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Protective Wig Styles for Natural Hair

Updated on January 21, 2017

Short Kinky Afro Wigs

Naomi Campbell wearing a Afro Wig
Naomi Campbell wearing a Afro Wig

Natural Hair Care Protective Styles

There are various styles that can be worn during the winter months to give your hair a rest from all the many daily rituals of co-washing, and stretching with braid-outs.

Some of my favorite winter protective styles include wearing synthetic and human hair wigs. The main reason is because it allows me to wear a variety of different haircuts even if it is cold, windy or rainy outside.

My hair seems to do best in the warmer climates, so that is when I wear my natural out and up towards the sun but when the cold months come its time to braid my hair up in cornrows and cover them with a lace front wig or sew-ins.

How to Pick the Right Protective Styles for Short Hair

One of the things to remember is that in colder climates your hair will dry out faster, so you will want to wear a hairpiece or custom fit human hair wig.

Growing out chemically processed hair can take time and during the transition period you want to have a way to manage your new growth and protect your ends from unnecessary breakage.

I usually try to trim my ends every 3 months just to keep the ends even and healthy, the reason I do not cut my hair is because I want it to grow longer.

Keeping the hair in a style that allows for maximum hair growth is important to achieving a big full afro in 6 to 8 months time.

Everyones hair will grow at different rates some faster and some slower, keeping hair in braids will help but retaining length by not losing hair is the biggest challenge for black women with natural hair.

How to Pick Protective Styles for Long Natural Hair

Once your hair is past shoulder length and reaches bra length you may not feel it is necessary to wear your hair up in micro braids, box braids or tree braids anymore. It really is your personal choice how you want to cultivate and maintain your kinky curly hair at this point.

I would still recommend that you have a regular routine of giving your hair a rest from all the products, wet sets and twist outs. The winter months are a good time to do this because of the unpredictable weather conditions you will not know if it is going to be snowing outside, raining or have strong winds.

In this situation if you had one of your favorite wigs on it will save you time and the stress of getting your hair messed up. You have probably experienced having your hair looking fly when you leave the house and by the time you get home it is a hot mess.

Wearing wigs, weaves and hairpieces can save you from that embarrassment and instead leave you with a more confident disposition.

Things to consider when braiding your hair for a wig cap

Some wigs you can order online and get them custom fitted for the size of your head to make sure that the hairpiece will fit properly. The downside is that if the wig is too snug your natural hair will be bulky underneath.

Once your natural hair reaches near waist length you will find that your braids are too thick and fat in cornrow hairstyles.

The remedy for this is to get you hair braiding in a circular motion wrapped around your head in a basket weave shape so that the top of your head will have the bulk of the length that can be easily tucked inward.

You can get a wig that is one size bigger than you would normally wear. If your natural hair is short you will not have this problem because your braided style will be closer to your scalp. Also you will be able to sew the cornrows together for a tighter fit and to keep the hair from unraveling after a couple of months.

How to Style Your Protective Wig

Once you decide which wig you want to wear this winter then its time to compare brands, prices and fibers.

You can choose from long, short, layered or medium length wigs that come in synthetic hair, human hair and heat friendly synthetic wigs that you can curl.

This will allow you to have straight hair, wavy hair, curly hair and kinky hair all in one. The other fun part is that when it comes to colors you can have dark brown hair one day and light blonde the next.

Winter haircolor trends include red, pink and ombre which is a gradual transition from dark to light colored tips.

Your styling choices can be in a ponytail, updo, side braid or wash and wear, that is the versatility that protective wigs provide girls with natural hair. Wigs for black women can be worn in Yaki, Remy or Hand-Tied.

Buying a Quality Wig vs. Cheap Wig

The better the quality of the wig you choose the longer it will last and as you wash it, style it and curl it with a heat styling tool you will be able to wear it over and over again. Plus they usually cost more money and as the saying goes you get what you pay for.

Not all wigs are created equal and some of them will tangle up, start shedding, get matted or look dull and lifeless. So saving on cost by buying a cheap wig will have you spending more money down the road when it is time to replace it.

Most of the time it is best to buy two wigs at one time to be sure you have a backup if one of them becomes damaged or looses its luster.

I like to have both a synthetic wig and a human hair wig this way I can see which one will give me the look I am going for that day or week. Of course you are going to have your favorites and once you find the brand that works well for your face shape, be sure to stock up on them before they go out of business.

Liquid Adhesives and Tape for Lace Wigs

Having a lace front wig is popular because it virtually is undetectable from the hairline that you have a wig on. The natural looking side part and matching skin cap allows for a more versatility when wearing your hairpiece up in a high ponytail or pulled back into a bun.

There are two ways to apply a lacefront wig and that is either with two sided tape or glue.

You can use invisibond liquid adhesive that goes on white and dries clear, just remember to apply pressure so the lace can securely hold to your skin. You can use Q-Tip cotton swabs to add the hair glue around the edges of your forehead. Also the hold of the glue can last from 3 days to a week.

