It’s the time of year for snow, family dinners, and holiday parties to attend. It may be a little difficult to find holiday styles that don’t require straightening or heat application of some sort. But don’t worry! We’ve put together this list of holiday hair styles for your natural hair to make it easier on you!
Protective buns are a twist between box braids, or any protective styling of your choice, and the classic bun. This is a great style if you already have a protective style in and want to jazz it up for a dinner party or if you’re looking to get a protective style that can be manipulated.
With this style, you want to make sure you’re installing enough individual twists or braids that you can use to create buns. This means the classic two cornrow look or short twists probably won’t be a good style to choose.
To create this style, simply part the hair until you have enough sections to make the amount of buns you want. From there, there are a couple options you can choose from when it comes to creating your buns.
For loose, floppy buns, use one hand to hold the hair at the root and the other to hold the ends of the section. Then take the end of the section and bring it up to your root. You want the section to be flush against the other piece of hair, but at least an inch or so of the ends should be left out of the loop; it should resemble a bunny ear.
Once you have the desired shape and length of your bun (leave more hair out of the loop for a smaller bun), you can use a hair tie or elastic to secure it. Simply repeat this process for every section you have to complete your look. You can either keep the hair outside the look hanging (if the bun covers that part), you can secure and hide it with bobby pins, or tuck it into your hair tie if needed.
For tighter buns that don’t hang, you’ll want to wrap the hair around itself like it’s layered on top of itself. You can secure the ends with pins or tuck them under your hair tie. With this method, it’s best you work in small sections or have a relatively thin, unheavy style. If your style is too heavy or hair is too thick, it may be hard for your sections to stand up. If you experience some drooping or movement, you can use bobby pins to secure the buns to your liking.
Protective Styling in General
If you’re not a bun lover, don’t worry! Protective styles are pretty versatile and can be customized to your personal taste. Even if you don’t wish to put your protective style in buns, there are plenty of other interesting shapes and designs you can make. Even if you don’t care to manipulate the hair, protective styling is still a great option for this season, as it’ll tuck your hair away and protect it against the harsh weather!
Ribbon Braids or Twists
A fun and festive way to spice up a classic style, ribbon braids are fairly easy to do and can be the perfect topper to any outfit!
To complete this style, there is one thing you’ll definitely need - ribbon! When making your sections to braid or twist, you want to take a piece of ribbon 3-4 inches longer than your hair (or the hair you are using for the style).
Once you have your ribbon cut, take a bobby pin and run the ribbon through the pin’s top loop. You’ll then want to secure the ribbon (and pin) to the top of your section, at the root, making sure it’s nice and tight; you’ll be pulling it on once you go to make your braid/twist. When placing your ribbon, you want to think about where you wanted to be positioned in your section (this more so applies to you if you’re doing braids).
If doing braids, place your ribbon either in the right, left, or center or your section. You want it to be over the section of hair you’re placing it at, so it’s like the ribbon is replacing the hair in this section. It should be smooth and flush against the strands; when braiding, you’ll want to keep this section as flat as possible. If doing twists, place the ribbon either one the right or left of the section.
After your ribbon is placed and secure, start twisting or braiding the hair. Like mentioned before, you want the section with the ribbon to be like it’s own section of hair, keeping it flat against the hair under it as much as possible.
After your braid or twist is finished, you can cut any excess ribbon you may have left. This style is also great for tucking the hair away and keeping your strands close together (reducing moisturize loss) in the cold weather.
The perfect alternative to pressing or blowing out the hair, perm rod sets create smooth, shiny curls that can be brushed out and wrapped to straighten the ends. Depending on how well you upkeep the style, you can get two looks in one!
Along with avoiding heat, roller sets are a great opportunity to create more volume in somewhat lifeless hair. With roller sets, it is best to allow 8-12 hours (or just overnight) before taking them down so your hair has enough time to dry. If your hair is not 98% dry before your take down, you can be subjected to flaking or frizz. Once the rollers are properly dried, you can take them down and you’ll be left with soft, bouncy, voluminous curls.
When picking out rollers to use, keep in mind that the size of the roller will dictate how big your curls are. Bigger rollers will result in large curls. Smaller rollers will give you smaller ringlets. When it comes to wrapping the hair around the rollers, the method dictates how tight your curls will be.
