6 Quick Natural Hairstyles You Can Do in 30 Minutes or Less

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By: Kristen Bingle

During this lockdown season, out of pure necessity, many of us turned to YouTube tutorials or simply trial and error to create some of our staple looks. Don’t get us wrong, we know the ritual of spending a few hours with your trusted stylist giving your hair some new energy was missed, but you’ve no doubt picked up some new skills. As things slowly get back to normal and we have access to our stylists again, it’s still a good idea to have a few go-to styles in our repertoire that we can easily do ourselves in any situation. So, we’ve compiled a list of seven quick natural hairstyles that will take you less than 30 minutes to create.

Heads up: Styling your hair will generally be easier if it’s stretched or blown out. And some basic tools/products you’ll need (especially for the styles below) include:

Check out the gallery below and read on for vids! Let’s get to it!

Quick styles that can be done on blown out or stretched hair

Having your hair already blown out or stretched can save you time in the future when looking to create a quick style. The following styles can be done on blown out or stretched hair. Here’s a refresher on how to safely blow out natural hair in case you need one.

The Super Sleek and Versatile Top Knot Bun on 4C Hair

Time required: 10 minutes

Products required: Boar brush, hair ties

This look can take you from the office to after work drinks in less than 10 minutes. Whitney starts on stretched out hair that she achieves by keeping her hair in bantu knots, which also keeps her hair moisturized. After taking down the knots, she teases the hair with an afro pick to get rid of any prominent partings and to push it in an upwards direction. She continues this process with the hard side of her boar brush then ties her hair into a ponytail. Before securing the tie you can play around and see where you’d like the ponytail to sit. Once in a ponytail, she two-strand twists her hair and secures it to the base of her ponytail by tucking the end into the hair band. If you have longer or thicker hair, you can wrap the hair around itself several times to create the bun. Like Whitney, you can use the softer bristles of your boar brush to further flatten your edges, then proceed to fluff the bun as high as you’d like it to go.

Whitney achieved a sleek look without using any extra products which is great if you suffer from product build up. She did, however, use a leave-in conditioner, a rich butter and sealing oil on her bantu knots to provide moisture when she did them prior to doing this style.

The High Puff – Perfect For Shorter ‘Fros

Time Required: about 15 minutes (with hair already stretched)

Products required: Denman brush, gel, afro pick, long hair band, Got2B styling gel, silk scarf

Adanna starts by spritzing her strands with water and adding Jamaican black castor oil to seal in the moisture. To combat the natural shrinkage her natural 4C hair experiences, she stretches it using little braids which she keeps in overnight. (You can do this with twists or bantu knots). Once she removes the braids, she combs out her hair with an afro pick, applies gel all around her edges and uses a Denman brush to slick her hair down. She wraps an elastic band (cut in half) around the perimeter of her head and continues to push the band up slowly to create the high puff. She ties the band underneath the puff to hide it.

Got2B styling gel is used at the end to add even more hold and Adanna then lays her edges with gel and an edge brush. The final step is to wrap the edges of your hair with a scarf to lay them flat. Use this time to finish getting ready or to grab a snack and by the time you remove the scarf, you’re set.

Quirky Calabar Style Braids (4 Extra Jumbo Braids)

Time required: 30 minutes

Products required: gel, edge brush or toothbrush, 2 packs of pre-stretched braiding hair, hair pins

Patricia starts on blown-out detangled hair and separates it into four sections. She uses gel on the edges of each parted section and ties it up into a tight ponytail, using a toothbrush to keep everything sleek. She uses two packs of stretched hair to add length to the braids–one for the front and one for the back. Her hair is fairly long and thick so you may be able to get away with one pack if your hair is shorter.

She separates her pack of hair into two, then using an elastic band in the middle of the hair bundle she creates a knot by looping one part of the elastic band underneath the other (5:48 – 6:00). She then ties the hair onto the top of her ponytail. From here you’ll just braid your natural hair along with the added hair for a jumbo braid. Keep a small strand of your natural hair out, which you’ll then twist around the hair tie at the end, so the style looks as natural as possible. This style should take about 30 minutes but make sure to have everything ready before starting – hair ties, clips, hair bundles, products.

