ATLANTA -- For more than a week, Georgians have been overwhelmed with cold, smoky air.

What appears to be overcast for pending rain storms is actually the result of wildfires that have affected parts of Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. The Rough Ridge wildfires, which are still burning, can take a toll not only on your cardiovascular health, but also your hair.

Protective styles are the perfect way to keep your hair shielded from harsh smells and blistering weather. Of course items like hats and scarves are a popular staple for colder climate, but let’s explore ways to keep your hair intact, and show it off interchangeably.

1.) Head wrap/Scarf: Head wraps and scarves have been around for ages. Once considered something you’d wear in house, they are now worn while at work, school, or as an accessory. A head wrap or scarf, is a sure way to protect your hair from not only the winter air, but smoke as well.


2.) High Bun: The high bun is a simple way to tuck all of your hair into a bun, situated at the crown of your head. The look can be achieved by twisting the hair up in a circular motion

3.) Puff: The puff is a variation of a bun, but it is very high in volume.

4.) Box Braids: Box braids are individual braids that are sectioned into a “box’ shape, and usually are created with loose synthetic hair extensions. These are braided to blend with your hair, and can vary in length and width.

The author, Jessie Miller is pictured with box braids. 

5.) Wigs: Wigs are an easy way to change your look, not only to protect against the elements and smoky conditions but, wigs can be a fun way to change up your look and test out several styles prior to making a long-term commitment.

6.) Low Bun: Now fellas, at this point, I’m sure you were wondering, what can you do to protect your mane besides the usual hat or cap method. The low bun, or “man bun” option is totally unisex. Another variation of the high bun, the low bun, is self-explanatory as it is placed low towards the nape.

7.) Cornrows: Cornrows are braided to the scalp, from front to back, usually in a straight backward pattern, and can be created using one’s natural hair or with hair extensions.

8.) Crown Braid: A crown braid is a “halo” – like a braid that wraps around the head, like that of a crown, and can be created using one’s natural hair or blended with hair extensions.

9.) Clip-Ins: Are a very popular and natural way to add length, color, and texture to any hair length or texture. Clips-in don’t cover your hair like a wig, but instead blends, naturally, with your hair. The hair is still protected from the elements by using this method.

10.) Bantu’ Knots: These are said to be indigenous of African ancestry for centuries now. Bantu’ knots are not to be mistaken for buns, but instead they are the result of sectioning then twisting the hair until it wraps around itself from the roots, forming a circular knot.

PHOTOS: Wildfire battled in several Georgia counties