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When winter weather hits, the thirst gets so real for your strands. Save them from the havoc freezing temps and drier air can cause by rockin’ your natural hair in a fly protective style created with extensions like the ones from Cocoa Queens. This black-owned biz, started by Nadia Laniyan and Alexis Carson during their senior year of college, offers a variety of 100% virgin and raw hair extensions to choose from — all of which you can use to fashion some bomb looks. (Bonus: A portion of Cocoa Queens’s proceeds goes to cancer research and programs to make breast health resources more available to women.)
1. Sew-ins and Wigs
Whether you want to #werk that wash-and-go look or wear your hair out straight, you can do so with a traditional weave, or create your own wig with your bundles. There’ll be no need to worry about harsh elements damaging your natural hair, and you can easily upgrade your style by dyeing it, flat ironing it, or curling it. New year, new you, new ‘do.
2. Bantu Knots
Now that you’ve got your new style starting point on lock, you can create just about any other protective style you want, including Bantu knots. To achieve this look, first brush through your Brazilian, Mongolian, or Peruvian hair to detangle. Then, divide your extensions into sections (larger sections mean looser curls, smaller sections mean tighter curls), two-strand twist each section, and wrap the twists into a knot. Secure your knots with bobby pins or hair elastics. If you’re Bantu knotting on a wig, you can do all of these steps right on the wig head. BKs are gorgeous and give you two styles in one — rockin’ the knots alone and then taking them down to reveal cascading curls.
3. Twin Cornrows
Get that braid game strong even with a weave or wig. Simply brush out the extension hair, part it into two side sections, and cornrow each side down. To keep the braids from unraveling, secure each end with an elastic. To really get this protective style poppin’, add some fierceness to it with a flower headband or other halo-shaped hair adornment.
4. Classic Bun
Don’t feel like installing a weave or putting in work to create a wig? Pick up one to two Cocoa Queens bundles, and use them to rock the mess out of a high bun. Start by gathering your natural hair into a high ponytail. Next, wrap your hair around itself so it forms a small bun, and secure with bobby pins or an elastic. Then, take your first bundle and wrap it around your mini bun, leaving the ends loose. Repeat with bundle number two. Finally, take a large-enough elastic or use a bun maker to fashion those ends into shape.
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