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Protective Styles for Men

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The coolest natural hairstyles for men aren't always the best fit for cooler weather. As the temperature begins to drop, dry air can wreak havoc on curly and coily hair textures. Type 3 and Type 4 hair requires plenty of hydration to stay looking sharp. Low humidity means less moisture in the air - leading to dryness. Dryness along with environmental factors like wind, rain, and snow strips away the moisture from your hair, leaving behind damage, breakage, flatness, and frizz. That's why protective styles are among the favorites of trending natural hairstyles.

When it comes to easy, effortless styles for men's hair, braids, cornrows, and locs are the way to go. Protective styles like these keep your hair healthy while allowing for natural growth. Think of protective styles as giving your hair a "vacation". They're ideal for guys who aren't fond of making time for regular haircuts and trims but don't want to deal with scruff and frayed ends. 

Top stylist Shannon Currie of SliderCuts sums it up nicely. "Protective styles are great to help you make sure your hair is healthy," says Currie. "There has 100 percent been an increase in men requesting protective styles. I work in a barbershop, so the majority of guys who come in to cut their hair, but a lot of guys now are coming in to start growing their hair out and I'll start their long hair process. If your hair is about two inches, then you'll be able to get a style".

It's time that close cuts made way for braids, locs, and cornrows. Your new go-to natural hairstyle is waiting. Get inspired by these hot styles for textured hair.

1.) Cornrows

A favorite for curly, coily and textured hair - cornrows never go out of style. This dynamic look is always trending when it comes to men's hair. While cornrows may have gotten a bad reputation in the past for being a bit uncomfortable to install, we promise this hot style is worth the pain.

Cornrows can be modified to suit your personal style. Want to rock one shaved side? Two? A full head of cornrows or just the top? However you wear this protective style is up to you. We should note that cornrows do require slightly longer hair than 2 inches. If your hair hasn't grown out enough to sustain this look, braids may be the better option. A good rule of thumb is that if your hair is long enough to be tied back, your hair is long enough for cornrows.

There's a common myth in the protective style arena that cornrows will cause a receding hairline or hair loss. It's no wonder that so many men approach this look with caution when researching braids for men and protective styles. We're happy to announce that cornrows will not pull out all of your natural hair when installed by an experienced professional. In fact, hair loss has more to do with tension than style. When any protective style -- braids and locs included -- is installed too tightly, it runs the risk of putting pressure on your scalp, roots, and hair. This can cause breakage and hair loss over time. However, when the plaits are done professionally, your hair will adapt to this new style without the risk of hair loss or thinning. Of course, proper care is the best way to ensure ongoing hair health and we always advise consulting a professional to avoid damaging your natural hair!

When it comes to caring for your hair in the winter months, opt for natural products as moisturizers for both your cornrows and scalp. Natural hydration strengthens the hair, prevents buildup, and keeps your style on point. The best natural hair oils to use include coconut, almond, avocado, and Argan oil. These moisturizers nourish the scalp while giving your hair new life and vibrancy. 

Cornrows are relatively low maintenance once installed. With proper care, this style can last anywhere from a few weeks to just over a month. The key elements to avoid when it comes to maintaining cornrows are water and heat.

Keep your hair wrapped in a durag or headscarf if you're active (and sweating) during the winter months and avoid submerging your hair in the water.

Heat treating can be easily avoided with the power of the revolutionary reverse-air hairdryer. This dynamic technology keeps your hair protected while saving time on your morning routine. Effortless style is a trend all of us can get behind for the season's hottest men's hair.

2.) Braids

Braids for men are a classic protective hairstyle that is highly versatile. Plaits can be paired with a taper fade, undercut, or shaved sides, colored for an intense punk meets metropolitan aesthetic and styled just about any way you could imagine. Think of braids as the happy medium between locs and cornrows. This style is a timeless look for men's hair that works best with slightly longer hair -- at least three inches of hair to plait to be exact. If your hair is on the shorter side, your stylist can use elastics at the ends to lock in the plait.

Braids are best for growing out your natural hair during the winter, especially if you're planning to go for a taper fade or longer haircut over the summer months when these styles are easier to maintain. Getting your braids installed early in the season will protect your hair from dryness, breakage, and damage while saving your style.

This look can last between one month to six weeks -- even longer with proper care and minimal heat treating. To get the most out of this style, spritz with moisturizer and wrap your hair before bed to avoid frizz. Only wash the hair when it's taken out completely to avoid damaging the plaits.

That said, braids tend to get less frizzy than cornrows and are more forgiving if you skip a few days in your winter hair care routine. Cornrows are spread across a long section of the head with one plait holding the look together. This means fly-away loose hairs are exposed on either side. With braids, a smaller amount of hair is left out and these strands come directly from the scalp.

The end result? A killer style that can last longer with less maintenance.

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3.) Locs

When it comes to protective styles for men, locs are at the top of our 2021 natural hair trends to love list. Of course, unmaintained hair will naturally form locs - but styling your hair intentionally is a great way to embrace your natural texture while creating an edgy, sizzling hot look that will take you from fall to winter and beyond.

Let's take a closer look at real locs vs. faux locs. If your hair is medium to long, you can easily achieve the perfect locs. An expert stylist will lock each strand together, sealing the hair, and protecting and strengthening the root. In theory, real locs can last as long as the look suits your style. Since there's no hair to take down, the key to maintaining natural locs is getting your hair on a strict weekly maintenance routine. This includes a weekly hair wash with shampoo specifically formulated for locs, along with clarifying and moisturizing. If hair loss is a concern, opt for short to medium locs that won't weigh down on your roots. You can always transition to longer locs as your hair strengthens.

Faux locs are also an option for shorter hair. These are a popular style for men's braids that offer a lower commitment than natural locs. Faux locs vary in length, style, and texture. The price range varies depending on these factors, however, most fans of the faux locs fad report that having this protective style installed by a professional is well worth the cost. Locs are longer lasting than most other men's braids and can be swapped out for different colors and lengths when opting for the faux option over natural. Most importantly, faux locks protect your natural hair when it's at its most vulnerable during the colder months,

Caring for locs is similar to caring for other styles of men's braids. Moisturizer is key, however, investing in a good quality anti-itch scalp spray is a helpful addition to your hair care routine. If you haven't worn locs before, chances are you find this new style a bit irritating at first. Once the discomfort goes away, you'll soon be back to loving this style as much as we do.

RevAir is the number one resource for natural hairstyles. We understand that the changing seasons mean a change of style for men's hair. Braids for men are the best option for keeping your natural hair protected during the winter months and offer a bold array of styling options. Learn more about preparing your hair for a protective style and our Reverse Air Dryer by reaching out to our Support Team!

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