It’s winter, and even here in Birmingham, the temperatures drop and the air gets dryer. Colder, drier weather can be especially damaging to natural hair, and wind dehydrates your curls and can lead to breakage. That’s why protective styles are so important, not only for keeping your hair healthy, but also as a fun way to switch up your style. Learn more about protective styles, and if you’d like to schedule an appointment at our natural hair salon, contact Swoop Hair today!

How Do Protective Styles Work?

Protective styles limit your natural hair’s exposure to damage by sun, heat, cold, or over-manipulation. Because natural curls are already drier and more prone to damage, a high-quality protective style can help your hair retain more moisture and grow longer. If you choose to get a protective style, it’s best to get a hair cut first so that your hair can withstand the tension of braiding. No one wants a sore scalp or tension headaches, and too-much tightness can actually end up causing hair loss –  the exact opposite of your goal with a protective style!

How Long Should I Keep Protective Styles In?

There’s no hard and fast rule for how long to keep your protective style in, but our natural hair salon can help you know when it might be time to freshen up your style. It depends on your hair, the type of style, and your goals. Switching between hair styles can also help. For example, move between box braids, extensions, and a simple twist. While protecting your hair, they all put different staring on it, and switching it up lets your hair recover in different ways.

Box Braids

Box braids are one of the most popular protective styles for natural hair. They’re easy to maintain, but also super versatile, which means you can adjust based on your personal style. You can part them in bigger or smaller sections and style them in an infinite number of ways once you’ve got them.

Senegalese Twists

Senegalese twists are a beautiful way to protect your hair. Along with their head-turning appearance, they also are relatively easy to have installed. The crochet Senegalese twists method crochets pre-twisted strands of hair into your natural cornrows, and this can take less than three hours. If you’re getting the traditional Senegalese twist using a braiding method to combine your natural hair with the extensions, it may take a little longer. Both methods provide a similar result and level of protection. If you’d like to learn more about your options, contact our Birmingham hair salon!

Fulani Braids

These braids are inspired by the traditional hairstyles of the Fulani people of West Africa, and they’re a very artistic and intricate style. Hairstylists cornrow braiding hair from the middle of the hair to the sides, and a few cornrows braided in the opposite direction towards your face and a braid wrapped around the hairline. They’re a very popular type of braiding and have been rocked on red carpets and magazine covers. They frame your features and can be as short or long as you want, and they also often include beads and metal clips. 

Flat Twists

Flat twists are versatile and relatively easy to achieve on your own. If you’d like to learn how to do a flat twist, our natural hair stylists can help teach you! We’ll walk you through the process and show you what it looks like. There are many different ways to style a flat twist too, including buns, pigtails, halos, and more. 


You can get cornrows in a wide range of shapes and styles. From the traditional front backs to zig-zags and more, cornrows are a great way to protect your hair and achieve an easy style. They also provide tons of opportunities to add additional hair like faux ponytails or buns, if you’d like to add volume or texture to your cornrow style. If you have longer hair, long cornrows can give you the length you need to create braided updos. 

Swoope Hair Natural Hair Salon

Our Birmingham hair salon specializes in helping women enjoy incredibly healthy, natural hair. We use high-quality products and innovative techniques to create stunning, personalized results for every single client. Whether you choose to relax your hair, let your curls bounce, rock braids, or more, we can help you discover the style you’ve been dreaming of! Check our hair styles page and book with Brittany Swoope and Swoope Hair today!