Learning how to do protective hairstyles myself

I’ve been getting my hair done for as long as I can remember and I’ve never done any of it myself…other than the usual two strand twists with my own hair (instead of with braiding extensions).

I’ve seen beautiful protective styles on naturalistas, some very complicated and others simple. It’s even more impressive when I find out the ladies did the styles themselves, something I’ve always wished I knew how to do. So last weekend, I decided to stop procrastinating and fulfill that part of my New Year resolution.

This miracle of me doing my first protective style with extensions is brought to you by YoutTube.

First of all, I had to be strategic about when to: take out my old protective style; clarify, condition and lotion my hair with the nutrients it needs; and start my first attempt at doing a protective style (so that I had enough time to finish it not knowing how things will go this first time). I also had to decide on the type of protective style I wanted.  Then off to YouTube I went. I did a few practices (very frustrating) then I just went for it. This is how the miracle happened:

  • Scheduling strategically: I started on Friday evening, that way I had three days to finish it if necessary. I took out my two strand twists on the Friday night then clarified my hair and left it in an oil-based deep conditioning overnight. My plan was to get started as early as possible the following day, but Saturday turned into an impromptu moving day followed by an impromptu family bbq. A lot of heavy lifting, delicious steak and half a bottle of wine later, I finally got to start the hair around 11 p.m. Though I was exhausted, I was wide-awake and ready to get it done (at least partially).
  • Deciding on a style: I initially wanted to do medium-size, shoulder length twists with Marley/kinky braids, but decided to go with Havana Twists since I wouldn’t have time to finish the Marley twists.
  • YouTubing: I must’ve spent two hours watching YouTube videos and practicing along the way before I actually got started. There’re a lot of helpful videos on there that got me through (thank you uploaders).
  • Giving it a shot for real: I started from the back and worked by way up. I like to rely on my sense of touch when I do my hair so I didn’t use a mirror. As a first timer, I wasn’t too hung up on quality/perfection, but instead on skill/present-ability. It didn’t have to be perfect as long as I did it properly and it’s presentable (there’s plenty of time later to perfect my new skill). So I parted my hair the best I could and twisted away until the wee hours of the morning when I ran out of hair. The three packs of Marley/kinky braiding extensions weren’t enough. Long story short, I had to wear my hair half finished for two days since the stores that sell the extensions weren’t open on Sundays.

Doing my very first protective style with extensions was actually a good, fun experience (minus the starting late and running out of hair parts). I was very excited to give this a try because:

  • I wanted to learn something new and this was definitely a good challenge.
  • It’s more convenient than booking an appointment and going to a salon.
  • It’s much easier on my wallet. All I have to worry about is buying the braiding extensions and some snacks to munch on while I do my hair.
  • It’s a good way to plan ahead for when I have kids. I have a baby niece and I’m sure I’ll be doing her hair one day too.
  • It’s super cool and feels awesome to be able to say ‘yup, I did it myself!’ (Well, that’s the euphoria state I’m in right now)

What about you? What’s a hairstyle you’re proud you learned how to do yourself?

~ by omonaij on March 23, 2014.

2 Responses to “Learning how to do protective hairstyles myself”

  1. Your twists look very nice! 🙂
    I was very proud of myself the day I learnt to Havana twist, but I know I’ll be even prouder when I learn to flat twist and cornrow (dunno why they’re like rocket science to me)

    • I totally agree, not as easy as it looks. Those two are also on my list to conquer next…once i really perfect single braids and twists.

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