When all else fails, wear Marley Twists! I don't even think twice about wearing my hair out anymore. Protective styling is now second nature to me. I have a goal, I want to meet it and I have to protect my fragile strands to do so. I have been PS'ing for about 8 months now and at first it was a hassle but I have gotten into the groove of things. Sometimes I do miss my puff but I have hand in hair syndrome pretty badly so twists have been a lifesaver. Many of you know that last March I cut my hair pretty short. I am happy to report that it's growing out nicely! I really need to do a legit length check; my bangs are now right above my lip. I needed a nice even haircut so my mini BC was an awesome choice!
My hair is high maintenance and thick as rope, because of that, I've had to learn how to incorporate my styling options into my "regimen." I love my thickness but it's so nice to have a break. I miss my puff sometimes BUT for the most part practicing patience and seeing my growth is more important than wearing my hair loose. My "regimen" is pretty simple now too which is awesome. I put the quotes around regimen because I kind of feel like I don't have one anymore, lol. In the Winter, yes, I definitely do but after February that goes out of the window. I feel like I really only cowash (every 2 or 3 weeks), moisturize (daily) and seal when installing my protective style. I do not do much at all these days. I have practiced keeping manipulation to a minimum and my product junkie'ism to an all time low.
Tip for new naturals: Protective styling is an amazing thing! I would highly recommend that you learn to love it. I wish I knew more about it when I first went natural. Find something that works for you, that goes for products too. If you have a length goal PS'ing is an amazing way to play with your hair without causing too much stress on your stands. Retaining length is key to seeing how much your hair is actually growing and it's a pretty awesome reward!
After I decided that protective styling was definitely in my favor I started to perfect my twisting method, along with finding the products that worked best while the twists are installed. I am a twisting pro now! I install using the "invisible" method, meaning that I do not braid the root, I twist it. I like that I am able to do these and get awesome results with little to no tension. Doing my own twists has saved me a lot of time, money and EDGES. Installing takes about 2.5 hours; that's not too bad to me. Practice and patience has definitely helped me along this PS journey.
Below you can find my go to products that help me maintain my twists.
Coconut Oil- Trader Joe's (every other day)
Aloe Vera Gel- Trader Joe's (in my water spray bottle, daily use)
Honey Hemp Conditioner- Oyin Handmade (co-wash)
Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner- Trader Joe's (co-wash)
Vanilla Bean CocoSheaLoe Hair Butter- Ade Vegan Hair (twisting)
Cucumber Aloe Moisture Mist- Ade Vegan Hair (detangling before twisting)
Jojoba Oil- Trader Joe's/Whole Foods (1x a week, if needed)
I will always keep these product under my sink. I am able to keep my twists in for 2 weeks at a time, 3 if I am lucky. Either way practicing patience with protective styling has really paid off. I am seeing my length, I am learning my hair and overall, I am trying to keep it simple.
What's your favorite go to protective style?