Going natural is one of the best things I’ve ever done. My 4-type hair can shapeshift into many different styles while keeping its unique curl pattern. However, one style that I love to see on others but have been afraid to try is pulling my hair back into a sleek, middle-parted bun. I have seen the simple-but-classic style everywhere lately, and two of my beauty icons—Sade and Meghan Markle—wear the style so well, but their hair types are totally different from mine.
Luckily, I’ve seen many ladies with coiler hair textures on YouTube and social media taking this style on, which inspired me to give the look a try myself. I am happy to report that I achieved the look with a couple of products I already had in my bathroom, and I even added a sparkly holiday hair accessory for good measure. Here’s how I achieve my new look!
I start with my wash day
One thing I’ve learned about my hair over the last few years is that water is my curl’s best friend. Water not only hydrates my curls, but it gives me the ability to work with them without damage or excessive breakage. With that in mind, I start my journey to a slicked-back bun with—you guessed it—H2o. I wash, condition, and apply all of my products in the shower. In-shower product application is important for my hair because I have low-porosity hair, meaning my hair gets the most benefit from products when it’s soaking wet.
After applying my leave-in conditioner, it’s time to apply the products to mold my springy, tightly-coiled curls into a bun. I start by hopping out of the shower for a few moments to part my hair down the middle and hop back in to apply my Aunt Jackie’s Grape Seed Frizz Patrol Setting Mousse. I love it because it doesn’t flake and has a firm hold without the crunch. I re-soak my hair with water and then apply three pumps of mousse to the front of my head, three pumps to the crown, and two pumps to my ends. Next, I use my Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush to smooth all of these products through my hair from root to tip. Once my cocktail of products is evenly distributed and my hair is detangled, I braid my hair length to the end to keep the most fragile (and dryness-prone) part of my hair protected.
I add a few more products post-shower for hold and shine
Once I get out of the shower, I apply a few more pumps of mousse, followed by a palm-full of Creme of Nature’s edge control to keep my hair down without the crispy crunch that gel can leave behind. Lastly, I add Prose’s shimmer oil for shine and to lock in the moisture. For those with coiler hair textures, at least from my own experience, tying the hair down with a satin or silk scarf after molding it is crucial. Because my hair is soaking wet at this step, I sit under a bonnet dryer for about an hour. If you don’t have a bonnet or hooded dryer, you can always tie your hair down overnight to set it, but it may not be completely dry the following morning, so keep that in mind.
Once my hair is dry, I use a hair tie to secure my braided ponytail and add a couple of bobby pins to secure my braid into a bun. One thing I want to note: if you have coily hair, shrinkage is still going to be a thing even when setting and stretching your hair with minimal heat. So, don’t get discouraged. If you want a sleeker ponytail, blow your hair out first. But if you want a no-heat style, this is the way to go.
I felt a little self-conscious the first time I tried this style and my hair was set because my entire face was in full view with no curls or bangs to frame it. But once I added my headband, I felt like I was four again, when headbands and anything sparkly instantly made me feel like I was walking into one of my beloved Disney movies, and I felt like my face had some framing. I want to note that my Lele Sadoughi headband is an investment piece. I love that it’s got bling, it’s gold (which is my favorite color and can go with almost anything), it’s well-made, and best of all, it’s comfortable. No headband headaches over here. With that in mind, I want to share a few of my budget-friendly favorites that can bring on the holiday glam and cheer:
As a woman with 4-type hair, I have heard every negative thing you could imagine about my curls, from “Your hair isn’t professional” to “You can’t do that with your hair.” I love to prove the hair-shamers, colorists, and even myself wrong as I continue to shine a light on Black hair’s beauty and versatility. Black hair can do anything, no matter the texture, and my little holiday hairstyle further proves that point.