To achieve this style, the key is to make sure your hair is as wet as possible when installing the rollers. This will allow the hair to remain flat, smooth, and straight while drying, giving it the look of straightened/heat treated hair. When wrapping the hair, it’s important the hair is as flat against the roller as you can get it. This will also aid in making sure your takedown results in smooth, shiny, frizz free curls. You can learn more on the detailed roller set installation instructions here!
Ever wanted your hair to resemble a Christmas Tree? If not, what a perfect time to experiment if not now? A pineapple is a quick, simple, and low manipulation style that gets your hair out of your face without hiding it away!
Keep in mind that this look is better suited for those with medium to long length hair. Depending on how your hair stretches, you may be able to achieve this look with shorter hair! Due to the style, it also is best suited for voluminous hair that tends to stand up on it’s own. If your hair is too heavy or naturally falls down, then your pineapple will be more like a ponytail.
To achieve this look, simply collect all of your hair to one large puff at the center of your head. You can adjust the height of your puff to your liking, you just want to make sure it’s in the middle of wherever you’re placing it.
From there, simply secure your puff with an elastic or hair tie. And make sure you don’t tie it too tightly, you want room for your hair to breathe. The best thing about this look is that you can decorate your puff with festive ornaments or nick nacks if going to a holiday party or event!
If you have shorter hair and are looking for a similar style to the Pineapple that allows you to decorate your hair, bantu knots may be a good alternative for you! Bantu knots can be done on hair that’s about an inch long in length (at least).
Just keep in mind that your knots will be thicker and more sturdy (for decorating) the thicker your hair is. If you have fine or thin strands, you may need extra reinforcement if adding anything to your hair.
To achieve this look, you have a couple options that range from free-forming the knot to two strand twisting the hair first. You can find the detailed instructions (as well as the history of the cultural style) here! No matter the method, you generally will be wrapping the hair around itself to form your knot.
Another bonus to this style is that you can take out your knots and get a look similar to a braid out or twist out!
When it comes to special occasions and holiday styles, cornrows normally aren’t seen as “serious” or “classy” enough. Despite this common sentiment, we at NaturAll don't think you could ever go wrong with rocking some cornrows!
However, if you’re looking for a style that’s more spiced up, doing cornrows in a designed pattern or shape can help spruce up the classic style. From Flower Crowns, Lemonade Braids, Fierce Zebra Cornrows...these are just some of the many cornrow styles you can choose from. You can check them all out here; you can even include ribbon in these styles to make it festive!
When choosing which holiday style to get, it’s important you remember these tips along the way…
- Start on fresh hair: the key to making a style last a long time is working with freshly cleansed hair. Piling products on top of each other will only weigh your hair down, drying it out, and making it more difficult to maintain a shape. We offer a Hydrating Shampoo that is sulfate free, non stripping, and works to moisturize the hair while it cleanses.
- Use hydrating stylers/primers: when prepping the hair to be tucked away in a protective style, you really want to make sure you’re providing your hair with adequate moisture. After washing, you want to make sure you’re priming the hair with either a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer. These will help to soften the hair, making sure it’s nice and hydrated and ready to be styled. When picking out stylers, you want to make sure they aren’t drying or cause flaking. Making sure your hair is moisturized while in a style is the key to protecting your hair against breakage or damage.
- If doing a style that includes added decoration, ornaments, or hair clips, make sure you are adding them to your hair safely. If using an object that already has a clip attached, make sure it isn’t too tight or sharp on the hair. This could cause breakage, split ends, and over damage to the hair it’s placed on. If the clip itself isn’t safe for your hair, you can always replace it with another one or bobby pin!
- When getting a protect style or using ribbon, make sure you aren’t tugging at your hair too much. It’s important you aren’t putting a lot of stress on your hair, which would defeat the purpose of protective styling. Whenever doing a style that requires a good deal of manipulation (rod sets, braids, twists), you want to be as gentle as possible when installing or maintaining the style.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment! Natural hair is extremely diverse and has the ability to be manipulated into any style you’d like. Be creative when thinking of ways you can make these styles your own; you don’t have to follow them step by step!
We hope you NaturAllista’s got some festive inspiration for your looks this holiday season. Let us know what look you think you’ll try down below!