Protective styling is an integral part of black hair. A protective style is one that tucks away the ends of your hair and groups your hair strands together thus discouraging over-manipulation. In this way, the style protects your hair from the harsh conditions it would normally be exposed to. Anybody can get a protective style done, but as a naturalista, it’s really a key part of keeping your hair healthy, lengthy, and strong.
Benefits of protective styling
#1. Protects the ends of your hair
Protecting the ends of your hair is a vital part of retaining length in your natural hair. A protective style takes the burden off your shoulders and does it for you. The ends of your hair are actually the oldest parts of your hair hence, they are prone to breakage and split ends. Protective styling is necessary to keep them around.
#2. Prevents over manipulation
Definitely, you’ll have to manipulate your hair to some extent to care for it but over manipulation actually does more harm than good. The extra strain you put on the strands weakens them and leads to breakage and split ends. Over manipulation is kept at the bare minimum when your natural hair is unavailable to your hands.
#3. Encourages growth
Protective styling prevents over manipulation and protects old hair, this preserves your hair length and gives your scalp room for new growth. Since you aren’t touching it as much as you usually would, the entire environment is ideal for your natural curls to flourish.
#4. Saves Time
It’s admittedly a lot easier to get ready and head out when your hair is in a protective style. Most of these styles don’t require you to exert a lot of energy to get them all set. The icing on the cake is that they are really beautiful and protective styles give you the power to switch up your look whenever you want.
What are some examples of protective styles?
It’s important to note that not every style is protective. If the ends of your hair are completely exposed or your strands are not in small groups, then the style is not protective. Some examples of protective styles are:
- Faux locs
- Mini twists/mini braids
- Bantu knots
- Flat twists
- Low bun (with a faux afro puff)
- Crochet hairstyles
- And many more
Some styles that aren’t protective but everybody seems to think are include; twist outs, braid outs, high puff/pineapple, blow-out, low puff. These styles are gorgeous, but unfortunately, they expose your hair to a world of harm so try to strike a balance between wearing them and wearing actual protective styles.
Protective styling isn’t just “one more natural hair chore” it’s essential to your hair’s health. Also, tucking up your hair shouldn’t become a means for you to neglect it. Try these tips to care for your natural hair while it’s in a protective style and keep your beautiful curls and coils healthy.
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