Category Archives: protective styling series

Protective Styling Series: My First Crochet Wig


I’m 14 weeks post and I’ve been itching to install a protective style since Thanksgiving. So far, my favorite protective styles have been cornrows with Marley twists and crochet braids. Since moving to the Bronx from Queens, I no longer live near any salons I know or have my live-in stylist: my mom. There are probably plenty of places I could go for braids but I work best off of referrals, not blind luck.

Couple my difficulty finding a stylist with the somewhat prohibitive cost of protective styles and you’ll understand what’s taken me so long. I’ve been quoted $100-$140, plus hair! My low funds (and general laziness) have resulted in me getting Dominican doobies every 3 weeks and neglecting my hair in between. My hair is growing but is definitely suffering from my indifference.


Protective Styling Series: Havana Twists One Mo’ ‘Gain!

Havana 2

I’m nearly 7 weeks post and at the point where my new growth is starting to make its presence known. I’ve also been working out more and need an easy breezy style and something to save it from these arctic temps! My hair thrives in protective styles and I loved my Havana twist updo from the summer so this seemed a logical choice.

To prepare, I shampooed with Aussie Moist Shampoo. I then applied Roux Porosity Control, Silicon Mix, ORS Replenishing Conditioner and castor oil to my hair. I applied the DC like a relaxer since I won’t be able to fully access my hair for awhile. I sat with the DC for about 3 hours, rinsed out, put a t-shirt on it, and went to bed.


Protective Styling Series: Havana Twists Revisited


As I continue stretching my relaxer, I’m really beginning to wonder when I’ll get another touch up. I’m not planning another year long stretch but protective styling has been giving me so much life.

I kept my weave in for nearly 5 weeks before my mom took it down Saturday evening. It was a long, arduous process because my stylist sewed those tracks in like her life depended on it! Since I hadn’t been as consistent as I should have with moisturizing my hair, it came down feeling parched. To infuse moisture, I prepooed overnight using ORS Replenishing Conditioner, castor oil and aloe vera gel. I kept this mix in until I got to my stylist.


Protective Styling Series: The Havana Twist Install


I love me some protective styles, especially for the summer. I loved my Senegalese twists last summer so I figured Havana twists were a logical choice. I’ve been hinting that I wanted my mom to install them for a few months but she balked at the pain it would cause her hand.

With this in mind, I was going to go to the same shop I visited previously. My hair isn’t half as long as it was last time but the price was only $20 cheaper. When I shared my dilemma with my mom, she sympathized and, like many times past, came to my rescue. What’s more, she agreed to do my sister’s hair, too. This gave me time to wash and condition my hair while seeing what the finished product would look like: a win/win!


Protective Styling Series: Crochet Braids 2 Week Update

As I’ve progressed on my stretch, I have become a huge protective styling Stan and crochet braids are my absolute favorite look! They are inexpensive, create no stress on my hairline and allow easy access to my scalp. This means I can keep my scalp clean, moisturize and DC my hair, and still protect my ends.

When I was cruising, the back of my hair got wet in the ocean due to my extensive doggy-paddling swimming. I cowashed my hair when I got back to the room and, after it dried, the style bounced back without any issues.


Protective Styling Series: Crochet Braids

With only 1 day left, I’m super geeked excited about my upcoming cruise! I’ve started packing my bags, setting up Out of Office messages at work, and getting my mani/pedi on. 

I have also decided on my protective style for the trip! I was vacillating between tree braids and crochet braids. Both are awesome protective styles (when done properly) but, based on my weeks of research, crochet braids are better for ladies with longer locks. With Hurricane Sandy knocking out power, this style took a lot longer than it should have. Luckily, my fantastically amazing mom was game and did it for me!

Crochet braids are basically when you cornrow your hair and then add bulk braiding hair to the cornrowed base. You add the hair to said base by slipping a latch hook needle under the braid, attaching the bulk hair, and pulling it back through. To keep the hair secure, you make a knot. It sounds a lot more difficult than it is, trust me. 

