As we head into the winter season, many sisters with natural hair will be covering their strands from the harsh cold weather in order to protect it from drying out and to give it (and themselves) a much needed break for optimum hair growth. There are many ways to create protective styles through the art of braiding. This particular article will focus on yarn braids aka genie locs. Yes, yarn: the kind that is used to knit sweaters, scarves, and booties. This material, in its 100% acrylic form, is great for braiding natural hair with to create the look of locs.
Here is what you will need to achieve this style.
- A jumbo pack of 100% acrylic yarn in your choice of color. Most naturals choose black or brown and prefer the Red Heart brand. You can add a few color pieces towards the front for a little pizzaz.
- A pair of scissors
- A lighter
- Lustrasilk’s curl activator spray (optional)
- Comb for parting
- Bag for collecting clipped yarn
- Time and patience
Once you have your materials together, here are some suggestions for preparing your hair:
- Co-wash or shampoo your hair with a product of your choice
- Deep condition (check your product directions to see if this step should be done before or after you shampoo/co-wash your hair)
- Rinse and apply a leave-in conditioner
- Seal your ends with an oil or butter such as shea or mango
- Detangle your hair and section them off using clips
Now you are ready to braid! Here is a tutorial to get you started.
The most time consuming part, in addition to braiding, is preparing the yarn. You may either prepare the yarn before you braid (such as the day before) or you can cut the yarn as you go. Determine the length of your braids for the back, sides, and the top and use those braids as a measurement.
Lastly, here are some tips that most tutorials do not share:
- If possible, have someone help you prepare the yarn by either cutting them or looping them if you choose that braid method
- Set up your television for some great movies and shows to bypass time
- Schedule celebration breaks after one section is braided; during these breaks, walk around to prevent swelling in your feet and to give your hands and arms a break
- Have snacks readily available
- Start braiding in the back, move to the sides, and do some of the front leaving the middle open. This method allows you pull your hair in a ponytail until you are able to finish just in case you need to go somewhere.
- For styling ideas, watch loc tutorials as well as yarn braid tutorials. Loc tutorials offer more styles for updos.
- Lastly, enjoy your winter break and touch up the edges of your braids as needed.
Happy braiding and happy protecting!
Naturally, you glorify Him!