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Goddess Braids

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Are you looking for a protective, long-lasting, and chic hairstyle? Try goddess braids. These thick and soft braids are perfect for an effortless, boho style.

We’ll tell you what goddess braids are, tips for maintaining them, and ways of styling them! Keep reading to learn more about goddess braids

What Is a Goddess Braid?

Goddess braids are similar to cornrows but thicker and braided very close to the scalp.

Goddess braids are thick and rope-like, so they work best for long hair. Since the braids are so thick, they are easier to style and install than other thinner types of braids. 

What Type of Hair Is Best for Goddess Braids?

Most hair types can be styled with goddess braids, but it can be challenging to achieve this style with just your natural hair alone. Unless you have long, naturally wavy hair, you will need to add extensions in the braiding process. Hair extensions help achieve a full and thick appearance. How much hair you need depends on how thick you want your braids and how thick your natural hair already is. 

 

Do Goddess Braids Damage Your Hair?

Goddess braids are a protective style, but they can damage your hair if installed incorrectly or if your hair is unhealthy to begin with. 

This style may not be best if you have a sensitive scalp. Goddess braids are thick and heavy, which can put stress on your scalp. If you have thin hair strands, goddess braids may also not be suitable as the braiding process may break off your hair. 

How Long Do Goddess Braids Last?

Goddess braids can last between four to eight weeks. Of course, this depends on how well you take care of them and how well they were installed. 

Tips for Maintaining Goddess Braids:

  • Use silk accessories – Even protective styles require additional protection. Wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf before bed to protect your hair against friction and keep your braids smooth. 
  • Use light oils on your scalp – Your scalp may become dry after a couple of weeks with this style. Using oils like jojoba oil can help ease and soothe your scalp without creating build-up. When applying oil to your scalp, always gently massage it in.
  • Prep your hair – Goddess braids are only as strong as their foundation. Make sure your hair is fully cleansed and conditioned before installing. Moisturizing leave-in treatments will also be beneficial prior to installation. 
  • See a reputable stylist – Go to a stylist who has experience installing goddess braids. An experienced braider can tell you the length and thickness that’s best for your natural hair.
  • Keep up your hair nutrition – Proper nutrition is vital for healthy hair growth. Get your daily vitamins and minerals with Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements! They are clinically proven to nourish thinning hair and promote existing hair growth.*

Goddess Braid Styles

  • Goddess braid updos – If you want to keep your braids out of your face but still styled, goddess braids in a ponytail are a chic and easy choice. You can also wrap your goddess braids into a top bun or two space buns for a cute, low-maintenance style.  
  • Goddess braids with colors – Adding different colored synthetic hair is a fun way to add a pop of color to your braids while keeping your natural hair healthy. 
  • Goddess braids with curls – Use curly extensions and leave the ends unbraided for an effortless, bohemian look. Or, when installing the braids, you can pull some hairs out to add some tendrils around your braids. 

 

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What do you think of goddess braids? Would you give these a try? Tell us in the comment section below!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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The natural hair movement has taken off, and Black women have never felt more empowered to wear their natural texture. However, for a lot of people with natural hair, learning how to take care of it, grow it, and style it is a challenge. Looking for a style that makes you feel fabulous without damaging your hair? Look no further than protective styles. 

What are protective hairstyles?

Protective hairstyles are any style that keeps your ends safely tucked away. These hairstyles typically require very little maintenance, no heat, and help keep strands moisturized. 

Protective styles are an essential part of healthy hair care. During the colder months, they protect your hair from icy temperatures, snow, and frosty air. In the summer, protective styling prevents sun, wind, and water damage. Kinky and coily hair is naturally dry and prone to breakage, so over time weather conditions and frequent styling wear down the fibers of your hair and lead to damage and often loss of length. 

It’s important that you prep your hair properly for a protective style, so that it doesn’t do more harm than good. For all styles you want to start with clean, deep conditioned hair. If you plan to leave your style in for a few weeks, it’s a good idea to get a trim before it’s installed. 

To keep your style fresh, wash it bi-weekly to remove any buildup. Keeping your scalp and strands moisturized is key, oil your scalp or spray hair with a leave-in conditioner daily to keep your hair healthy, prevent breakage, and promote growth. 

