Black women have a knack for changing up hair. They experiment with fun hairstyles, different cuts, eye-catching colors, and the newest treatments and processes on a regular basis. They transform their kinky-curly tresses into bone straight layers, a’fro that touches the heavens, and even classy up-dos that would make grandma proud—just about anything we want!
Whether black woman like me or you style the hair that grows from our head, get extensions or use synthetic hair, what we choose has to look good. But all the manipulation, tension and chemical processing it takes to achieve these styles can leave your hair dry and limp. And when you want to grow your hair long and strong, it’s pretty frustrating if you can’t seem to achieve the length you want.
Caring for Black hair can be a whole ordeal, mainly because most of us didn’t really learn how to do our hair growing up. For years, we didn’t know the importance of retaining moisture, avoiding heat and choosing protective styles for our delicate tresses. Now, as we learn better ways to care for our hair, we can still feel good about how we look in the meantime by incorporating low-maintenance hairstyles into our hair care routines.
This is a list of the top four low-maintenance hairstyles all Black women should keep in their hair routines until, well, the end of time. Each style has so much versatility and so many options.
There will always be a new version—or a revived one—for every one of these styles, and you can rock them from a couple of weeks to a few months, if not longer.
Number 4: Flat Twist Up-dos
This low-maintenance style does wonder for protecting your ends.
For those of us out there with a little more skill when it comes to styling hair, this is it. This is the one you can change every single morning if you have the time. Once it’s done, flat twist up-dos can be worn all day, making it the perfect low-maintenance haircut.
These twisty up-dos are great for nearly any occasion—a night out with the girls, a sultry, romantic date with your boo or any old day at the office. And you can get them professionally done at a reasonable price so they last a lot longer.
This style could be number one because it’s so great, but it just might not be for everyone. Some may find that this updo isn’t quite youthful enough for what they like, or it may feel a little too professional to accommodate their casual style.
A flat twist updo might also be a little intimidating—they can be a little complex and they may add a couple of inches to your height. And if you’re not the most angelic person whilst sleeping, a flat twist updo might mean you’re bound for a bad morning—you’re just one restless night away from a really big mess.
Whatever you decide, if this low-maintenance style is for you, be sure to use products that don’t irritate your scalp and find a way to preserve your style for longer by tying it up at night and refreshing it every other day.
Number 3: Wigs and Sew-Ins
Sometimes you just want long, straight, flowing hair that won’t take hours to do every morning. That’s when your newest best friend enters the picture: A great virgin hair wig or beautiful sew-in. And yes—number three includes extensions and quick weaves, too!
Wigs and sew-ins really are a girl’s best friend. They allow you to change your look with ease, achieve just about any style you want or go completely incognito. A good wig or sew-in can even help you to cover up hair or skin issues as you come up with a strategy to get to the root of the problem. They also protect your natural locks for long periods of time.
The wig, sew-in and extension process is a lot like taking care of your natural hair, minus all the damage. For some women, this process is totally worth it. And even those ladies who choose to opt-out of the wig and sew-in ordeal have to agree: They look damn good at the end of the day, every day. And you can make these looks part of your routine for months, if not years.
If you do choose a wig, extension or sew-in, don’t forget to wash and deep condition your natural hair before and in between installs! This is the perfect time to treat your hair well and take advantage of the opportunity you have to leave your hair alone for months. Just let it grow!
And always keep in mind all Black girls’ and women’s greatest hair fear: Losing our precious edges! Edges can be really hard to get back, so look for the capless wigs that allow your scalp to breathe. Tie your hair up at night to protect your hairline from friction and never apply adhesive for your wig directly to your natural hair. And when it comes to sew-ins, always go for the closures and avoid damaging your natural hair.
Number 2: Braids and Twists
Ever dreamed of being able to just roll out of bed with amazing hair without spending hours in the mirror getting it just right every morning? With braids and twists, you can do just that! They’re uber low-maintenance.
If you grew up in the ’90s, women like Brandy and “Maxine Shaw Attorney-At-Law” made braids a popular “thing” for the Black community on Moesha and Living Single. They had us
embracing our African roots when it wasn’t at all popular. Twenty years later, braids still haven’t gone out of style, and they probably never will!
Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a style that is easier, more secure and more protective for your hair than braids and twists. I’m sure many of us remember being little girls with plaits and bows in our hair every day as it slowly grew down our backs. Why did it grow so easily then, but we just can’t get it to do what we want now?
Well, that’s because as kids, we just left our hair alone! We let it grow! Braids and twists allow us to do the same as adults.
The wonderful thing about braids is there are so many different styles to choose from, goddess braids, box braids, micros, braids in your natural hair, cornrows, braided updos, braided ponytails and more. And the same goes for twists.
As with any low-maintenance style, make sure you maintain moisture and protect your strands while the braids or twists are installed. Be sure to wash your hair regularly and use a high-performance hair mask weekly and oils every few days, but only add the oil to your natural hair–not the entire braid.
Make sure your hairdresser doesn’t braid the edges of your hairline too tight to prevent breakage. And, if you’re very physically active and don’t want hair that literally weighs you down, ask your stylist to use less weave when installing your braids or twists.
Number 1: Twist-Outs and Defined Curls!
Coming in on this list as the number one low-maintenance hairstyles are twist-outs and defined curls! Sometimes you just have to let your hair (and scalp) breathe when it needs a break from being covered up, pulled tight, pinned, braided and glued.
Maybe you just want your hair to be free for a while. Or maybe you always prefer your hair to be untamed in the best way. Whatever you prefer, getting to know your own curl pattern and hair texture is never a bad investment of your time.
Whether you choose to sport your natural tresses with twist-out or by finding the right products that define your curls, you can feel great about your natural look because it’s low-maintenance, easy to do and great for the health of your hair. That’s what makes twist-outs and defined curls the number one low-maintenance style on this list!
Once you find the version of the LOC (lotion, oil, cream) method or another moisture-retention routine that works for your hair type, you can achieve twist-outs and defined curls with ease.
These styles last for about a week at a time and they’re perfect to set in your hair on wash day. No matter if you air-dry or blow-dry your hair, just be sure to make time to completely dry your twists and curls for the full effect of your style. You can also expect to use slightly different products when the seasons change based on where you live. When it’s warmer and wetter, your hair may need lighter products as compared to when the weather is colder and drier and your strands need more moisture.
It’s Time To Practice Proper Hair Care
When it comes down to it, the important thing is to make sure you take care of your hair, no matter what style you choose. When you choose any of these four low-maintenance styles, you prioritize the health of your hair and allow your tresses to have everything they need to thrive.
The Iles Formula Signature Collection is specially formulated for all hair types and consists of sulfate-free, paraben-free and cruelty free Shampoo, Conditioner and Finishing Serum. It is important to use sulfate-free hair products because sulfate can stripe off the natural oil from your hair that causes your hair dry.
Especially for wigs and hair extensions, the quality and texture of hair solely rely on the nutritional supply of hair products and it is difficult to treat it back once it is damaged by the chemicals of improper hair products.
The Iles Formula Finishing Serum is a hair serum that can be used for hairstyling and protect your hair from heat tools, UV exposure, and fizz that is caused by humidity. As it is not heavy or oil-based, it is, therefore, suitable for the proper care of your extensions and wigs. Try it and discover the magic of it!