Michelle Thames

by Mary Wolff

When it comes to curly hair, the possibilities are endless in terms of styles. An updo is one of the best ways to protect your hair from damage while still looking great. Here are a few of my favorite natural updos.


1. The Low Bun 
This is so easy and gives you a polished look perfect for work. To create this look with your washed and detangled hair, simply pull all hair back in a low ponytail and continue wrapping strands around the center of the ponytail. Secure it with bobby pins and you have an understated and beautiful look. There are many variations on this look. Find a few interesting twists right here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxwl22qUvWU

2. The Top Knot 
This is like a low bun, but it is higher up on the crown of your head. This look is one of my favorite natural updos because it always looks great for both work and play. It lets you show off your curls without them being in your face. While there are many variations on this style, you make a basic top knot by pulling hair into a high ponytail on the top of your head. Then separate the ponytail into parts and wrap one section around the ponytail and then wrap the other section around the bun. Secure with a bobby pin to keep the hold. Here are a few of  my favorite variations on this look; http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/home/10-of-the-best-top-knot-tutorials-on-all-lengths/

3. Bantu Knots 
When you want a look that is fun and young, Bantu knots are a good choice. They are quick and easy to do for an added bonus. To create this look, separate hair into several sections. Apply a curl cream or setting cream to prevent flyaways. Twist a coil at the scalp level that will hold the shape. Don’t twist the entire section like this because you will be simply wrapping the strands tightly around the twist you created. Once the section is wrapped around the coil you created, continue twisting and wrapping the entire head. For a more in-depth look at this style, check out this guide; http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/kinky-hair-type-4a/bantu-knot-tutorial/

When it comes to natural updos, the key is to find a style that lets you still show off the beauty of your given texture instead of hiding it away. With these styles, you can do just that!

by Toia B. of LuvToBNatural.com

I first created this super easy high bun for my maternity photo shoot, inspired by a style I saw on the beautiful Cassandra Beccai. Since then, it has easily become one of my go-to styles and the one I get the most compliments on. Today, I’m SO excited to finally share this high bun tutorial with you!s

I’ve worn this high bun at least three times for the year including back in July for the NY Natural Hair Expo, right on time for this style shoot that I did two days later. When all else fails and I’m out of ideas, this Cuban Twist bun is it!

PLUS, as a toddler mom, I’ve gotta have styles that won’t take too much time to do, are easy to maintain and will last me at least a week. And I make this last for two… cuz ain’t nobody got time for doing hair every day!

Last year, I gave y’all a step-by-step breakdown of this easy high bun, but many of you gals are more visual. So, after many months, I’m finally sharing the goods! Be sure to read below for a few tips I didn’t get to mention in the video…

(Oh, and forgive me if the voice-over volume is low… technical difficulties and all.)

Some Things to Note

* Moisture
Yes, my hair was moisturized prior to styling. I always apply a leave-in conditioner to my hair but especially when prepping for heat. I then follow-up with an oil. The combo serves as my heat protectant. I’ve never had any issues with my hair not reverting back to the kinks. Even if the gel you use is alcohol-free like the one I use here, us kinky hair girls need moisture so don’t skimp on this step!

* Stretching the Hair
I only blow dry on medium heat, at the most, twice a month and never with the intention of getting my naturally kinky hair bone straight. The idea is just to stretch the hair for styling. Here are some ways you can stretch your natural hair without heat but also, a few helpful tips if you DO decide to use heat when styling your hair.

* Maintenance
To maintain this style until your next wash day, it’s best to use a large square scarf folded on a diagonal or into a triangle. Place the wide part at the back of your head, bring the ends around to the front, making sure you cover the bun and knot it. If it’s really long like mine, tie it once at the front, bring it to the back and knot it. It should stay in place during the night to keep everything looking neat. In the event that you get a few stragglers, lightly mist the hair with a bit of water and add a little gel if necessary. Smooth it gently with a brush and put the scarf back on for a few to really lay ’em down.

Hmmm… I think that’s it! Did I leave anything out? If you’ve got any questions, ask away! Please share on Insta if you try it!

What’s that go-to natural hair style that YOU can always depend on no matter the occasion?

You’ve watched the tutorial twice from start to finish, then you start the mission on your hair but it doesn’t seem to come out exactly like your fav YouTuber. We have all been there, trying to calculate the steps we might have missed! Braid-outs can be challenging, especially for kinkier hair types so I am going to share with you some of my tips to get a super defined braid out.


1. Start on wet/damp hair- When our hair is wet and free from product our natural curl pattern is seen. This then makes it easier for our hair to adapt a curl pattern from the braid.

2. Detangle – I typically detangle my hair in the shower whilst washing it, which is way easier. If wash-day terrifies you, try a co-wash instead it cuts the time down in half!

3. Find your holy grail products- Finding the right type of gel or custard that works on your hair is probably the most crucial. You can find the products I use here!

4. Braid from the roots- To have a consistent curl from root to tip you must start your braid from the root. If you’re not the best braider you can add a hair clip at the root, then start braiding.

5. Small sections- this does depend on the type of curl you want to achieve, but to get more definition small braids are the way to go!

6. Leave hair to dry- I typically must leave my hair for a day or two so that it is completely dry otherwise it would quickly turn into a frizzy puff thing.

What are your tricks for your best braid out?