How to Find the Right Go-To Style for Your Hair

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Finding the right style is an essential part of a successful natural hair regimen. It’s important that you feel good about your hair on a daily basis, and have a couple go-to styles that you can easily pull off. Here are 5 questions that will help you find the right go-to style for you.

1. What styles can you manage with your level of ability?

Not everyone can do a fancy updo, some can only manage a basic puff. Get an idea of what you can and cannot manage, and limit your styling options to looks you can easily pull off.
Easy styles: Wash and Go, Puffs, Simple Buns, Ponytails
Medium difficulty styles: Twists, Curlformers, Twist-Outs, Braid-Outs, Roller Sets, Roll and Tuck Styles
Difficult styles: Updos, Cornrow Styles, Flat Twist Styles, Braid or Twist Extensions, Protective Weaves and Half-Wigs

2. Based on your styling ability, will you need the assistance of a natural hair stylist?

If the extent of your styling knowledge is knowing how to wrap hair at night, then you might need the assistance of a natural hair stylist. To save money go for styles that you can keep in for at least three weeks.
Salon Style Options: Twists, Updos, Cornrow Styles, Flat Twist Styles, Braid or Twist Extensions, Protective Weaves and Half-Wigs

3. How fragile is your hair and how much protection does it need?

This question is CRITICAL because it will determine how much latitude you have with styling. If your hair is strong, then you’ll have more options, because you won’t need to be as concerned about breakage. If your hair is on the fragile side, you will have to lean more heavily on protective styles or styles that require very little daily manipulation.
Styles that can ONLY work on strong/non-fragile hair: Daily Wash and Go, Daily Puffs, Daily Ponytails
Styles for fragile hair: Pinned-Up Twists, Updos, Cornrow Styles, Flat Twist Styles

4. How fine/thin or thick is your hair?

If your hair is on the fine side, identify styles that will give your hair the illusion of fullness and volume or that don’t require a lot of volume to look good. On the other hand if your hair is thick, you might want to stay away from styles that require several individual braids or twists (unless you’re going for a long-term protective style), because they will take FOREVER to put in and take down.
Recommended styles for thin hair: Braid outs, Twist outs, Updos
Styles to avoid with thin hair: Twists worn down

5. How long do I want the style to last?

This is tied into the question on hair fragility because if your hair is on the weaker side, you’ll want to keep styles in for longer to cut down on manipulation.
For strong hair: Styles can be adjusted daily or every other day
For fragile hair: Styles should remain in for at least 4 days at a time
For VERY fragile hair: To retain length, styles should be kept in for 10 or more days at a time

Ladies, what are your go-to styles, and why do they work for your hair?

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founding editor of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008), social media and black beauty enthusiast. When I'm not here, I'm moderating a Facebook group for black mothers called Black Moms Connect.

 
  • Ma B

    Good List. How are half-wigs difficult? they are my go to when i have absolutely NO time to do anything to my hair.

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  • LBell

    Funny I should see this on a day where I’m wearing fine loose twists hanging down, lol…

    The one variable I would add to this is “Length of hair.” Wash-and-gos are great for short hair (3″ or less) regardless of its texture or thickness. If they start becoming more complicated as the hair grows, then some of the other style options may come into play.

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  • mangomadness

    My hair is ~11-12 inches long and has a kinky, tightly coiled, spongy texture. Braid-outs and buns (on braid-out hair or banded hair) are my go-to styles. They work on my hair for the following reasons…

    Braid-outs
    -easy to achieve
    -low manipulation & heatless style
    -stretches hair well
    -easy to maintain (satin bonnet nightly, re-moiturize & re-braid mid-week)
    -converts to other styles well (buns, updos, puff, etc)
    -easy to detangle on wash day

    Buns (on stretched hair)
    -easy to achieve various looks (cinnabun, donut bun, high or low placement, etc)
    -protective & heatless style
    -keeps hair stretched
    -better moisture retention
    -easy to detangle on wash day

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    • B

      I re-braid my nightly if I take them down, on days I dont leave the house they stay in braid n stain rollers for days.
      By, re-braiding nightly the style last at least 10 days minimum.

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  • Mai

    My go to styles are 2-strand twist styles, curlformers, and twist outs. I wear 2-strand twists most of the time because they cut down on time styling and moisturizing (I just spritz with water and oil mixture every day, and most days just put my twists in a bun). But for the weekend and on special occasions, I like to keep my hair out and stretch my hair with curlformers or wear twist outs.

    I’ve tried to go back to wash n gos, but I just can’t do them anymore. They were a stable my first year natural, but now that my hair is past BSL, it’s just not possible. Tangles and breakage galore.

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  • flowergirl72

    My goto style is the KCC wash n go my hair look so full and curly and I don’t mess with that much. The only issue is shrinkage but I’m good, cause when it’s time for my Afro to out “you better watch out” it’s getting bigger each time.

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  • Alexandra

    I have thick, fine hair. I always have an issue with getting my hair to look fuller with braid outs and twist outs. I usually put on a Scuncci head band when I do my braid outs and I have issues with getting SKS when doing twist outs. I’m in that in between stage so I’m still learning what styles works for me.

    So far this is what I like:
    *Wash n’gos- everyday, now that it’s getting warmer. This is my go-to hair style
    I sometimes do braid outs and twist outs.