The Easiest Jumbo Braided Pigtails

Time required: 20 minutes

Products required: water spritzer, leave-in conditioner, oil to seal moisture, Style Factor Edge Booster Gel, pre-stretched braiding hair, bobby pins

For this 20-minute style, Adanna starts by sprtizing her natural hair with water, adds a moisturising leave-in conditioner, seals with Jamaican black castor oil and then goes ahead and parts her hair in the middle. She dampens her hair throughout the detangling process and teases out any knots with an afro pick. If your hair is already damp enough you can skip this step and detangle with a Denman brush or wide-toothed comb. Using some gel, she slicks down the parting of her hair. When using any gel or edge control make sure your hair is thoroughly moisturized as these products can cause flaking. Good to note: Adanna found that her hairstyle held longer and had less flaking when using the Style Factor Edge Booster Gel vs Eco Styler Gel.

Also good to note: Adanna puts the gel throughout her hair and not just on the parts that will be visible. It takes more time but she swears you’ll like the result better if you take this extra step.

Go ahead and lay your edges and use a silk scarf to keep them flattened. Adanna sleeps with this style and adds her braided hair the next day, but you can skip this step. Then she braids her natural hair and ties it up in small little buns. Using pre-stretched braiding hair (one pack per side) she’ll attach the hair to the bun. Her pack came with an elastic band, but if yours doesn’t then you can add one like Whitney. Keep one piece of the braided hair out and begin your three strand braid. Use this left-out piece to wrap around your little bun to blend the faux hair and to keep the pigtail in place. You may have to use a bobby pin here to tuck in the edges of the extra bit of hair.

Neaten up the style by trimming flyaways from the ponytail and dipping the edges in hot water so it doesn’t unravel. Adanna also uses mousse and olive oil spray to keep the braid looking moisturised. She keeps this style in for 5-7 days. When sleeping or working out, she wraps the two braids around each other at the back of her head and uses a hair net to keep them in place with a silk scarf on top to keep everything together.

Styles using your natural hair

The below style is one of the easiest and can be done on wet or blown out hair. Head’s up if doing this style on wet hair, you might feel some tension on your scalp once it dries.

The Long and Luscious Braided Ponytail on Type 3 hair

Time required: about 15 minutes

Products required: boar brush, gel or edge control

Arnell begins with wet hair, but you could also start with blown out hair. First, she lays her hair flat, starting from the front using gel and a hard-bristled boar brush and then puts her hair in a ponytail using a soft hair tie. After laying her edges, she goes over the top of her hair with a smooth brush to make her hair even sleeker. She adds a hair band to the middle of a bundle of synthetic hair and loops it into itself to create a tie. She then attaches this bundle to the pony she’s created with her own hair and braids the hair. For additional length she feeds in more braiding hair.

Note: if you want to avoid using gel and you have extra time, you can create this style by simply wrapping a scarf around your head and letting your hair dry with the scarf on. Once your hair is dry, it’ll sit flat (until exposed to humidity).

Two Puffs In 6 Different Ways

You’ll need to watch this video on Youtube.

Time required: 15 minutes

Products required: boar brush, gel or edge control, hair ties, bobby pins, silk scarf

These styles take about 15 minutes and are perfect for short or medium hair. They’re also very versatile because you can choose where you want your 2 puffs to sit. For puffs on the side, Rey begins by parting her hair in the middle. She then uses some gel and her boar brush to flatten the edges around her head on both sides. She then ties the hair into two tight puffs on either side and tuck in any bumps with some bobby pins.

For the second look she parts her in the middle, going across her head horizontally. Using gel and a trusty boar brush she’ll put the top half into a puff as well as the bottom half. For a variation on this style, she secures the top section into a sleek bun and leaves the bottom loose and natural. Use bobby pins to keep the bun in place at the top.

Using the horizontal parting, Rae ties the bottom half of her hair into a loose puff using a silk scarf. She then sleeks down the edges on her top puff, twists the hair and pins it down for an elegant look. Another easy look is taking a small piece of the front section of your hair and creating a side part (to the left or right). Sleek the edges with some gel, twist the hair and secure it back with some pins. Do the same with the other part of your hair in the front. Leave the back loose and free.

You could also create a high puff on the top of your head by parting your hair across the middle, sleeking the front edges and then tying it up into a high puff. With the hair at the back, sleek down the edges at the back of your head and use a tight scarf to bring the rest of the hair up into one big puff.

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As you can see, you don’t need hours and hours to create a cute and perfect style with your natural hair all you need is 30 minutes.

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