Low Manipulation Hair Styling Strategies | Natural Haircare News

Your hands are one of the best styling tools you have!

Anything that reduces the potential for hair breakage is considered low manipulation styling.  But it just doesn’t come down to how you style your hair.

What tools you use, how you shampoo, condition and detangle plays an important factor as well.

Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, author of The Science of Black Hair, says we can take a lesson from children’s haircare which is not typically styled with heat or in elaborate hairdos. Often in long term styles like braids or plaits, children’s hair breeds an environment for growth.

But what about the adults?

How can we foster an environment that will retain strong, healthy natural hair that will grow to whatever lengths we desire.

At Natural Haircare News we often talk about the importance of nutrition as a stable base to care for our hair from the inside out. Coupled with sensible routines from the outside, we can score a winning combination.

Protective styling Tools

For textured aka kinky, curly, wavy hair the proper tools are vital.

Here are two we recommend.

Hands – the most overlooked styling tool we have and the safest bet! Used to separate, comb through and fluff, our hands can do things combs and brushes cannot and puts very little stress on delicate hair fibers.

Comb – Wide tooth.  Avoid combs with small teeth and sharp ridges. Make sure hair is always lubricated and moisturized before manipulating it.  Trying to manipulate hair while dry is one of the highest ways to cause damage.

Invest in a special detangling/shower comb that has longer teeth and rounded tips. It’s great for handling longer thicker kinky hair types.

The Denman Brush –  Brushing textured hair is not a wise choice in my opinion but for the use of detangling, a lot of Naturlista’s swear by the Denman Brush. With its comb like teeth, it is a safe option for detangling moisturized/wet hair.

Side Bar:

Always use quality styling tools.  Not that you need to pay an arm and a leg but cheap, mass produced combs, for instance, often have seams and sharp edges that can tear at the hair.  If any of your hair tools have missing teeth, etc., get rid of them and buy new ones!

Low Manipulation Cleansing & Conditioning


Whether you choose to wash your hair while braided/twisted (makes for far less tangles) vs a loose wash, make sure your water temperature is mildly warm to cool and the pressure is not to hard.  Hot and hard (in this instance anyway) is a bad combination. Both cause drying and massive tangling.

Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning treatments that are most effective contain:

  • Hydrolyzed protein to make your hair less breakage prone
  • Conditioners to make your hair easier to comb
  • Sealing ingredients that help moisture stay inside your hair between washes.

The right deep conditioner will prepare the hair by strengthening and softening it to be handled with greater ease.


Leave ins, Oils, Milks and Creams – Help seal the deal!

The final step


When you are ready to style, here are some low manipulation, protective styling methods:

Complete Protective Styles


French Rolls

Tucked Styles

Pinned Up

Combo Protection



Sew In weaves


Side Bar:

Make sure braids and cornrows aren’t to tight or to small, making them hard to take out, and weave and wig wearing are kept at a minimum or you risk causing damage rather than protection.

Low Manipulation Styles

Roller Sets

Spiral Sets

Braid outs/Twist outs


Short Hair

Side Bar:

Hair shorter than shoulder length  is a protective style on its own.  Just remember to protect from the elements which can quickly dry out the hair. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize each and every day.

Always protect the hair before going to sleep. We at Natural Haircare News, love using a satin cap and satin pillowcase.

Now you’re good to go!

Have a Happy, Healthy Natural Hair Day.

Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *