Bantu-Knots, Braids, Culformers: Which Dries Hair Faster?

Monday, May 20, 2019

Bantu-Knots, Braids, Culformers: Which Dries Hair Faster header image

It's almost June! And with that comes another attempt at managing my hair in this humidity. I usually just two-strand twist and bun, but I want to try some new styles this year. If I sound like a broken record, it's because I've been on this journey for the past year and a half. I've also been regularly blow drying my hair this long too, and while I've found a way to avoid heat damage and breakage, I'm pretty much over how bloated my wash day has become.

As it stands right now, my wash day involves an hour long pre-poo, wash, condition, deep condition with heat, and tea rinse. If I want to shorten it, I nix the condition and just deep condition in the shower. But even when I'm on my game and getting through everything pretty quickly, it's still two and a half hours, and this is without the 45 minutes to an hour long blow dry. So I'm testing out ways to air dry my hair as quickly as possible with the most stretch. So far, I've narrowed it down to three techniques: two-strand twist Bantu-knot/ cornrow combo, braids, or curlformers.

Two-Strand Twist Bantu-Knot/ Cornrow Combo: It's a mouth full, but it's really quite simple. It just involves making 12-16 two-strand twists, wrapping them in Bantu-knots, and in the morning, undoing the knots, and making two cornrows with the twists. Having my hair in this many Bantu-knots actually allows them to dry pretty quickly (which is strange since Bantu-knots are known to take awhile to dry), but this style also helps stretch the roots. My hair is a little damp in the morning, so the two cornrows help to create a sleek, professional hairstyle, while allowing my hair to continue drying in a stretched state.

Braids: Braids are pretty self-explanatory. All I do is make 12-16 braids and let them air dry. With braids, there's no two-step process, making it overall less time, and braids are perfect to pin up so that I can do a head wrap. But the one downfall is that braids can take awhile to take down, making the style better for the weekend.

Curlformers: Ah, curlformers. I have a love-hate relationship with curlformers. They get the best stretch, they allow my hair to dry overnight, and I've gotten to a point where I can install them in 30 minutes. But I hate sleeping in them. It's doable, but it's uncomfortable, and if I'm really tired and I just want to get to bed as soon as possible, curlformers are almost always the worst option. I will be getting a set of waveformers soon, and maybe they're much easier to sleep in, but I'm not counting on it. Despite the sleep issue, curlformers still provide the best stretch and dry the fastest out of the three options.

So, as I said, curlformers dries my hair fastest and with the most stretch, but I've been doing the two-strand twist combo more often. Why? I sleep easier. The Bantu-knots aren't tight, so they bend pretty easily while I'm laying on a pillow. And unlike the braids, I can easily and quickly style my hair during the week day. All in all, they're a win-win. Here's to hoping I can spend the next 3 months without the blow dryer. Fingers crossed.

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