Low Manipulation Hair Styling + Hairstyles

The past month or so I’ve really been trying to do as little as possible to my hair. I tend to have HIH (hand in hair) syndrome. To achieve more length I know I need to be “delivered.” 🙂

hands in hair

Protective styling has always been pretty easy for me. I also tend to think that my hair looks better in protective styles. Mainly because I have to do a lot to make my curls behave and get my hair styled so that it’s looking proper when completely loose. That’s because I have a looser curl pattern that airs toward the straight side. Every day after wash day, my curls stretch all by themselves. Maybe it’s gravity. My hair gets straighter every day it’s not washed and I don’t use any heat to style it.

low manipulation hair

I know I’ve mentioned this before but I think it bears repeating because many curlies assume that if you have straight hair that’s not relaxed, it’s heat damaged. That’s just not the case.

According to my mom, having a looser curl pattern is how I was born. It’s always been this way in certain spots on my head.  Who am I to argue with the woman that created me 🙂

Protective styling isn’t necessarily low manipulation styling either. It depends on what you need to do to achieve the style you are creating.  Here are a few tips to guide you with low manipulation styling:

  • No combing or brushing
  • Minimal finger parting allowed
  • Minimal twisting/braiding
  • The style can be protective but doesn’t have to be
  • Gel/Shea Butter use allowed but focus only on the edges (no  manipulating the rest of your strands)
  • No detangling. Work with your hair in its current state and save the detangling for wash day.
  • Can utilize clips and/or bobby pins with snag free features

Low manipulation hair styling is all about styling your hair without putting too much stress on it. Your ends may be exposed but the way you styled your hair may have only taken a couple of minutes because you didn’t need to do a lot of tugging, combing, braiding or twisting to achieve the look.

Here are some low manipulation styles I’ve worn (some protective, some not):


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Got any low manipulation styles you just can’t get enough of? Share!

 brown beauty gal

Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

5 thoughts on “Low Manipulation Hair Styling + Hairstyles

  1. missleah Reply

    I posted a comment two days ago to this and Its gone lol maybe it didnt go through in the first place!
    Annnnnnyhoo I loved the video (an you accent lol). My fav style was the swoop and ponytail. Ive been co-washing and buning for the last few weeks since I had it straight. This is my low manipulation go to style 🙂

    • Michelle Reply

      lol no it didn’t go through. Thank you. I always love swoops 🙂 They are easy low manipulations along with bunning. This week has been a bunning week for me too. Girl I can’t even tell you. I’ve been lazy when I get home and don’t feel like doing my hair so I just throw on a satin bonnet and keep it moving. I guess its best for the hair anyway. I only spend time on it on the weekend

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