Have you ever spent hours doing your hair only for it to look great for one day or even just a few hours? Here I’m going to give you several tips on how to really make your hairstyles last longer.
First, I want to start with the most important part of your natural hair routine- the products you use. While there is an abundance of products out there (and usually in our stash at home), you have to be strategic about the types of products you use if you want to make your hairstyles last longer. Therefore you must consider a number of things- the weather, how long you plan on wearing your style, the amount of definition or volume you want to achieve, and the upkeep involved throughout the week.
Here is a list of the types of products to use or stay away from depending on how long you want your style to last:
Making the right style choices can really make a difference in how long your styles last.
For instance, if I see that it’s going to be a rainy week, then there is really no use in doing a twist out.
If it’s going to be rainy or humid throughout the week, I will likely choose a protective style that allows my hair to be tucked away. That way, my hair will not require constant upkeep throughout the week because of how the weather has affected it.
Now of course this is not a hard-line rule, just something to consider if you really want your style to last.
Another important style choice to consider is how long you keep your braids or twists in before taking them out. Keeping your braids/twists in for a couple of days really allows the style to set and lock in your curl definition.
Therefore I will typically leave my braids or twists in for a couple of days before I take them out.
This may be a touchy subject for some naturals. Nowadays, everyone wants big, bouncy, and voluminous hair. While separating your twists and braids will create the big hair we all want to achieve, it will also greatly decrease the lasting power of the style especially in the warmer months.
As we all know, humidity is not a friend to definition. As soon as you walk through the door, your hair will begin to expand as it sucks in the moisture from the air. Therefore there is really no need to do so much separating in the beginning. Simply let the weather do the work.
In the cooler months, you can have a bit more fun separating and creating volume because there’s less moisture in the air. However, in the Summer and Spring, beware of over-separating if you want to make your hairstyles last longer.
This step is important to incorporate with step 2. Before you begin taking your hair down, and certainly before you begin separating, pump a bit of oil into your hands. The oil will act as an emollient to create less friction between your fingers and your hair strands. Less friction will result in less frizz, thus making your hairstyles last longer.
Below are a few oils that I like to use for fighting frizz and adding a bit of moisture to my hair.
While you might think that moisturizing throughout the week will cause you to lose definition, it will actually help your hairstyles last longer and look fresh each day.
I used to not moisturize very much at all throughout the week. Usually around the third day of my style, I would notice that my hair looked crunchy and felt very dry, sort of felt like straw. *Hint-If your hair feels dry, it looks dry too. Moisturizing your hair with a light leave in conditioner (a spritz will work or a very light, watery cream) in the morning will keep your locks looking luscious.
It also helps to use a light oil right after you moisturize to seal that moisture in your hair. Remember to be gentle when applying your products. Lightly scrunch the product into your hair as to reduce frizz and manipulation. This will also help your hairstyles last longer.
Carol’s Daughter’s Sacred Tiare Leave-in Conditioner and Soultanical’s Mango Dip Detangling Slip are great products to use for moisturizing throughout the day. They’re light and watery and will not weigh your hair down. You can find these products at Target or online.
This step also goes along with step 2. I think we can all remember that desire as children to reach up and touch our hair while it was being styled (just to see what was going on up there..). Even as adults, if our hair is looking particularly bomb, we often feel the desire to touch it more. But the more your hands are in your hair, the more your locks are being manipulated and your curl pattern disturbed. This manipulation results in frizz which is not going to allow your style to last very long. It is best to minimize how much you manipulate your hair during and after the styling process.
If all else fails, you should not forget this step. Tying your hair down whenever you’re in the house will really help to make your hairstyles last longer.
Sometimes when you’re lounging in the house, you can forget to put on your satin bonnet or scarf. It’s important to know that laying on other materials such as cotton pillowcases, couches…etc. will rough up your hair and dry it out, causing frizz, crunchiness, and breakage.
Whenever you’re home be sure to tie your hair down with a satin or silk scarf– the material will keep your hair smooth and frizz free while also keeping the moisture in your hair.
I personally like to use a silk scarf because it’s easier to adjust to whatever hairstyle I’m wearing. I bought my silk scarf from Amazon. It’s very affordable and great quality while also being stylish. If you’re feeling really luxurious, you can also buy a satin or silk pillowcase so that if you catch yourself lounging without your scarf, your hair won’t pay for it. They’re also very comfortable to sleep on- I have one even though I also use a silk scarf. I bought my pillowcase on Amazon here.
If you’re looking for a more stylish option that you can wear out running errands, then the Grace Eleyae Satin-Lined Cap is the one for you. I bought the pink Satin-Lined cap and I really enjoy having something that is both great for my hair and able to pass for a stylish hat whenever I go out and I still have my twists or braids in. Check out Grace Eleyae’s Satin Lined Caps here.
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I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful in helping your hairstyles last longer. Enjoy your second, third….and what the heck 7 day hair!
Check out my Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Scalp!