For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
Display kinky hair
Feb 11 2018
by Erela Datuowei

6 Protective Styles for Your Natural Hair in College

By Erela Datuowei - Feb 11 2018

My mom always said that getting to know your hair was like getting to know another side of yourself. Since I recently started college and have had to budget my hair care time accordingly, I'm inclined to agree with her. I somewhat recently transitioned from a perm to a natural fro two years ago and what a journey it has been. My naturally kinky locs are sometimes a miracle, sometimes a headache, but always a commitment. Over time, I've learned ways to keep them healthy and in check while maintaining a schedule for all the other aspects of my life. Have a look at some styles that will keep your locs looking lively.

1. The Twister

If you're having a problem keeping your hair out of the way while you study and go through your everyday tasks, you might want to consider tying it up and putting it away. You can do this with 2-strand twists, 3-strand twists, bantu knots, etc. This keeps your hair out of the way while preventing it from getting into a frizzy, tangled mess. Although it can seem a pain initially, de-tangling will be a breeze later.

2. Braids For Days

So, it's winter and although it might not be freezing cold where you are, your hair is still more susceptible to breakage from the less than stellar weather outside. So how do you protect it? Well, aside from keeping it hydrated with water, moisturized with a cream or leave-in conditioner and locked and sealed with an oil (I recommend Jamaican Black Castor Oil), I recommend protective styling. Contrary to the popular belief that various protective styles such as box braids, Senegalese twists and corn rows are unprofessional, I find that aside from the unholy amount of time it takes to put them in, they last a while, protect your hair and can be styled in various ways such as updos and pigtails while protecting your hair from the elements.

3. Wig It Up

So you don't want to style your hair every morning, but you don't have the time or money to put in some box braids? Get a wig or weave. Wigs and weaves have become much more fashionable and readily available in the past years. The industry is booming and the pieces are looking more realistic and inventive than ever. You can buy a wig for $20 or $200 and get it delivered in two to three business days via Amazon. You can install a weave yourself with some help from YouTube. Not only is this method economical, but you can throw on a wig and a frontal piece and walk out of your dorm looking snatched from head to toe.

4. What The Faux

Another huge trend that has recently come into the spotlight are faux locs a.k.a. fake dreadlocks. We are living in a time period where people are finally coming around to the idea that dreadlocks do not equate to filthy, haphazard or drug-addled people. Perhaps you would like to try a new look but don't necessarily want to put in the years of commitment, try faux locs. These locs are put in by individually braiding your hair and then wrapping them in faux locs with a crochet needle. Your hair is quite literally protected by a barrier of synthetic hair. You'll find this is also far less time consuming than sitting through a whole day for box braids.

5. Oh Mohawk

If you're in the mood for something different and edgy, try a braided Mohawk. This is a braided or twisted up-do that requires basic touch-ups every three weeks to keep your edges intact and a silk scarf at night to keep your mohawk from getting fuzzy. The result is a fierce yet easy to maintain look that lets you go about your day-to-day.

6. Crochet Life

Much like faux locs, crotchet braids involve braiding your natural hair and then wrapping or installing synthetic hair to protect your hair. The possibilities are endless. You can have crochet box braids, crotchet twists, crotchet wigs and whatever other imaginative combo you can create. It's quick, easy and comes out with the snap of a scissor. You can even do it yourself in the confines of your dorm room.

Whoever said you had to stick with one look? With all these protective styling options. You can walk out six days a week looking like a different person everyday and leave the seventh day for your natural fro. For moretips on how to care for your natural hair, you can check out A Guide to Dealing with Natural Hair in College. Now go forth and slay!

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay


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Erela Datuowei - Brooklyn College

Incoming Freshman at CUNY Brooklyn College with a love for music and dogs.

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