How I Made it Through Bar Prep Without Neglecting my Natural Hair

To wash or not to wash? Well, that depends . . . how much time do I have?
shameka_shameka_
Aug. 12, 2020
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Cherie is an online community of beauty lovers sharing their stories; whether that's their favorite products, makeup tutorials, or skincare routines. Download the app today to be a part of #BeautyWithoutBarriers and show the world what beauty means to you!It often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. When you’re short on time, you may have to find less time-consuming alternatives or push things off until tomorrow. For me, that often means putting my hair in a bun and pushing wash day off until tomorrow . . . or the next day. But, what about when you’re short on time for ten weeks? Earlier this year, I graduated from law school; but that wasn’t the final hurdle to becoming a lawyer. I still needed to pass the Bar exam – a two-day exam that tested everything I had learned in law school and then some. This meant studying for ten weeks, seven days a week, for a minimum of six hours each day – this was Bar prep. When I started Bar prep, I wondered how I would balance the constant feeling that I should be studying with the need to care for my natural hair. Washing my hair, detangling it, applying various products, and waiting for it all to air-dry can take hours, and my hair also demanded my time on the days between washes. While the first couple of weeks I tried waiting as long as possible between washes and wearing my hair in a bun, this only made washing and detangling my hair even more tedious. Apparently, I couldn’t just ignore my hair for ten weeks or put it on my ever-growing list of things to handle after the exam. Fortunately, I eventually found some solutions. Box braidsHow this style protects your hair:Box braids give your hair a break from daily styling, brushing, and other manipulation, and tuck the ends of your hair away to help avoid tugging and tangling. Time commitment:Although it took about 5 hours to braid my hair, I was able to study during that time. Depending on the size of the braids, the time commitment varies. My experience:Overall, I really enjoyed having box braids. They are relatively low maintenance and can be styled in so many different ways. I often wore them half up in a ponytail, pulled back, or down with a side part. Reccomendations:While I would definitely recommend this style if you’re looking for a time-saver that also protects your hair, there are some things to be cautious of: (1) make sure your braids aren’t too heavy; (2) keep your scalp and your hair moisturized; and (3) don’t keep your braids in for too long – box braids typically last 4-6 weeks.
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Dutch braids + leave-in conditioner. How this style protects your hair:Braiding your hair helps lock in moisture, so I often filled my hair with a leave-in conditioner or some other moisturizer and braided it into two Dutch braids after washing it so that I could both moisturize my hair and keep it tangle-free for a couple of days. Time Commitment: It would take me less than 15 minutes to part and braid my hair once I applied the leave-in conditioner. My Experience: After I took the braids out, I could either wear my cute braid out or re-wash my hair. When I went with the second option, it would take less time to detangle my curls, which essentially cut wash day in half and left me time to apply product and style my hair. I rarely wore my hair down over the ten weeks, but, when I did, it was a welcomed reminder of how much I love my natural hair.Recommendation:I love this technique because it is something I can do myself and requires no long-term commitment.
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