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Curly Nikki

Protective Styles for Naturals with Shorter Hair

By January 27th, 2021One Comment

by Jamila of CollegeCurlies

Lydiah asks, I recently did my BC (last Friday) and I have realized that I don’t have too many options with protective styling. My twists look funky because hair is so little right now. The twist out next morning is SUPER but I don’t know what to do when I want to give my hair a break from staying out. What protective styles are there for TWAs (excluding braiding with extensions)?


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For shorter hair, the best protective styles are going to be Low-Manipulation. These are styles that do expose the ends to some degree, but are protective in that they require no heat and drastically cut down on manipulation (via combing/handling the hair).
If you can rock a twist out, do so…then leave it alone! Moisturize properly in between styling sessions, but don’t stress yourself out about not being able to wear buns all the time. Protective styling is mostly intended to protect the ends of your hair, the most delicate part of the strand. Since your ends don’t touch your shoulders, they don’t experience friction from rubbing against your clothing. As with any length, protect your hair at night with a silk scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase, and deep condition regularly.

Low-Manipulation Styles include:
  • Twists
  • Twist outs, Braid outs, Bantu Knot outs
  • Braids
  • Cornrows
  • Finger/Comb Coils
  • Shrunken Fro
  • Rollersets
  • Pinned Up Styles
  • Updos
Here are some lovely protective style tutorials from Youtubers with shorter/medium length natural hair:
Stay fabulous!

One Comment

  • BKelz says:

    I am the shrunken fro girl! I really don't mind the shrinkage I get despite the fact my hair has grown 2+ inches since I cut it in February. Sometimes it looks about the same length as when I cut it lol. I also do two strand twists and I am perfecting coils.

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