worn over the years have been determined in part by the length of my hair. One of my favorite styles, however, is one I began wearing when my hair was around shoulder length and it only gets better the longer my hair grows. It’s easy, doesn’t require daily re-setting and allows you to spritz water or a liquid moisturizer before bed without causing frizz (as long as you wrap with a satin scarf before bed). Here is a tutorial for the style I did 5 years ago (pictured above). My hair is now about 10–12 inches longer than it was in the tutorial but the style is just as easy.
Cassandre: Updos are another one of my all-time favorite hairstyles mostly because there are a million ways to make an updo look great so it’s basically fail proof. Besides how chic they are, I like how my hair’s exposure in an updo means I can moisturize it with little obstacle. Here are a few ways I take care of my hair while it’s up:
1. If the style is very structured, I saturate my bun in a water spritz mix every night. If it is not and I want to minimize frizz, I do a very light water spritz.
2. Follow up with a light oil spray. You can easily make one with all coconut oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
2. Protective Ponytails
Geniece: Once my hair grew to mid back length I began to reminisce on the simple ponytails I would wear with my relaxed hair. I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s so the Sadé ponytail (sleek and close to the nape) was something I missed with my thick, coily hair. Fortunately, I discovered that banding my hair allowed me to recreate the look. At night I would simply remove the ponytail holder, lightly moisturize my hair and band with satin fabric or seamless hair elastics.
3. Mini Twists
Geniece: Unlike the two previous styles mini twists take a long to create but you can also leave them in for a lot longer. Because mini twists can last several weeks you will likely wash your hair before taking them out. As long as you stretch the twists out when drying (I like to braid my mini twists into four large sections and sit under the dryer for 30 minutes) you can keep your twists relatively neat. In between washes I like to moisturize the ends with a light water based moisturizer like Bee Mine Curly Butter.
Geniece: At one time I had a nice little collection of wigs and half-wigs that allowed me to wear large, haphazardly placed twists underneath with no shame. Wigs can put less stress on your hairline/scalp than weaves or extensions and because of the plethora of options, and you can sport inexpensive wigs that mimic the texture of naturally coily hair. When I wore wigs I would mist my hair, sectioned in 6 to 8 large twists, with water and apply an oil to the ends. I would allow the hair to dry overnight before applying the wig the following day.
Cassandre: I’ve shared before that I enjoy wearing a beautiful natural looking wig. Besides the versatility that wigging and/or weaving brings, you have your hair covered for a good chunk of the day. Covered hair means hair that resists drying out. To make the most of the moisture retaining opportunity that wearing a wig provides,
1. Cornrow freshly washed and deep conditioned and sealed hair.
2. Spray your hair with a water and glycerin mix nightly and wrap with a satin scarf.
3. Once a week after applying your water and glycerin, apply the DIY moisturizing hair serum to the cornrows.
5. Large Twistouts/Braidouts
Geniece: Unlike the aforementioned styles, you will likely have to re-style large twistouts or braidouts daily. The key to making this a low-maintenance, moisture-friendly style is to make the sections larger after day one. I like to start a braidout with at least 12 braids. By day two I will re-braid two braids in the front in small sections but braid the rest of the hair into four large sections. Another alternative is to band the hair into 5 or 6 sections and very lightly mist with water. Not only will you maintain definition you will also stretch the length of the style by a few inches.
6. Fresh To Death Cornrows
Cassandre: I personally believe afro-textured hair was designed to be cornrowed, and that’s why my hair thrives so much in them. They deliver a great style that exposes the scalp (to allow special treatment and care) and provides protection for your hair shaft because a cord of three strands is not easily broken. For the sake of keeping my style neat for as long as possible, I refrain from spritzing my hair with water every day, however with my technique, I still manage to retain noticeable moisture. Here are some things I do to maximize the moisture in my hair in this advantageous style.
1. Cornrow hair that has been freshly washed, deep conditioned and sealed.
2. Use a thick oil, preferable castor, as a hair wax styling aid. Castor oil will help seal in the moisture you already have and draw moisture to you hair.
3. Apply the DIY moisturizing hair serum to your hair twice a week.
When it comes time to take down your style, you’ll notice your hair feel noticeably supple.
7. Marley Twists
Cassandre: Whether you choose to use Marley hair or Fingercomber’s Havanna hair, this style has a way of always looking beautifully natural. The beauty of Marley twists is that you have constant access to your hair providing more moisturizing opportunities.
To keep moisture in my hair while styled in Marley twists I follow these guidelines:
1. Style my hair on freshly washed, deep conditioned and sealed hair.
2. Use a spray bottle to spritz some water directly onto my palm and then gently pat through my sectioned off Marley twists to moisturize.
3. Follow up with the same technique using the DIY moisturizing hair serum. Place oil directly onto palm and gently pat through each sectioned, moisturized part.
My hair will tend to not feel as moisturized after Marley twists as it does say under a wig style, but this technique allows me to be able to rock and maintain this hairstyle without stripping my hair completely of its moisture content
8. The Super Fly Head Wrap
Cassandre: Ok I know this isn’t something you do with your hair as much as something you put on your hair. I love head wraps, not just because they are the perfect cover up for a bad hair morning, but they give me great flexibility incorporating intense moisture throughout the day. I have done deep oil treatments under a chic wrap and no one was the wiser. Whenever I need intense moisture and want to cut down the “wait” period, I rock a wrap. Here’s what I do to infuse moisture in my hair under a head wrap:
1. Apply the treatment of your choice to detangled hair.
2. Cover head with a plastic cap.
3. Wrap your hair as desired.
If you don’t know how to tie a wrap, check out my tutorial here.
Ladies what are your thoughts? Which styles keep your hair most moisturized?