low manipulation styling tips
Growth & Retention


quick natural hair style
Jumbo Flat Twists

When I sat down to share my tips on low manipulation styling, initially it was only going to be six tips. But, since God’s number of completion is seven I figured I’d follow the Father’s lead and finish it….

In no particular order, here are seven tips to help you make low manipulation styling a success:

  1. Always work with hair that’s well moisturized
  2. Add extra sealing protection to your ends
  3. Use a satin or silk scarf to protect the style when sleeping
  4. Choose a style you can live with for at least three to four days
  5. Choose an easily “converted” style
  6. Attend to your edges
  7. Make it low manipulation AND protective

That’s your list but now let’s further expound into each tip by digging deeper (If you like these tips, please pin them. There’s a nice pinnable image at the end of this post!)

moisturized hair

Always Work With Hair That’s Well Moisturized

This is by far the most important of the tips. While I listed them in no particular order, while typing up the list, my mind went straight to it.

Even though the goal of low manipulation styling isn’t to manipulate your hair, you are going to have to put some manipulation into setting the style on day one. So, while handling your hair you need it to be pliable aka moisturized.

Also, because you won’t be fiddling with your hair much you want to make sure it’s well moisturized so that when you take it down to wash or re-style, you won’t come face to face with brittle strands.

protecting the ends of twists

Add extra sealing protection to your ends

If you opt to do a low manipulation style where your ends are exposed, ensure that you protect those ends from drying out by sealing them with a bit of oil after your hair is moisturized.

This can be done for virtually any hair style:

  • twists
  • braids
  • loose hair

Even if your hair is in curls, you can smooth a bit of a lightweight oil onto your ends to give them much needed lubrication. For twist and braid styles, a heaver oil can be used as it won’t disrupt the curls.

benefit of sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase

Use a satin or silk scarf to protect the style when sleeping

When you wake up, you don’t want to have to restyle your hair. That would be defeating the purpose of low manipulation. You also want to protect the moisture in your strands while you are sleeping.

Tying your hair down with a satin or silk scarf will accomplish both.

low manipulation hairstyle

Choose a style you can live with for at least three to four days

Don’t do a low manipulation style just for the sake of doing it. If it’s not a style you like, you won’t keep it in longer than a day.

Make sure the low manipulation hairstyle you choose to wear is one you feel comfortable wearing multiple places:

  • work or school
  • church
  • on a date

This brings me to the next tip for making low manipulation styling successful.

wash and go ponytail

Choose an easily “converted” style

A converted hairstyle is one that is easily done from the base of another style. The key is to be able to do this hairstyle without having to manipulate your hair much to change the style.

Check out this article on Trying New Hairstyles without Creating New Hairstyles

mielle organics edge gel

Attend to Your Edges

After 3 or 4 days of not manipulating your hair, your edges can look a little unkempt. Making sure your edges are neat and laid down will polish up the look of the style.

When you tie your hair down at night and give attention to smoothing your edges, your low manipulation style will give off a greater sense of longevity.

Applying a flexible holding gel like what’s pictured above, another opine it to apply a layer of either shea/cocoa/mango butter beneath an alcohol free gel (Camille Rose Naturals CurlMaker for the win!) will keep your edges moisturized, smooth and flexible.

flat twists with roll protective style wash and go

Make it low manipulation AND protective

Last but not least, while low manipulation styling helps with retaining length, choosing to do a style where your ends are completely protected from the elements increases that rate of length retention.

This is the bonus #7 tip 🙂 #Completion

low manipulation styling tips

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."

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