I’ve never been a big fan of protective styling over the years that I’ve been growing out my hair. I’ve tried them on and off, but was never faithful to any routine consistently for any long length of time. Wearing two strand twists or a bun have been the extent of my protective styles, yet I’ve worn my hair loose so much more. If you are unfamiliar with the term “protective styling”, it is concealing and protecting the ends of your hair to prevent breakage and damage from daily manipulation for maximum hair growth retention.
Over the holidays I decided to try Marley Twists again, and I was instantly relieved from having to wonder what mood my curls would be in that day. I’ve been enjoying the freedom from weekly or bi-weekly detangling sessions, and also the simple daily and weekly maintenance of having this hairstyle. I am also able to style these twists in multiple ways which makes it nearly impossible to get bored.
As usual I like to keep things simple. I moisturize and seal my hair every day. To moisturize I will either water rinse my hair in the shower or use the DIY Leave-In Conditioner minus the glycerin and oil. I seal in that moisture with castor oil mixed with rosehip seed oil. I never apply any oil to my scalp as that interfers with my scalp’s sebum production.
It is more important to me to make sure my hair is moisturized well than to protect it from frizzing up which is why I moisturize my hair daily. Keeping my hair moisturized well makes undoing this style so much easier when the time comes. I do think this hairstyle looks better with a little frizz anyway.
Every 1-2 weeks I use an apple cider vinegar rinse to keep my scalp healthy and happy. I will then moisturize and seal my hair. When it is time to remove my twists usually after 3-4 weeks (longer if I can deal), I use a gentle DIY Herbal Hair Cleanser like yucca root. If too much of my natural oils are ever removed after cleansing, I know that it is very easy to build these natural oils back up on my strands again with daily water rinses, massaging, and preening of my hair. (Updated Note… I actually needed to use a stronger hair wash after rinsing daily with these twists in. I had excessive sebum on my strands which needed clearing away although it was great for conditioning. I used a shampoo bar.)
Since I am rather new to consistent protective styling with extensions, I am still curious how well my hair will respond over time, and if this is something that I would like to continue throughout the year. Because my hair strands are fine, they have never responded well to extensions in the past.
Marley Twists with extremely large parts meaning much fewer twists overall, as well as having my hair coated in my own natural oils from water only hair washing, has allowed this style to be somewhat possible. My own natural oils are what keep my hair strong, more elastic, and better conditioned which is why I LOVE incorporating water only hair washing in general.
What are your thoughts on protective styles if you use them? Please share any tips that have helped you too!
(Images by Dawn Michelle)