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The holidays, this year, are like none other. We’re in a pandemic with COVID cases in an upward tick. You may be apprehensive going to a salon to get the perfect ‘do for your virtual or IRL holiday gathering, so we have the perfect solution for you!

Sally Crew’s DIY hair expert Zenita Collie is sharing all of her tips and tricks for getting your natural mane ready for any Christmas or New Years’ celebration. The best part? She’s getting us together with minimal heat and tension to keep our hair protected and healthy during the cold months.

“During the colder months of the holiday season, a huge trend for textured hair is protective styles,” she told us. “Protectives styles are essential, low maintenance hairstyles that help limit breakage and help with length retention/growth.”

The three styles Zenita loves are the classic ninja bun/top knot, spring twists/braids, and the mini twists/braids. Read on for a step by step tutorial on how to achieve all three styles using your natural hair.

Ninja Bun/Top Knot Bun

Zenita Holiday Hair

Source: Sally Beauty / Sally Beauty

No matter the season, I love a classic bun. It’s simple, works with any look, and is very easy on the hair! Zenita broke down how to create the perfect top knot when she told us, “one of my favorite low manipulation looks to create is a top knot bun. I usually do this style to keep myself from messing with my hair and to keep it out of my face. While wearing this style, it is important to make sure your ends stay moisturized. Keep them protected by tucking them in so they aren’t exposed and make sure to consistently add moisture to avoid dryness. I recommend a spray like the Flawless by Gabrielle Union Hydrating Curl Refresher Spray for easy application to quickly provide a boost of hydration.

Get The Look:

    • Step 1: I like to start on an old Wash N Go so the bun is bigger. You can also start on an older rod set, braid out, or style of
    your choosing.

  • Step 2: Take your slicking product and apply it around the perimeter of your hair to help create a smooth base. During the winter, I like using the Afrosheen Slick Back Cream Styler since it’s a moisturizing styler and doesn’t flake like a gel.
  • Step 3: I like to take a cut up piece of pantyhose, yes pantyhose, to help slick my hair into place.
  • Step 4: Then I’ll go in with thin black string and wrap it around the puff I’ve created until it’s shaped into a tall tower of curls. I use this method to avoid using as many bobby pins.
  • Step 5: Once I have the shape down I’ll slick my edges to my liking and set the style with my satin scarf.

Spring Twist/Braids

Zenita Holiday Hair

Source: Sally Beauty / Sally Beauty

For the second look, Zenita shared how we can recreate this classic spring fave even in the colder months as it’s the perfect lightweight protective style. “It may be winter, but I love creating spring twists as a lightweight protective style,” she explained. “This look can be achieved by twisting or braiding the spring twist hair with your natural hair. To prepare for this style, I recommend using Kim Kimble Curly Pudding Creme to seal in moisture. Pair that treatment with a variety of oils including Silk Elements Pure Jojoba Oil, Silk Elements Pure Argan Oil and Silk Elements Vitamin E with Safflower & Flaxseed Oil to help with breakage and hair growth and you’re ready to go.”

Get The Look:

  • Step 1: I start off most of my braided protective styles with my heatless stretching method. That’s where I apply all my products and let my hair stretch in large braids for about two days before I style.
  • Step 2: To prep the spring twist hair I’m adding in, I’ll use about four strands of spring twist hair and fluff it out until it kind of looks like a fluffy twist out.
  • Step 3: I split my own hair and the spring twist hair into three sections.
  • Step 4: I braid in the spring twist hair with the natural hair and then secure the ends by twisting it down.
  • Step 5: After I finish braiding my entire head, I’ll go back in with my oils to make sure my scalp is moisturized.
  • Step 6: I’ll finish the style off with a styling foam like the Texture ID Thermal Multi-Styling Foam.

Mini Braids/Twist

Zenita Holiday Hair

Source: Sally Beauty / Sally Beauty

Lastly, Zenita explained how she easily creates mini braids and twists for a gorgeous, low-maintenance style that’s perfect for the holidays and any time of the year.  “A big trend around this time of year for textured hair is mini braids and twist. These low tension styles are lightweight and super easy to create. I recommend using styling products when putting your hair in mini braids/twists to give yourself the option to wear hair unraveled later on. I love finishing the look with accessories like beads and cuffs to personalize this style and add some holiday cheer.”

Get The Look:

  • Step 1: To start the style off I section my hair in half, making sure that the back is larger than the front section.
  • Step 2: I did this style on damp hair, so to help prevent tangles and knots while separating, I like to use the My Black is Beautiful Tangle Slayer Conditioning Cream.
  • Step 3: I part the back section into 3 rows and then create a square like section for my braids.
  • Step 4: Then I use a leave-in product like the Kim Kimble Coconut Milk & Avocado Oil Hair Lotion to moisturize and start defining my curls.
  • Step 5: I follow up with a moisturizing gel with hold to make my braids shiny & slick. I also like to define my curls with it so I have the option to unravel the braids and wear it as a braid-out later.
  • Step 6: After braiding up the back section, I use the same products with the help of the My Black Is Beautiful Edge Slayer to flat twist the front into a freestyle pattern.
  • Step 7: I secure the base of my flat twist with some rubber bands covered in oil so they don’t tangle.
  • Step 8: I braid down the ends of the flat twist so they match the back of my hair.
  • Step 9: Lastly, accessorize! I used wooden beads to add some color to my hair.

Which style are you trying first?

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