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Why Protective Styles Are A Curly-Haired Girl’s Best Trick For Surviving The Heat

Beauty
photos courtesy of sephora

Buns don’t have to be boring

Last September, I experienced a major turning point in my personal life. After 22 years of burning, breaking, and damaging my hair with heat tools on a daily basis, I finally found out how to properly care for and style my curls. It was a full blown metamorphosis into a life of self-love that I'd been lacking, and it empowered me to feel more comfortable in my skin than ever before.

That experience also served as the stepping stone for experimenting with even more natural hairstyles. I've not only learned about which products work best for my hair type, but also learned how to make the perfect ballerina bun (my lazy go-to style), honed in on my perfect conditioner-to-water ratio for my wash 'n' go styles, and, most importantly, have come to embrace my frizz on days when no amount of curl cream can tame it. (It happens!)

And though this winter hasn't been too harsh on my hair (my skin? That's a different story), I know the heat will be here soon and will effect the many hair routines that I've worked so hard to maintain over the last few months. And if you, like me, have curly hair, you can probably relate, too. 

For people with curly hair, it's not just summer heat that can cause problems; any time you're in a hot and/or dry environment, it's like taking a handful of kryptonite and hurling it full-speed at Superman. Because curly hair is always, always in need of intense moisture and hydration, heat and dry air are its major weakness. So when I got invited to attend Coachella—which, being in a desert, is basically the worst thing ever for curly hair—I was both excited and worried that I would run the risk of looking like I'd rubbed balloons all over my head. 

But then I remembered the curly-haired girl's secret weapon: protective styles

Protective styles include things like buns, braids, and ponytails, and they do exactly what their name suggests—protect your hair from damaging agents such as sun, heat, dryness, and rigorous manipulation. And while wearing your hair in a bun all the time may not be the most exciting, there are products out there to help give your hair a little extra flair. 

Products (all of which, you can grab at Sephora) like Bumble and Bumble's Tres Invisible Dry Shampoo, Thickening Dryspun Finish, and amika's Un.Done Volume and Matte Texture Spray will help those with thinner hair achieve the extra grip needed for a textured braid. If you're not into braids, you can elevate your simple updo or bun using IGK's Holographic Hair Foam and PREPARTY Hair Strobing Glitter Spray. Both of these products use shade-shifting color and glitter that moves in the light. If you wanna really be extra, I recommend using some of the spray and a holding gel to lay down your edges and baby hairs (or, you could use one of these pigmented airbrush sprays from Hush to give you a deeper color.) 

But, in the event that you're not interested in any of this and want to rock your curly mane as is, more power to you. Be sure to go heavy on the deep conditioner at night (we recommend this stellar nourishing mask from amika), load up on water and moisturizing creams during the day, and go on with your bad AF, curly-haired self. 

Photo by Lea Colombo

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