Here is a list of a few other liquid adhesives for wigs: Liqui tape silicon, waterproof Davlyn, Vapon no tape liquid, Sigma bond, Ultra hold, Ms lola's cream and Myte Tite clear hair glue. These come in either a bottle with an application brush or in a tube.

You will find that the ease of use will vary by product some of the wig adhesives will be stringy and have a strong hold and others due to your body chemistry not hold at all. It is best to try different brands until you find one that works best for you.

As far as double sided tape strips goes you can get the lace front support tape, supertape, Vapon topstick, no shine bonding tape, air-flex pre-cut tape.

Lace wig adhesive tape is the best option if you find that the glues do not work well with your body chemistry which can easily lead to lifting, melting and crumbling after just a few days of wear.

Glueless Lace Wig Application

An alternative to the above methods is what is called the glueless and tapeless full lace wig method which uses an elastic band or adjustable straps to secure the wig in place.

How to Use an Elastic Band in your Wig

This is a preferred option because it will help you avoid damaging the hair around your edges and save you from pre-mature balding and hair loss known as traction alopecia associated with wig glues and liquid adhesives.

Preserve your edges with the elastic band method.

Things you will need:

1. Tape Measure

2. Elastic

3. Curve Needle

4. Thread for Weaving

First you will need to measure your head from the one side of your ear tab to the other this is the part that will be close to your temples. Once you get the number of inches subtract at least 2 to 3 inches before you cut your elastic so that it will fit snugly on your head.

Next you will sew the elastic inside the lace front wig, just make sure the elastic is not cut too short or it will be too tight on your forehead and the wig will ripple causing the front to not lay flat.

Also it is best to use wig clips on the back of the wig near the nape of the neck to secure the wig to your braided hair. You will notice that to keep your hairpiece from moving around it is a good idea to use a wig cap, one is good and two can help keep your natural hair underneath flat with out being too bulky.

Protective Hair styles for Transitioning Hair

After you decide to do the big chop or to discontinue using chemical hair straighteners you will find that it is best to wear protective hairstyles while transitioning from relaxers.

To help you do this you can ask around or watch videos on youtube where women share their story and provide solutions to taking care of kinky, coily and curly hair.

It is best try and keep your hair moisturized and kept in braids or updos. The key is to protect the ends of your hair to retain length for maximum growth.

After months of post relaxer some have opted to transition from chemically processed hair back to their natural hair by not cutting the relaxed strands but to instead letting it grow out on its own.

The challenge is once your new growth starts to grow out it will be difficult to manage the two different textures causing tangles and breakage after washing hair each week.

Wet setting hair with roller sets is a great way to protect your hair during this transitioning period, It is possible with magnetic rollers and a hooded dryer. The next hairstyle idea is either cornrows or bun updo's because they require less manipulation of the hair.

Transitioning from relaxed hair without cutting can be done with the right type of hair care regime.

How to Put on Lace Front Wig

Protective Hairstyles Wigs, Ponytails, Weaves, Braids

I like to mix things up every once in a while, which is not uncommon. Here are some of the different ways you can wear your hair this winter.

Individual Braids, Cornrows and Goddess Braids

Not everyone is going to want to wear wigs or hair extensions as a protective hairstyle. Another option is to choose to have your hair braided into a decorative braid pattern that will last for several months. The variety of braid styles gives a nice professional or sassy look to about any occasion.

You can get individual micro braids, or you can try for the bigger goddess braids which may require that you add hair for braiding to make them thick enough. Then you can just have simple cornrows that go backward down your back. Those who are more creative can add beads, feathers and hair braid clips.

Layered Body Wave Curls

This style is nice for casual or going out to an event, the hair is in layers and surrounds the face with big curls that gives a sophisticated look to any outfit. I like using a wide barrel curling iron to achieve the look and if you use a human hair medium length wig you can curl it and have smooth finish.

High Drawstring Ponytails

If you want to have a fun casual style this winter you can try the drawstring ponytail hair piece. In this look all you need to do is put your hair in a high bun and smooth down your edges with a Denman brush, wearing bangs is optional.

You can choose from all textures and lengths depending on the occasion. Best way to match your haircolor is to use a color chart before ordering your updo ponytail. Remember if you decide to pick a synthetic one it may not last as long as a human hair one which can by dyed to match your hair better.

Retro Style Finger Waves

The nice thing about wearing hairpieces is that you can go back in time and wear hairstyles inspired by the 1950s. One of my favorite styles is the finger wave and you can really duplicate the look with a full head hair weave. The tracks can be purchased in bulk and then sewn on to your cornrows.

This type of style will last for at least 3 months so you want to make the commitment to keep the style after getting your hair done. Maintain it by using a wig spray for added shine and bounce.

While going natural and transitioning from relaxed hair without cutting your hair you will want to try a variety of protective hairstyles. The options are wide and you can be creative with your daily style routine.


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