Gone are the days when we pack away our winter woollies on the 1st of September: Throughout the country, the winter elements linger well into “spring,” with snowfall even being recorded in parts of the Western Cape in September last year!
While we may be dreaming of balmy weather and summer fashion, the reality is that we’re stuck with the cold a little while longer. This means that our winter beauty regimes also aren’t going anywhere.
If you’re experiencing the chill, you might want to consider wearing your hair in a protective hairstyle. Protective hairstyles allow you to shield your hair from cold weather, preserving its moisture content and protecting it from damage. Cold weather can be drying for textured hair, as the wind and low humidity can dehydrate curls and lead to breakage. Protective styles like box braids, cornrows and Bantu knots preserve natural hair by limiting its exposure to the elements.
Try one of these protective hairstyles to ensure your hair healthy and happy in the lead up to summer:
Box braids are one of the most popular protective hairstyles, and with good reason! They’re low-maintenance, extremely versatile and suitable for any length of hair. Box braids are characterised by square or triangle-shaped hair divisions (also known as boxes). This style doesn’t require a lot of maintenance but using a few key products will ensure your hair and scalp stays healthy. We recommend cleansing hair with a gentle co-wash or shampoo regularly. The newly launched The Perfect Hair Grow on the Go Waterless Cleanser (R99.95) cleanses, refreshes and soothes hair and scalp. It is specially formulated for curls and coils and is enriched with Peppermint Oil and Rosemary. To keep your moisture levels up, spritz a mist like Cantu’s Shea Butter Coconut Oil Shine & Hold Mist (R215.00) or apply a lightweight oil to soothe your scalp Cantu Tea Tree & Jojoba Scalp Oil (R175.00), daily.
Bantu knots are as trendy as they are practical. When preparing this style, apply an oil spray to the scalp and hair to nourish, protect and stimulate hair growth. We recommend Jamaican Mango & Lime Black Castor Oil Argan Oil (R99.99). Follow with a leave-in conditioner like Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave in Conditioner (R150.00). It can be applied to each section from root to tip. Once your Bantu knots are secured, we recommend applying a leave-in hair treatment for added moisture. Try Cantu Avocado Coconut Curling Cream (R219.95). It smooths hair and enhances your natural curl pattern to produce frizz-free volume.
A popular style for both men and women, cornrows protect hair and look great, but when they’re in, you’ll need to give your hair plenty of moisture to keep them looking good for longer and to maintain the health of your scalp. Before you start braiding, be sure to give your hair a good (but gentle) brush to ensure there are no knots or tangles. The Evolve Flow Thru Detangler (R59.95) gently detangles and smoothes hair without snagging or pulling. It gently removes tangles without tearing, ripping, or breaking the hair. We recommend applying a leave-in conditioner to lock in moisture and protect your hair before you start braiding. Try Umberto Giannini Banana Butter Repair and Restore Leave-In Conditioner (R150.00). This silicone-free repairing and moisturising leave-in conditioner is your wonder product to repair, strengthen and de-frizz naturally curly and super curly hair without weighing it down.
Once your cornrows are in place, you’ll need to moisturise your hair and scalp regularly to ensure its health. We recommend applying an oil between the cornrows and against the scalp to keep the scalp moisturised. Try Curls in Bloom Strengthen Me! Hair Oil (R89.95) to seal in moisture and nourish the scalp with castor oil, ylang ylang and lemongrass oils.
One of the easiest protective hairstyles to create, and one of the most flattering, the pineapple updo involves hair being gathered on top of your head (imagine you are about to tie it up in a high ponytail) and then it is secured with a scrunchie or hair band. Simple but effective, the pineapple updo looks great for work, for home, or for an event. You can mix yours up by playing around with your curls (some women like to tease their curls for high volume). Cantu Avocado Styling Gel (R149.95) is the perfect product to smooth your hair down at the base of your head and keep it in place. Apply The Perfect Hair Mango & Marula Moisturizing Leave-In Butter (R99.95) to your pineapple updo daily to keep your curls hydrated and soft. This rich leave-in styling butter is enriched with mango and marula extracts for 24-hour moisture and curl retention.
A braided hairstyle, this look is achieved by looping synthetic hair extensions through one’s natural hair with a crochet needle. Stylish and versatile, crochet braids offer a variety of style options as you can wear them both long and short. Crochet braids should remain intact for around four weeks, but during that time you’ll need to take care when washing, as rubbing or tugging could lead to the braids coming undone. We recommend using a co-wash for your lengths and a spray bottle containing watered-down shampoo for the scalp. Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Complete Conditioning Co-Wash (R215.00) or Perfect Hair Grow on the Go Waterless Cleanser (R99.95) are good options. Once you’ve rinsed the shampoo / co-wash from your hair, spray your scalp with a leave-in treatment product like Nilotiqa Shea & Coco Anti-Itch Hair & Scalp Spray (R99.99). Rich and creamy, it provides natural hair with optimum moisture from the root. Add a moisturiser to the lengths of your hair like Cantu’s Shea Butter Daily Oil Moisturizer (R175.00), which uses the nourishing power of shea butter to help replenish lost moisture in dry and damaged hair.