If you're looking for an awesome protective style that you can get a couple week's wear out of, look no further! I am a huge fan of flat rope twists for several reasons (see, "Flat Rope Twists" for instructions on how to do them). First, they don't pull too tightly on the head. Second, they are just as versatile as cornrows. Lastly, they do not get nearly as fuzzy as regular flat twists or cornrows because of the extra step of twisting the two sections individually before twisting them over each other. And with a three-year-old, we need all the help we can get in that department!
We washed and detangled hair last night and then I sectioned it into four equal quadrants, but on the diagonal. Then I added moisturizer and lightly banded the hair for over night. The hair was still damp this morning when I started working with it, but that was completely expected.
I began in the back quadrant and did flat twists in equal-sized rows from the left-hand part, all the way down the nape of the neck. My goal with this style was to avoid any rows that went to a point, hence why I didn't do a sunburst style. Boo's hair is really thin so when the hair does go to a point in a row it always looks really sparse; if all the rows left from a single point in the middle of her head, that part would look bald!
I then moved on to the left-hand quadrant, but changed the directions of the parts so that they would run perpendicular to the orignal rows in the back.
I repeated the same thing on the right-hand side.
I finished with the front of the hair, repeating the part lines of the back section, but doing the flat twists in the opposite direction, so that all of Boo's hair formed a halo around her hairline.
From that point on it was easy. I started with the right-most flat twist in the back section of her hair, taking the dangling sections and creating one single flat rope twist all around her head. When I finished the last of the single halo rope twist, I used a bobby pin to secure it in the back of her head, making sure to tuck the ends of the hair under to protect them.
I expect to get a good two weeks out of this style (barring any major sand/paint/preschool incident). As you can see, all the hair is tucked away so there are no exposed ends to get dry. There are also no rubber bands or anything else that would otherwise cause damage to the hair. This is one protective style, and we're loving it!