According to an article from Curly Nikki, protective hairstyles may not be the definitive strategy for maintaining natural hair health. Author NaturallyChelsea lists instances of tangling, dryness, and breakage as common side effects of protective styling since the curls are wound and braided tightly in these often elaborate updos. Rather, NaturallyChelsea offers "low manipulation styles" as an alternative.
As the name suggests, low manipulation styles are much simpler than their protective style counterparts. They require minimal braiding and twisting, thereby lessening the chance for the hair to become damaged during the styling process. NaturallyChelsea also paints low manipulation styles as an appealing option because of the accessibility and flexibility they allow. Simply put, it's easier to moisturize hair that isn't tucked away and far less of an ordeal change for another look.
One example of a low manipulation style is the three strand twist out, as demonstrated in the video below by YouTuber Alyssa Forever (also known as foreverflawlyss on social media). In addition to being "wash and go," the three strand twist out is an ideal way to give curls frizz-free definition overnight without using heat.
To achieve what she describes as "telephone cord defined curls," Alyssa begins the night before with washed hair. After sectioning, she applies moisturizer and defining gel to her detangled curls. She then braids her hair at the roots with a basic three-strand plait to anchor the twist and prevent it from coming undone. A few stitches later, Alyssa switches to a three strand twist technique, following an "outside to inside" pattern as she goes. She takes care to keep the strands of equal length, even resorting to taking some hair from the other sections to do so. Once she reaches the end of the twist, Alyssa allows the tips to curl up, but she recommends using bobby pins or rubber bands to keep the style coiled for those with straighter ends. All that's left to do for the night is get some beauty sleep.
The next morning, Alyssa simply unwinds each twist as they would naturally unravel. While she does use her hair dryer on her still-damp roots, this step is completely optional. Note that Alyssa does not tug the hair apart, but gently separates her curls while moisturizing them. She also perfects errant strands by winding them around her finger. To complete the look, she fluffs her hair up at the roots to hide where the sections were parted. In the YouTube video description, Alyssa claims, "you will have insane definition that lasts a week or more," all while keeping her hair nourished and free from frizz.
What do you think of the results of Alyssa's three strand twist out? What are your thoughts on protective styling versus low manipulation styling? Leave your comments below!
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