    Thanks for the post!

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  • Natalee

    Its ironic this topic was posted because I’ve been trying to perfect a wash and go for a couple of months and realized it just isn’t for me. I also tried puffs, but fitting my hair into a hair tie without breaking is hard. Twists and braids are the easiest, cheapest (don’t have to buy hair, just a little shea butter), and although it takes a little time, I can wear them for a while in various styles.

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    • Nisha

      I have really thick hair so I use the elastic head band without the metal piece and wrap 2 or 3 times to create my puff

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  • Selah

    I definitely appreciate this article. I have thin hair, approximately 4 inches all around. I hate wash n go’s with my hair and I used to wear braids (Extensions) but that causes more damage than good. My puffs are definitely easy for me to do but my edges are thin and I can’t do puffs everyday b/c of that. I’m still a bit insecure wearing my twist/braid outs so I’m still kinda wondering what exactly my go-to style can be… I’m going to try curlformers and see how that goes…

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    • Alexa

      For your thin edges you can use castor oil.Not to much though because it will weigh your hair down

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  • http://moih-aunaturel.blogspot.com O0oro0O

    My go to style is mini-twist they last 3-4 weeks I’m able to style them in various way and keep taking care of my hair (wash, pre-poo, moisturize and sealing…).

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  • Karen

    This is such a timely post. Been trying a lot of ways to wear my hair. I fine, thin hair (9″ long)and a “baby face” so I also need styles that make me look more grown up and less teenager-ish.

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  • B

    8 months post relaxer and Braid-out n curl is my go to style. No blow dryer or flat iron, I want my relax hair to look my curly new growth.

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  • http://www.lillian-mae.com LillianMae

    23 months post relaxer…BC June 30.

    During my transition, my go-to style has been protective styling :)
    Hides the ends, low manipulation, length and moisture retention, and easy to sleep in
    http://www.lillian-mae.com/transitioning-guide/protective-styling-it-aint-always-glamorous-but-it-always-works/

    When I’ve wanted to be fancy, I’ve done twist/braid-N-curls…however the braid-N-Curl is what works best for me. After I am tired of the style, I recycle it in to a pretty up-do :)
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/BraidOut23Mons.jpeg[/img]

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    • Alexandra

      You have very beautiful hair!

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      • http://www.lillian-mae.con Lillian Mae

        Thank you :)
        I can’t wait til it’s REALLY all natural!

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    • B

      How much relax ends do you have left after 23 months?? YOu look all natural…

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      • http://www.lillian-mae.con Lillian Mae

        It varies in different places…I have less relaxed ends in the back of my hair. The front of my hair has about 3 inches.
        Here’s a pic of what’s left of my relaxer :)
        http://www.lillian-mae.com/transitioning-guide/transitioning-whats-left-of-my-relaxer/ kuhh

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        • B

          Thanks 4 relying and sharing your pics, your hair looks great. After, 2 yrs of no relaxer how have you handled any breakage?

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  • Star

    I am about 8 months natural after a 10 month transition and my hair is almost shoulder length when completely stretched. My curls range from 3c-4b, and I have fine, medium, and course strands.

    My go to style is a twist out–I love, LOVE!! Throughout the week I pin up the twist in the back and take down the upper front half and the sides for a curly updo. When I work out I put on a head band and retwist the twists that I have taken down and that’s it.

    Twistouts and twists are low manipulation styles that have allowed me to keep my hair moisturized, stretched, healthy, and growing.

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  • wellnessminded

    My go to style will always and forever be a medium size twist out. Been natural for 5 years and my hair just looks fab in it. I have also found creative ways to adjust the twist out and use head bands etc… The problem I always had which is the most common is retaining moisture geez. My sister just told me about The Gud Stuff. Its the best moisturizer and sealant iv ever used hands down. http://bit.ly/get-The-GUD-Stuff So happy to see so many sistahs going natural. Its the most beautiful site ever! Good luck to you all…

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  • Gia

    Updos are easier for me than twists and cornrolls lol
    My easy go to styles are wash and gos and updos and when I want something a bit more challenging I do flat twists and twist outs

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  • Natalie

    As my hair has grown I have changed my go to style. When my hair was nose length at the front I did flat twists and cornrows, this style lasted for about 6 months. Right now my hair is at my lower lip I usually do a simple ponytail with a pompadour or some other fancy thing at the front sometimes I do variations of the Kimmay tuck and pin style.
    If I am going out and want to jazz it up I’ll do a flat twist twist out and now I can also do a giant afro puff.
    My next go to style will be a doughnut bun, I can’t wait and it’s a lot more satisfying measuring your hair by what styles you can do rather than using a tape measure.
    I’ll never forget the day I realised I could fit all my hair in one in a central ponytail – finally more styling options.

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  • http://radiant-brown-beauty.com Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

    Great advice. I only disagree with the part about the suggestion of putting fine hair in corn rows. Doing corn rows takes a LOT of manipulation and causes some hair breakage. Being a very fine natural and knowing quite a few, the styles that work best for our hair are buns and twists (preferably larger twists)

    IMHO :-)

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  • http://blackgirllonghair.com Pat

    I like to keep my hair routine simple so I love shorter hair so the wash n go is my staple. I can’t deal with a massive amount of hair.

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