With so many protective styles to choose from, it’s hard to decide which one you should try next. Some of the most popular are faux locs, box braids, and jumbo twists. However, when you’re comfortable with one style (in my case, box braids), you may be hesitant to try another one. The fear in your head that it just won’t “look right” is always there. Well here’s what you need to know to put your mind at ease and make an informed decision about which protective style would be best for you!
I have been wanting to try out faux locs for the longest, and the only reason I really haven’t is of how long they appear to take to install. My roommate at school does hair and I’ve seen her take 7+ hours to do faux locs (although it used to take her 10). My roommate doesn’t do hair professionally, so if I do decide to pursue this style, I’m hoping that a professional won’t take as long. Faux locs do get heavy the bigger and longer you get them, so keep that in mind. One of the great things about faux locs is that they last and still look good after 3 months IF YOU MAINTAIN THEM CORRECTLY. Maintain faux locs by washing and conditioning at least bi-weekly and oiling your scalp regularly. Compared to box braids and jumbo twists, the maintenance is low, making this style ideal for anyone who wants to go a long period without dealing with their own hair. This style is also ideal for those who aren’t ready to make the commitment to real dreads. Also note that they don’t take as long to take out as box braids do.
Box braids have been my go-to protective style for years simply because there are very few people that can mess up box braids. Some hairstylists do produce better work than others, but box braids are simple enough to where I trust just about any professional to do them. You can do A LOT with box braids: different styles, different sizes, etc. One of the things I love about them is that they’re so versatile. One thing I do dislike (that keeps me from getting them often) is how long it takes to take them out. Taking out box braids by yourself is something you should be prepared to dedicate a couple (few) hours to. It’s a little harder to make box braids last 3 months because they do get frizzy (faux locs do too but that makes them look more natural). I can usually get a good month and a half to 2 months out of my box braids before I need to take them out. Box braids are great for anyone who wants to take just a little break from their hair or sew-ins.
I have to say that jumbo twists are my least favorite protective style because they aren’t a long term style. The thing about jumbo twists is that the less kinky your hair is, the more likely they are to slip out. For hair that is less kinky and not as coarse, smaller twists hold better. The good thing about jumbo twists is that if you do have coarser hair, the twists look more natural when they start to grow out. This protective style is ideal for those with kinky (as opposed to curly) hair and also those who want a short break from manipulating their natural hair.
And there you have it! These styles all protect your hair, the style for you is the one that’ll benefit you the most.