For starters, in general, natural hair is very delicate. The less manipulation on the hair strands and scalp, the better. Hair needs to be given a chance to grow, the more styling that is done, the more chances it has of being prone to breakage, split ends, and dryness–all of the things that stifle hair growth.
PROTECTIVE STYLING allows for ultimate protection from the cold, the heat and sun and over manipulation. Tucking in your ends is a prime focus when doing protective styles and the condition of the ends have much to do with healthy hair growth. Keep in mind that with protective styles comes maintaining moisture and hydration. Be sure to add moisture and hydration when doing any protective styles. Protective styles that are done on dry, brittle hair, defeat the purpose of the protective style. A great way to maintain moisture with protective styles is to do the LOC method which can be found in an earlier blog on everythingnatrualhair.com. Don’t be afraid to spritz your hair with an oil/water mixture while your hair is in its protective state.
Typically, protective styles should be able to last at least a few days, weeks or months, if possible, hence the low manipulation. The time frame also depends on the style. The less we “play” in our hair, the more our hair will love us for doing so. In fact, some naturalistas wear their hair in nothing but protective styles and only wear their hair out on special occasions.
What’s Are Some Protective Styles? 8 Looks You May Want To Try
Believe it or not, a bun is considered a protective style, messy or not messy. Your ends are tucked away, and technically, you can keep a bun in for at least a few days with very low to no manipulation, just tie with a satin scarf at night, and the next morning you’re good to go. Check out Alicia James on YouTube for in depth tutorials on buns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_ynPSClDlc
Twists/Braids/Mini-twists are all considered protective styles. Mini-twists can be kept in for a couple of months with low manipulation depending on your hair. Just remember to add moisture to your hair often when in twists or braids. An alternative to braiding or twisting your own hair is to install Twists/Braids using extensions as many naturalistas opt to do. The cold months are a great time to do these or if you’re going on an extended vacation where you don’t necessarily want to spend a great deal of time on hair maintenance. Using extensions cuts down on the frizz and extends the life of the style. Be sure to be delicate to your edges when installing and moisturize your scalp!
Wigs/Weaves are also another great option. Your hair is fully protected allowing you to braid your hair underneath the wig or weave. Again, be sure to moisturize your hair. Wigs and weaves come in an array of versatility from curly to straight to kinky and can be pricey depending on the authenticity of the hair, others are less in cost, but do not offer the structure of true human hair. It’s a good idea to avoid gluing in the weave as it can cause breakage to your hair when removing. Opt for clip-in’s or sew-in’s, or crochet braids whenever possible.
Wash and Go’s. Yes, some people do consider wash and go’s a protective style due to its low manipulation, however some argue that it isn’t because the entire hair is exposed to the atmosphere. For many naturalistas wash and go’s are the main style they wear and their hair remains healthy and retains length. Choice of products may play a roll in this style, as well as how your hair responds. What do you think? Do you think a wash and go is a protective style?
Faux Locs. I think this has become my favorite protective style though I have yet to try it. I love the look, it’s not heavy and if you’re a trooper, you can install them yourself. This is a great way for people who’ve always wanted to grow dreads but were reluctant, to experience dreads without committing to it permanently.
What are your go-to protective styles?
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