What is protective styling?
Protective styling is putting your hair into a hairstyle which involves tucking away your ends to prevent damage from exposure to the sun and other elements.
Why protective styling?
In the natural hair community, YouTube and many blogs, protective styling is believed to promote hair growth, as the ends of your hair are tucked away and there is little or no manipulation to the hair, thus reducing breakage and retaining length. Many naturals swear by protective styling, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the only way to grow or retain length. Protective styling may work for some naturals but not all.
Below are a few advantages and disadvantages of protective styling.
- Promotes growth
- Length retention
- Less Breakage
- Convenient (for those with a busy schedule)
- Low maintenance
- Creates tangles due to shedded hair and not detangling on a regular basis.
- Thinning edges (tight hair styles)
- Itchy scalp
- Lack of moisture, dry hair (neglected hair). Even though your hair is in a protective style, remember your hair still needs to be moisturized and you are only able to moisturize it as best as you can due to the style it is in. For some that maybe daily, for others every other day to prevent dryness of hair and scalp which results in breakage.
- Boring (same hairstyle)
- Breakage (if hairstyle doesn’t agree with your hair, due to lack of moisture, doing protective styling too frequently)
Types of protective styling
Not all protective hair styles works for everyone, of course you will have to experiment and find one that is suitable for your hair type and your hair needs. Also it is not advisable to keep protective hair styles in your hair too long. Your hair does need to breathe and needs a break sometimes. Try to maintain a one week break in between protective hair styles. As usual just because your hair is in a protective style, remember it still needs to be moisturized.
Here are a few types of protective styling:
- Twists (mini, medium and large)
- Flat Twists
What if protective styling is not for me?
There are some of us naturals that protective style just don’t work for but a solution is low manipulation styling.
LOW MANIPULATION STYLING
What is low manipulation styling you may ask?
Low manipulation styling does not involve tucking away your ends unlike protective styling. It means that you do simple styles with minimal manipulation which prevents damage or breakage and allows your hair to be able to grow and retain length.
Benefits of low manipulation styling:
- Less time consuming in terms of styles like mini twists, braids etc…
- Less tension on the edges unlike ponytails, buns etc…
- Easier to maintain your hair e.g moisturizing your hair
- More versatility – You do not get bored so easily, you can change your hairstyle every now and then as necessary.
Types of low manipulation hairstyles:
- Wash n go’s
- Twist outs
- Braid outs
Both protective styling and low manipulation styling are excellent ways to achieve hair growth and minimize breakage. Experimentation is the key in finding out which one best suits your hair type and your hair needs.
These are few links which you can view for further information.
As always happy healthy hair journey,
Naturalkinks2on1 and Naturalkinks1on1