When I first started wearing my hair natural, I styled it in a fresh set of bantu knots every night. That was until I discovered four natural hairstyles that I could get out of one wash. Previously, I spent at least an hour and a half doing my hair, every night, and the results were perfect, but between the fact that I was new to the game and I wasn't totally comfortable with a fro, I had to redo them every day. But now, that's a different story.
This year makes about two years that I've been natural — well, my version of natural. Although I straighten my hair during the winter months, I don't use relaxers (never have) and wear it without any heat, for most of the year. And now that I've been doing it for a while, I've been able to see how it's changed my hair for the better.
But since it changes after a few days, I had to come up with a few ways to style my hair, come day three. Since my hair is most likely dry, coming up with styles that are easy and don't pull my hair out was harder than I thought. But after many attempts, I was able to come up with the best way to get four natural styles from one wash.
Style One: Two-Strand Twists with zig-zag part
After the first year of being natural, I gave bantu knots a rest and turned to two-strand twists. At first, I wasn’t sure I was comfortable wearing the twists as a style, out in the world. But that quickly changed, especially when I realized how easy it is to turn the twists into other styles. For the first style, I pulled all of the twists back into a mini bun at the nape of my neck. I used bobby pins to secure the front pieces that were just too short to reach. This is a great style to wear on the first day, because it not only continues to stretch your hair, but is also helps to smooth out your baby hairs. You can wear this style for anywhere from one to three days — just be sure to keep your scalp (and the twists) moisturized.
Style Two: Twist Out
Since I was on vacation for these styles, I couldn’t leave the two-strand twists in for as long as I would at home. After just one day, I took them out, revealing pretty, tight coils. Since I had something like 27 twists, my head literally looked like it was covered in tons of little black pasta spirals, but in a super cute way. Since I’ve done this a few times, I knew that after a few days, the curls would loosen up, which is why this was style two.
Style Three: Top Knot Buns
This is one of my favorite styles to do, especially mid-week, when I’m starting to get over my hair. It’s such a fun natural hair style that you can wear it practically anywhere. Once you part your hair into two sections, pull the sections into ponytails as high as you’d like, then twist the pieces around to make a little bun, tucking the ends as you go. The trick to making this style look amazing is to sleep with your hair pulled back, and with a wrap around the edges to give it that super sleek look. Then, when you’re ready to wear, pull the buns together. This is a great look for the last day before you co-wash or do the full shabang.
Style Four: Wild & Crazy Fro
This is my casual day four look. I wear it like this about once a week, and everytime, I feel like someone different, because that's the amazing thing about natural hair. When it does what it wants (and you accept it), your look totally transforms you. Although there are days when I'm not feeling it, this was definitely not one of them. In order to achieve this look, just let your hair go free. Easy as pie.
Images: Lauren Turner