When it comes to protective styling it can sometimes get a little confusing. My aim today is to help to clear it all up for you. We’re going to be talking about what a protective style is, when it is beneficial and how long you can keep a protective style for.
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What Is A Protective Style For Natural Hair?
Protective styling is great for natural hair. Believe it or not, natural hair is very fragile and because of this, it can easily get damaged in certain conditions. Rough handling, too much heat (even from the sun) or becoming dry can cause natural hair to break.
Protective hairstyles are great because they can give you time to have a little freedom from your hair. Let’s face it, it’s not every day that you feel like doing something with your hair. It’s days like this that can make you more susceptible to getting damage to your hair.
Protective Styling Can Do 1 of 2 Things:
1. It can give you a break from your hair
2. It can help you to prevent damage from outside elements.
In that respect, protective hairstyles indeed are protective, sometimes from you, sometimes from the elements.
Despite what some people think a protective hairstyle does not mean that you have to put your hair in braids or under a wig or anything like that, In fact as long as you have tucked away the ends of your hair you have yourself a protective hairstyle.
Some protective hairstyles can last weeks and others just days.
When Should You Implement A Protective Hairstyle?
As mentioned before protective styling can be a great way to give your hair a break. Personally speaking, I don’t tend to do protective hairstyles that last for a long time but that’s just because I get bored of it quite easily and always want my curls back within a matter of days. If I am going to have braids installed I never keep them for more than 3 weeks at a time.
Installing a protective hairstyle like braids might be just the break that you need when it comes to your natural hair. It’s much better to do this than to allow yourself to get to a place of frustration where you are going to be inadvertently damaging your hair.
Will A Protective Hairstyle Help To Grow Your Hair?
The answer to this is yes and no. In terms of being able to maintain your normal hair growth, yes it can do that but if you think that having braids or any other type of protective hairstyle will make your hair grow faster than usual that is just not true.
Your natural hair can only grow when you give it what it needs, which is predominately water (moisture). Once you do that you can expect to start seeing some really good growth.
How To Maintain A Protective Hairstyle
Keeping your hair healthy whilst in a protective hairstyle is really important. Just because it is tucked away does not mean that you can completely forget about it. This is the mistake that lots of people make.
Have you ever had that one friend who has had braids in for months at a time only to find out that when they take the braids out their hair is breaking?
This is because they have neglected their hair to the point that it has no other option but to break.
If your hair is in braids or other long term protective style make sure that you moisturise your hair and even wash it if you can. This is to ensure that your hair stays healthy and free of buildup and that your hair is not given the opportunity to get dry and break.
How Do You Know When Its Time To Take Down A Protective Hairstyle?
Usually, you can tell when its time to take down a protective style when you start to see lots of new growth coming through or if the hair generally looks untidy and dull in appearance.
Also if your scalp feels clogged up that’s also a pretty good sign that its time to give up on your protective hairstyle. You must keep your scalp free from build up as this is where the new hair will be growing out of.
Final Thoughts On Protective Styling
Protective styling can be a really great thing when you want to have a different look or to give yourself a break from your hair. Just bear in mind that protective hairstyles can only be as effective as you make them.
If you abuse them by not looking after your own hair underneath very well then you will suffer from the effects of that once you take your hairstyle down.
There are so many different ways to do a protective hairstyle that the choices are just endless!