Every style has an expiration date. When that date is for you, depends on how fast your hair grows and the style you choose. Some styles, like wigs, make it easier to maintain the style longer because new growth is not exposed. While others, like box braids, start to look messy as your hair grows out.

Another sign that it’s time to ditch your protective style is when you can see buildup on your hair. If you choose to forgo washing your hair while it’s in a protective style, your hair becomes dirty, and your scalp can become dry and flaky

Now comes the the fun part: choosing which style is best for you. Think about what you plan to do, how much upkeep you want to do, and how much time you want to spend installing the style. Here, we’ve rounded up 25 protective hairstyles to keep you inspired through the Fall. 

25 braids, twists, and locs for natural hair

Cornrows 

Cornrows are one of the most popular protective hairstyles you can try for natural or relaxed tresses. They are super protective, low maintenance, and can be styled tons of different ways. You can’t go wrong with simple straight-back plaits, like model Sydney Harper. For a lowkey look, the best clip-in hair extensions are ones that match your natural hair. 

Cornrows Low Bun

A low bun is a chic hairstyle that pairs fantastically with cornrows. For a fresh update, try alternating braid sizes. 

Cornrows with Faux Ponytail 

Cornrows give your average ponytail that “wow” factor. Actress Chante Adams lets her natural texture shine in this low, voluminous ponytail. 

Box Braids 

If you’re after a protective style that’s versatile and stylish, look no further than box braids. Whether worn long or short, chunky or thin, box braids are super chic and on trend. Model and entrepreneur, Jordyn Woods, stuns in a waist-length version of the iconic 90’s style. 

Colorful Box Braids

One of the perks of rocking box braids is being able to experiment with different hair colors without making a long-term commitment. We’re big fans of this bold, neon look. 

Ombré Box Braids 

Ombré is another way to give your braids a modern flair. If you’re after a look that will stop traffic, try this fire engine red ombre look. 

Bob Braids

Braids and bobs are so on trend for 2020, and with this hairstyle you don’t have to choose between the two. If you want to rock a protective style that’s minimal, but makes a statement, try a box braids bob. Actress Amandla Stenberg rocks the red carpet in these chocolate brown, chin-length braids. 

Chunky Box Braids 

Standard box braids tend to be on the skinner side, but big box braids give you a bold style that has a chunky texture with a vintage feel. Singer and model, Justine Skye, is giving us major 90’s vibes with her jumbo braids.

Knotless Braids

So many celebs have been slaying knotless braids this season. The Beyoncé-approved hairstyle is a great way to protect your strands from stress and explore various lengths and colors. Unlike box braids, knots are not required, which reduces tension and gives the protective style a natural look we love. 

Crochet Braids

Chances are you may mistake crochet braids for someone’s real hair, which is one of the reasons we love this look so much. Crochet braiding is a way of adding extensions to one’s hair by looping hair under the cornrows with a crochet needle, and securing it with a knot. Crochet braids can be worn, straight, curly, or braided.

Fulani Braids 

Fulani braids —which gets its name from the Fulani people in West Africa, where the braids originated— are a mixture of cornrows and box braids and can be worn with or without beads. Add hair extensions for length to get this scroll-stopping look. 

Faux Locs 

One of the most iconic hairstyles of all time is dreadlocks. They’re perfect for a naturalista who wants a style that’s as bold as it is protective. However, dreads require lots of patience, as they can take years to be fully complete. If you’re not ready to commit, faux locs are a temporary protective style where your extensions are loc’d — not your natural hair. 

Goddess Locs

Goddess locs are a form of faux locs with a more bohemian vibe. What sets goddess locs apart from traditional faux locs is the ends are left curly or wavy, instead of sealed. 

Two-strand Twists 

Two-strand twists are lightweight, add no tension, and require zero heat. They’re the perfect style for naturals because they help the hair hold onto moisture longer and keep it tangle free. Less manipulation, plus better moisture retention, equals healthy, hydrated strands. 

Marley Twists 

This hairstyle was inspired by music legend Bob Marley and his iconic, long dreads. A popular alternative to faux locs, Marley twists were created to mimic the appearance of natural locs. What sets this hairstyle apart from other twist styles is the use of long synthetic, kinky-curly “Marley hair”. 

Havana Twists

Havana twists are similar to Marley twists, but they have a different look, feel, and cost. Havana twists are thicker and use a kinkier texture of hair to achieve the look. The style is also a lot lighter than Marley twists, putting less stress on your scalp.