Here is a picture of the needle

I used Freetress Bohemian Braid 20″ Bulk in 1B and TP4/30. I bought 5 at packs $5.99/piece and ended up using 4 of them. 


Protective Styling Series: Flipping My Wig

I always mean mug in my hair pics.

I took down my Senegalese twists two weeks ago after rocking them for 7 weeks.  I had planned to keep them in for 12 weeks but after I lost a twist, I knew that ship had sailed. My intention is to continue protective styling until December but I didn’t have a new style in mind. Since I’m getting twists or braids for my cruise, I didn’t want either style right now. I have always like the idea of wigs and the boo even bought me a cute one last year. It ended up collecting dust, though; I had the wrong attitude about wigs.

I recruited a friend to go wig shopping with me because she always looks fierce when rocking her units. When I voiced my concerns about wigs not looking like my hair, she threw me with an incredulous look and said, “You’re not going to fool anyone into thinking a wig is your real hair. Wigs help you change up your style and let you try new things without damaging your hair. Also, do you know how many women are rocking fake hair? Why shouldn’t you be allowed in on the fun?!”

With that in mind, I immediately changed my attitude about wigs. This was supposed to be fun! I could pick something over-the-top without damaging my own hair. I started looking at units I found pretty, regardless of the color and the length. We looked for well over an hour but I finally found the piece of my dreams: Honey.

She comes a little longer than BSL.
Honey is a New Born Free Magic Lace Front Wig. Her style is ML101 and her color is FS4/30. She has two combs at either temple and a comb at the nape. She is a hand tied, synthetic unit that is curling iron safe up to 370°F. I got her from my local BSS for $49.99 and have been in love ever since! 

I haven’t noticed a lot of shedding but a fair amount of tangling. I’m not sure if that is due to her length or the fact that she’s synthetic. Another complaint is that there was a random row of tracks sticking out in the back so it didn’t lay flat. My mom cut most of them off but it’s still noticeable depending on how you comb the unit. The hair is extremely light so in the wind, it’s all over the place! I need a product to put on it to weigh it down without making the hair sticky.

In spite of these issues, I’m already planning on getting another unit. Color usually intimidates me but I absolutely love the color in this unit. I think I’ll be buying future units in this color combination. I want to get another wig or two to last me until December but for now, my heart belongs to Honey!

Are you protective styling as the weather gets cooler? Do you rock wigs or weaves? How do you keep your unit looking fresh?


Protective Styling Series: So Fresh and So Clean, Clean

Oh, me? Just DCing.
I’ve had my twists for about 4 weeks and I’m still loving them. I mentioned what my regimen looks like but was still apprehensive about the cleansing process. Since I’m shooting to keep them in for 3 months, I was concerned that washing them would affect how neat they looked. Since I’ve started doing cardio intense work outs 6x/week,  clean hair and scalp has won out over vanity.


Protective Styling Series: Senegalese Twist Maintenance

It’s been about 3 weeks since I had my twists installed and I still love them! It’s so easy being able to wake up in the morning and not have to fuss with my hair. While I haven’t rocked an assortment of styles, I don’t mind keeping it basic. Here are my 5 tips to maintain my twists:

Tie ‘em up each night. No exceptions. What’s the quickest way to kill a hairstyle? Let it rub all over your cotton pillow. I invested in a braid bonnet and throw that puppy on before bed. I also wear it if I’m just lounging around the house.


Protective Styling Series: My Mother and I Getting FRESH

I finally got my twists installed and I couldn’t be happier with the results! I went to Mam African Braiding Salon in Jamaica, NY on Friday the 13th. The price Mam, the owner, quoted me was $140 but I found a coupon for $10 off of on her website. After a little haggling, she honored my coupon and I ran into no further issues. 
I was in and out in about 4.5 hours because I had 4 people working on my hair. With the 4 ladies, 2 were starting the twists while the other 2 were finishing twists that had been started. It was like an assembly line. When I sat down, I talked about having my hair twisted from the roots but Mam, the owner, explained that if I wanted to maintain the style for longer, then braiding from the root would be my best bet. I trusted her judgment and got them braided from the root.