Article by Christelle Mekoh

Are you ready for 2016? Crazy how another year just went by. Hoping you’ve enjoyed your Holiday season and you took some time to reflect on the last 365 days and think about what the future holds.

For some, starting a new year is synonymous with having a new years’ resolution. Perhaps hitting the gym or getting better at handling your finances is one of your wishes for 2016. Last year was a transitional year for me in many ways; I had just started a new job, joined a new church and decided to grow my natural hair AGAIN! Yes, I must confess that for most of my life, my hair was natural or kinky (as some might call it) and I didn’t relax it until I was in my twenties. This is my second time in the past five years that I embarked on this quest.

It’s not easy to grow natural hair.

In fact sometimes I think it’s not for me because it’s so time consuming. But at the end of the day, I think it’s much easier now to do it than five or ten years ago. There’s a growing movement out there and with social media, you can find so many great tutorials and resources if you put your mind into it.

I wanted to share what I think is the perfect hairstyle to start the year. It’s time to get your sexy back!

By definition, for those new to growing natural hair, a protective hairstyle is pretty much putting your hair into a style that involves tucking your ends away from the atmosphere to protect them from damage whilst your hair grows. The premise is that if the ends of your hair don’t break and your hair continues to grow, then you will achieve longer hair.

There’s a few protective styles that I’ve used including crochet braids, braids like micro, box, Senegalese and French to name a few. But there’s also WEAVE! The great thing with weaving is that you can hide your entire hair instead of doing a side or middle weave and achieve a fresh look! Want to go blonde? Try a short do? Have highlights or ombre ends? Get a weave!

Don’t even get me started on the types of human hair that are available. For me, I’ve always preferred synthetic hair simply because I don’t like the idea of spending a fortune on hairpiece that will only last 3 – 4 weeks. But that’s me! If you haven’t done so yet, I suggest that you try both and find a brand that works best for you. Now, I am not saying that the only way to grow your hair is to do back to back protective styles.

If done wrong, protective styles could cause permanent damages.

Including (but not limited to) tangling, dryness or even breakage.

Top 8 tips

My top 8 tips to rock your sewn-in weave and grow your natural hair:

  • Make sure to avoid tight cornrows
  • Ensure that your hair is deep conditioned prior to installing the sewn-in weave
  • Use a weave net to sew in your weave
  • Add some extensions (Kanekalon) for your cornrows
  • Don’t leave your weave in for too long! 4- 8 weeks should do
  • Invest in high quality hair. Especially if you are choosing to keep it for 8 weeks
  • If you already have thin edges or no hairline, do not get a weave! Explore other protective styles
  • Get some essential oils. Castor and coconut oils have been part of my hair journey for the past two years. They are great to keep your hair moisturized under your weave. Use what works best with your hair.

Remember that, at the end of the day, you should love yourself and choose the right hair journey. Don’t follow trends! Don’t jump on a natural hair path without carefully considering the time and investment needed.

So there you have it! What protective hairstyle will you be rocking for this New Year? Have you made any hair resolutions for 2016? Share them in the comment section below and follow my hair journey on instagram @ctiati.