Senegalese Twists 

Whether you want to use your natural hair, or add extensions, Senegalese twists look great at any length. These chunky, long Senegalese twists make a statement while still looking natural. 

Dutch Braids 

The prettiest, go-to braid of the season, is one you can do from home. If you’re tired of wearing a top knot everyday but don’t have the time and skill required for more intricate braided looks, try Dutch braids. Dutch braids are also a great style to couple with a treatment or hair oil. Lori Harvey’s sleek braids look super chic, and let her makeup take center stage. 

Faux Hawk

Want to try an edgy updo while keeping your hair protected? Try a faux-hawk! Big, bold, and so damn cool, it’s one of the most daring styles you can sport without having to change your natural hair. 

Bantu Knots 

Today so many of our favorite celebrities are rocking Bantu knots, but the style has a long, rich history. The simple and stunning look has been around for over 100 years and is making a major fashion comeback. It’s used as a protective style for both natural and relaxed hair and is commonly used in overnight routines to preserve longer lasting and more defined curly styles. 

Space Buns 

The cooler cousin to pigtails, space buns are a fun and whimsical hairstyle that looks great on all hair textures. Embrace your puffs with this zero-effort (but cute AF) hairstyle. 

Top Knot

If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on your hair but want to keep it protected — a topknot is the perfect hairstyle. The trendy updo can be worn super sleek, or loose and laidback. 

Low Braided Ponytail

Who says hair has to be complicated to look good? This classic braided ponytail is easy to do yourself, looks super chic, and keeps your hair protected. We love how Zendaya paired the low key hairstyle with glam makeup and bold earrings. 

Wigs 

Wigs are a great protective style that lets you change up your look as often as you want. They’re a great option if you’re trying to grow out your hair, because new growth will be hidden underneath. With so many options on the market, there is a wig for every budget and style. Cardi B’s jetblack, sleek lob is very on trend for Fall. 

Clip-in Ponytail 

Clip-in Ponytails add oomph to your look by making your ponytail thicker and longer. Gather your natural hair into a high or low pony and add the ponytail extension for an instantly polished look. 

Written by: Phelisha Cassup

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Protective hairstyling is a curly girl’s best friend, especially as the temperatures start to drop. The extreme cold and wind can take a major toll on our delicate strands, so it’s important to keep them moisturized and tucked away. If you’re after a hairstyle that’s protective and stylish, look no further than box braids. The traditional African braid rose to popularity almost three decades ago, defining an era of iconic black television, movies and music. In 2020, celebrities and influencers are bringing back the iconic 90’s style.

How to do box braids

What are box braids?

Box braids are plaits or three-strand braids that are divided into square-shaped sections. Unlike cornrows, box braids are not braided flat against the scalp, instead hair is sectioned off into squares (or boxes) all throughout the scalp and gets braided down its entire length. This gives you the option to style your braids as you would your normal hair. They can be done with natural hair or you can add hair extensions for extra length and thickness, or to add a pop of colour. You can use human or synthetic hair to achieve the look. 

Knotless braids are a modern adaptation of the classic box braid that give a more natural finish and look more like your own hair. They put less tension on your hair, so they are the better choice for those with sensitive scalps. 

Both options are a great protective style because there’s no heat, or constant pulling and tugging, which means your hair won’t have any issues growing. However, box braids can damage your hair if they are installed incorrectly, or left in for too long.

How to prep your hair for box braids

If you’re thinking of getting box braids, there are a few things you should do to prep your hair before installation. It’s very important to make sure that your hair is shampooed, detantangled, deep-conditioned, and trimmed before braided. This will ensure that your hair is healthy and moisturized before going into a long-term style like braids. Box braids can last up to two months, and you can’t remove all the dirt and build-up from your hair or scalp, so starting with clean hair is always best. 

Box braids can be pretty pricey. You can expect to spend anywhere from $100-$400 for your box braids (which makes sense since it can take up to eight hours to do). However if you’re not ready to shell out that kind of cash, but still want to try the style, here’s a step by step guide for how you can achieve the style from home. 

