How to serve and protect your hair

When salons were open, heading to your hairdresser for a treatment and a fresh set of box braids was pretty much the standard procedure when winter rolled around. Now, we're on our own, ladies and we can bet that most of our cornrowing or braiding skills are not up to scratch.

Luckily for us, these protective styling tips don't require much time or skill and can effectively help protect hair from breakage, harsh temperatures while minimising over-styling.

1. Twist and wrap

Previously designated as a quick overnight styling solution for low maintenance hair in the morning, the twist and wrap has now become the star of the show. Use this method as part of a deep treatment as follows:

Wash your hair with a gentle, sulphate-free shampoo that will not strip your hair of moisture and prevent frizz and split ends.

Section the hair into four parts for manageability and apply a deep conditioning mask that contains natural, super nourishing oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive or avocado oil.

After applying the mask on the entire head, split each section into two and working from the roots to the ends, gently twist the two parts to create one coiled piece that resembles a koeksister.

Once you have twisted the whole head, cover with a shower cap or cling wrap and wrap the hair with a scarf. Leave on overnight, and rinse out with your next shower.

If you wish to wear your hair like this for longer, apply a leave-in conditioner after rinsing out the mask before twisting hair.

2. Styling twists

This style not only applies the least amount of stress and traction to your hair, but it can also give you a cute, curly afro texture when taken out. If you are using this as a styling method, here is how to go about it:

Dampen your hair with a mixture of water and leave-in conditioner from a spray bottle and using a milking motion, work the product into the hair with the fingers.

Create a middle parting and then section the hair into six parts. Apply a few drops of a scalp oil or spray to nourish the scalp before twisting.

Split each section into two and begin to twist the hair; continue until the whole head is twisted.

You can leave the twists loose or if long enough, gather in a ponytail for easy styling.

To create a Dutch braid effect, take the first twist at the front and lay it down to connect with the second twist and secure with a bobby pin. Then take the end of the second twist and lay it down to connect with the third twist and also secure with a bobby pin.

Replicate this on the other side. Connect the last twists' ends by securing with a bobby pin, leaving your hair looking like it has two Dutch braids or French plaits running down each side. You can wear this look for a few of days.

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