Tag Archives: updo

Curlformer Swooped Bang & Bun Updo

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Came across this really pretty updo on Pinterest (I told you that I’m a lurker there!) while searching for pictures for the new Style Inspiration category. As luck would have it, this lovely natural created a video tutorial for the look too! Enjoy!

via MyNaturalSistas

Hmmm … I really have to get around to trying my Curlformers, don’t I?!

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Protective Styling Boring?

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[PIC HEAVY]

On Sunday, I decided to start going through my photo “archives” from 2011 to present to build a Protective Styles album on Facebook. And, it started me thinking about the recent questions I’ve been receiving about how I’ve been able to “grow” my hair long. I put grow in parentheses as I think “growing” hair long is generally a misnomer. As many of us know, absent a medical condition, our hair is always growing. Shoot, how many used to relax every 4-8 weeks, because that new growth was coming in so fast? So, yeah, that smashes the concept that our hair doesn’t grow. However, what is often happening when hair plateaus at a certain length is that we aren’t retaining that growth.

Enter protective styling. Now, there are a variety of factors that I believe have contributed to my ability to achieve my current length, which is the longest my hair has ever been, though it’s still a work in progress. What I do know is that protective styling (i.e. wearing styles where my ends are tucked) has played a major part in helping me get where I am now and will continue to be of benefit. But wait. Let me be more precise. Low manipulation protective styling has played a major part in helping me get closer to my goals.

You see, unlike those with hair of heartier stock, my fine strands can’t deal with too much pulling, tugging, braiding, twisting, cornrowing, flat-twisting, etc. So, I learned about a year and a half ago that my hair fares much better when I stretch it with twist-outs or TnCs and then place it in protective styles that can be done in 5-15 minutes with large sections of hair and pretty much left alone for several days or even a week at a time. Although I love the idea and look of small twists, mine tend to unravel. So, having to re-twist every couple of days kind of defeats the purpose of that particular protective style (though, I still wear twists on occasion). And wearing my hair down results in tangles, knots, splits and breakage due to friction and debris!

Now, to my real point. I have often read the sentiments like the following about protective styling: “What’s the point of growing your hair long if you always have to hide it?” and “Protective styling is boring.” But, I’d like to posit that “hiding” one’s hair can be anything but boring and is actually fun! In the last year and a half, I have done more simple, protective styles than I can even remember. The key for me has been to:

  1. Play around with a few gentle tools and accessories (i.e. banana clips, satin scrunchies, bobby pins, Spin Pins, Comfort Flex barrettes, flowers, hair sticks, headbands and *gasp* braiding hair! *lol*).
  2.  Search YouTube for inspiration from all sources, not just naturals with my texture and/or length (shoot, one of my favorite Youtubers for protective styling inspiration is Lilith Moon, a Russian blonde with naturally straight, shoulder length, thin hair).
  3. Use my imagination.

With those things, I have found protective styling to be enjoyable and generally prefer to wear my hair up and hidden, over down and out, most days of the week.

So, with some creativity, a few hair tools, a little time and patience, I think protective styling can be fun, fancy, and fierce for hair of all different textures and lengths. And, bonus!!  Switching up protective styles from week to week can save our strands from repeated tension on the same areas, which can cause thinning and breakage. With that, here is a sampling of the protective styles that I’ve done over the last year and a half. The same old plain bun and twists aren’t our only options!!

(Check out the Style Library to find tutorials for most of the styles pictured.)

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Do you love/prefer protective styling or do you find it boring? What challenges do you face with it? 

Elegant Pin-Curled Updo

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Okay, Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty did a tutorial for this super cute, chic and pretty simple to do hairstyle! And, I think you may be surprised by her tools and technique;)!! So, I just had to share! Click the hyperlink to her site for finished pics of the style! I’m definitely going to have to try this one on for size;)!!

Cute Twisted Updo

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Natasha shared this YouTube tutorial for a sweet twisted updo that would work for medium and longer length hair. I think this style can lean retro or classic depending on the hair accessory. And, as Natasha pointed out, with a little creativity, it could be very versatile depending on how the base style it set!

via mrskw7

Crisscross Ponytail

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I attempted the style in this next video on a second day WnG and with a slight modification; I made a bun instead of letting the hair hang in a ponytail. I just took this pic this morning shortly after getting out of bed … so yeah, not gonna show you the front as it definitely needs some work! LOL! You definitely cannot see the overlap on my hair much as you can see on the demonstrator in the video. I think this style would look better and more defined on a smoother TnC set or if I’d set my WnG in twists with a little holding product the night before. Maybe next time. For now, it’ll do! Though, a little hair bling (flower, hair stick, headband) at that funky looking bun might be just the thing to set the style off! *Digging in the crates*

via LuxyHair

Retro Bouffant Updo

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So, I finally tried that retro bouffant updo that CurlyNikki was rocking all fall (see here if you missed it). I had done it on the Afro puffy twists (see here), but hadn’t been able to achieve it on my loose, curly hair (not that I tried that hard). Anyway, when the bootleg TnC set that I attempted the night before didn’t go according to plan, I decided to give this cute little updo another go.


The bootleg TnC set

FAIL!!


Not perfect, but it’ll work!!

So, yeah. I liked it, but I do need to work on perfecting it.

Cinnabun Tutorial

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I used to do this style on my relaxed hair with pin curls, rather than on twists. However, this video by Glamazini essentially demonstrates the technique I used for my Afro puffy twists above. The cinnabun is a great protective style for medium length and longer hair and can be done using twists like demonstrated in the video or on loose hair (WnG, twist-out, braid out or TnC). Also, the video is just pretty entertaining!! Enjoy!

via Glamazini

She is getting it in!! Too funny :). LOL!