How to do box braids

How to do box braids at home: a step by step guide

Step 1

Wash, deep condition, detangle and blow dry your hair. It’s important to start off with a clean, moisturized base to make sure that this style can hold up. We recommend using a clarifying shampoo like, the Shea Moisture African Black Deep Cleansing Shampoo, to remove product residue and build-up. Always follow up with a good hair mask, we love the Ouidad Curl Recovery Melt-Down Extreme Repair Mask because it hydrates the hair and prevents breakage. 

Step 2

Once your hair is all clean, add your favourite leave-in products to ensure your hair is as smooth, hydrated, and easy to work with as possible. We love the Kinky Curly Knot Today Detangler for an extra boost of curl hydration. Before blow-drying, add a thermal protectant like the Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil, which doesn’t only protect your hair from heat, it repairs it. Finally blow-dry your hair before moving on to braiding. 

Step 3

Section off your hair for the braids, and then make smaller sections within the sections. The smaller parts will be the size of your braids, so make them as micro or jumbo as you want. Make sure you use a great precision comb for effortless, clean parts. Mariah suggests using hair bands to section off the hair you’re not braiding and keep it out of the way. 

How to do box braids

Step 4

Now for the fun part — braiding your hair. To start, take a piece of braiding hair and place it on top of the sectioned off piece of hair. Start a three strand braid. The three strands are 1) braiding hair 2) your own hair 3) braiding hair.

How to do box braids

Step 5

Once you get towards the end of your real hair, it’s time to feed it into the braiding hair. No good braid instal is complete without a great jam or paste to keep everything in place. To add shine and memory to your braids, use cult-favourite gel SoftSheen Carson Let’s Jam. It adds control without the crunch and is safe to use on synthetic hair. Pro tip: Keep detangling your hair as you go, the smoother your hair is the longer the braids will last. 

How to do box braids

Step 6

Now that you only have two sections of hair for your three strand braid, split one of your two sections to make three again and continue braiding all the way down. Continue using edge control and gel to tame and lock the hair in place.

How to do box braids

Step 7

Once all of your braids are done, seal the ends of the braids with hot water. To make your braids last and keep flyaways flat, we recommend using a few pumps of a foam mouse. One of our favourites is AllDay Locks & Braids Foam Control, because it provides a long-lasting hold and doesn’t flake. 

How to do box braids

Step 8

To complete the look, use edge control and an edges brush or toothbrush to lay your baby hairs. The key to a polished look is perfectly laid baby hairs. 

Your braids are installed but your work isn’t over just yet. It’s important that you maintain your braids so that they stay frizz-free as long as possible. A satin bonnet, scarf, or silk pillowcase will protect your hair while you sleep. We also suggest getting an anti-itch spray like, Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Scalp Toner, so that you don’t disturb your roots which will lead to frizz. Since you will be skipping shampoo for a few weeks we also suggest getting a scalp cleansing rinse that you can use while your braids are installed, which will allow you to maintain your protective style a bit longer. One of our favourites is Cantu’s Refresh Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Co-Wash, it has a combination of apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and shea butter, which will cleanse, condition, and nourish your scalp. 

Keeping your braids in for too long may be tempting, but it can cause breakage, matting, and buildup on your new growth. If you want to stretch your time, we suggest getting the hairline and nape redone around the six-week mark. 

When it’s time to take your braids out, the worst thing you can do is rush. Make sure to set aside enough time for the process so that you don’t damage your hair. Here are the steps to uninstalling your box braids the right way. 

How to do box braids

How to remove box braids at home

Step 1

Spray your hair with warm water. The follow up with a detangling product, like Auntie Jackie’s Curls & Coils Not On May Watch Instant Detangler, to add some slip to your hair. Pro tip: Go in sections so that your hair doesn’t dry while you work through it. 

Step 2 

Begin from the bottom and move upwards. If you added extensions you can cheat by cutting the bottoms, but leave enough space to where your natural hair ends. Keep in mind your hair has probably grown so don’t cut off too much.

Step 3

Add some Detangler to your fingertips and slowly unravel the braids. Keep detangling your hair with a wide tooth comb or your fingers, always starting from the bottom and moving upwards.

Step 4 

Once you’ve fully unravelled the braid to the root you will be able to remove the extensions. 

Once your protective style is removed you’ll want to give your hair some TLC. Follow up with your hair care routine, make sure to give your hair a good scrub and lots hydration.

Written by: Phelisha Cassup

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