To commemorate the kickoff of the 6-Month Protective Style Journey we’re going over protective styling in this installment of “Natural Hair Basics”.
A Protective Style is any hairstyle that keeps your hair (especially your ends which are the oldest part of your hair) safely tucked away or protected from outside elements (extreme temps, wind, UV rays, etc.) which can wear down the hair to the point of breakage.
It’s easy to think that natural/highly textured hair doesn’t grow, but what’s actually happening is breakage at the same rate (or faster) than the hair growth rate, so length isn’t being retained. A protective style is on that is low/no manipulation, reducing the chances of breakage from styling.
The absolute-most-vitally-important aspect to a protective style is NOT neglecting your hair underneath. To slack off on your hair care regimen defeats the purpose of the protective style!
The Natural Hair Basics of Protective Styling can be summed up in four words:
- Cleansing – healthy hair grows from a clean scalp
- Moisture – properly moisturized hair is less prone to breakage
- Maintenance – help your style to last longer with proper maintenance
- Takedown – take care not to rip, snag to cut your own hair while taking your protective style out
- BONUS TIP: If your style of choice involves braiding your hair (with or without extensions), ensure that your braids aren’t too tight, which could permanently damage your hair follicles
- BONUS TIP: You may not be able to use your same products while wearing a protective style. For example, butters don’t fare well with braids, you may have to opt for oils instead.
Protective styles are a great way to retain length and promote healthier hair if properly maintained. If you’re looking for more exclusive tips from Mo about her protective styling regimen, join the 6-Month Protective Style Journey! No strict rules, no obstacle courses, promise…..