Rating MY Top Three Favorite Protective Styles

Bantu Knots 7.5/10

Bantu Knots are my most favorite to look at. What I love most about this style is not just the small beautiful buns, but the intricate parting styles. What ties this whole style together is the geometric work put into the parts  by the stylist. I’ve seen circle parts, triangle parts, and even heart shaped parts. Though the shaped and instruction is limited, there are many other things you can do to spice-up this beautiful hairstyle.

1. ADD MORE HAIR!!! Adding more hair to your own helps to accentuate the style. With Bantu knots being an up-do style, it already brings more attention to your face. Having bigger knots help to make everything flourish together. I can’t really explain it in words but big Bantu Knots are so beautiful and it really adds another element to this prominent cultural style.

2.ACCESSORIZE PLS!!!! I personally loveee adding jewelry into my hair. It makes your hairstyle sparkle more. With Bantu knots, I heavily recommend using GOLD jewel pieces. Silver is good, but gold makes you seem more out-standing especially, if you’re going for a more early 2000s or African look. Enjoy the finer things in life and add these unique pieces to your hair.

3. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR EDGES. As I stated before, this is an up-do style, and while edges may not seem important, they do also help bring more attention to your hairstyle. I personally can’t do edges to save my life, but after getting this hairstyle so much in my early stages of the “Big Chop”, it made me want to learn. With this style, you can jus do a simple swoop on the edges on your head, or you can be an over achiever and Picasso the thing. Whether big small, curly or laid, edges can always bring that special something to any style.

While the style itself is a beauty to witness, taking it down is my favorite part. Knot-outs are what we call the result of keeping and maintaining the hairstyle for so long. In result of this, we are left with defining curls and a lot of volume. However, in my experience, it doesn’t always come out this way. The result of Bantu Knot-outs depend on humidity, the amount of product, and pure luck. You’ll never see the same results twice with this hairstyle, but it is a pretty protect style nonetheless.

 

Fulani Braids 1000000/10

Honestly, if there was one style I could wear for the rest of my life, it would be Fulani Braids. They are so beautiful ands very easy to manage. Like the previous style, adding edge designs to this look takes it to a whole other level. If anybody wants to donate funds to me for this hairstyle, I take CashApp <3. Anyways, let’s get more in depth about this hairstyle.

Fulani or feed-in braids originate from the Fulani (Fula) people in West Africa and the Sahel region. It is most widely known for the its unique braiding patterns and the unique braided loop on the side of the head. I personally love seeing this style with huge beads. If I had to choose a favorite type of bead to complement this beautiful hairstyle it would probably be in between wooden and clear ones. I really emphasize on accessorizing these hairstyles, but this style is so detailed that you could do without.

Getting these braids are worth the pain. Now I am labeled  as “tender-headed” in my community, which basically means my pain tolerance of someone pulling on my hair for hours on end is very low, but I am very willing to sit through that just for these braids. How long it’ll take solely depends on the length and pattern of your hair. The only down-side to this style is the pain you’ll feel after getting them and the long hours of sitting in a chair while someone neatly and tightly braids your hair. That is if you’re not “tender-headed”!

 

Mini Twists 6/10

I love a good twist out, HOWEVER twisting my thick 4c hair takes up so much time!!! And sure they look cute when they’re fresh, but after taking a short well-needed nap they look so weird. Though this is still a controversial topic in my community right now, I still struggle with my relationship with length. I have shrinkage. That basically means after my hair dries, it poofs and shrinks down.  When I twist my hair, I usually use a lot of product to successfully comb through my very kinky coils. After my products dries over night, my hair goes from my shoulders, to the tops of my ears. This is perfectly normal and it actually means that you hair is very healthy. This is where harmful stigmas come into play. Black women are very hyper-emasculated and that often comes from seeing black women with short hair and a strong physique. Though a lot of  attention is being brought to this issue, I still try to separate myself from that narrative. Thus sprouting my love-hate relationship with my natural hair. 

Mini twists aren’t the bad guy, but the twist-out is. Like Bantu knots, the results of a good twist-out is solely based on luck. It may give you gurl defining hair one day, and poofy naps the next, but the real skill is finding what technique gives you the results you want. Honestly, the time and effort I put into these aren’t worth the results I see after I take them out, but freshly done twists always make me come back to this hairstyle.

NOTE: Please do not attempt these hairstyles if you are non-black. This is not an exclusive statement, but one of concern!

5 thoughts on “Rating MY Top Three Favorite Protective Styles”

  1. Jordan, I love your reviews! As someone who’s always been fascinated by the beauty and culture of people of color, seeing this perspective is very beneficial to emphasizing the line between appreciating and appropriating. Thank you for continuing to shed light on this topic! (p.s. my personal favorite style are the Fulani Braids)

  2. jordan, your writing is always so interesting and informative! i loved learning the history behind these beautiful styles and getting to experience your wonderful writing all at once, and i hope you’ll continue to write these informative pieces 🙂

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