Salons are closed and your product supplies just won’t cut it

With just the basics, you can keep your natural hair neat, low maintenance and protected in a hairstyle you can do yourself without too much hair styling talent.

Related: 5 Natural hair terms you need to know

When your hair and scalp are clean, your hair has been conditioned and is well moisturised, you are perfectly prepared for a protective style. Natural hair should be in a protective style at least half of the time to limit manipulation, hair breakage and the toll daily styling can take on your afro.

Here are our favourite DIY protective styles that would look great on your video calls and meetings without taking up too much time – and most importantly they don’t need any extra products.

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Rope braids

Simple rope braids are like all-natural, fibre-free box braids. They can be as thick as you can make them (or as thick as your hair will allow) or as long and thin as you want.

This is a great way to band your hair (stretch without heat) and avoid shrinking after washing. Mmabatho Montsho is a natural hair veteran and a long term hair crush. We love how she’s done her rope braids up with shells and string. You can decorate yours too with buttons, beads and shells or simply tuck them into themselves for a short up-do.

Bantu knots

Whether you’re preparing for a post-lockdown Bantu knot-out or just want a simple, easy to maintain hairdo to rock around the house, Bantu knots have been protecting natural hair for decades.

If you have shorter hair, you can make more, smaller Bantu knots.

Two strand twists

It doesn’t get simpler than the two-strand twist. These are a great way to create defined curls and look great while you wait for the magic to happen.

These are the perfect DIY, no fibre, all-natural, all hair faux-locks and can look good for up to two weeks with care.

Related: Sho Madjozi shares her natural hair tips 

Betty and Benny

This throw-way-back hairstyle may be a blast from the past, but it isn’t off trend. The traditional Betty and Benny hairstyles we wore to school as kids have come full circle and are doing the rounds as a grown-up hairstyle now.

The best thing about these flat cornrow style braids is that you can use just about anything from wool to yarn to cut-up stockings to achieve the look.

There are also so many patterns you can achieve with almost any length of hair. Get creative and even experiment with colour.

‘Isibaca’ flat plaits

Getting the Betty and Benny look without just your hair will require more hair and a little more patience. Doing your own cornrows isn’t easy, but getting flat French-style braids is an easier option with a similar effect. Go for fewer thick lines which look better and is less time-consuming.

You can also experiment with different patterns as you get better at braiding your own hair.

Related: How to grow long natural hair