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The Know How on Protecting Natural Hair: A Few Do's for You

by Calynn Lawrence

Protective styling is something that has been around for a long time, but is just recently being recognized as a way to preserve your natural hair and its length. There are many benefits to protective styling and this article will show you quite a few of them. We will discuss: What is protective styling? Why is protective styling beneficial? What are some forms of protective styling?

Image Source: Bigstock Photo/Mimage Photography

What is Protective Styling?

Let's start off with what protective styling is. Protective styling is any hairstyle that preserves the length and health of your hair while keeping your ends tucked away. This is not to be confused with low manipulation styles, styles that require little effort and/or little heat. These are great too, however, they are to be used sparingly.

The Benefits of Protective Styling

Protective styling has many benefits, here is a list of just a few!

  1. It keeps your hands out of your hair! Because manipulation is one of the biggest causes or breakage, you would do well to keep it to a minimum. Protective styling keeps your hair cute while it's tucked away and not being bothered. This greatly reduces breakage.
  2. It's a lot less work! Keeping a protective style in your hair makes hair styling a lesser priority in your every day life. Making good use of a protective style will give you more time to do other things besides combing your hair because they typically last longer.

Image Source: Bigstock Photo/Olesiabilkei

3.  They are less likely to get ruined! When your hair is loose, it is more vulnerable to the elements. You are at a much greater risk of reversion! Yet, when you're hair is tightly tucked, you don't have to worry so much about your style becoming messy.
4.  You switch up your look much without the damage! Because most protective styles involve extension hair, you can switch up your look without any commitments or damage. You can change hair colors, hair textures and hair lengths without any regrets. You can simply remove the style if you do not like it.
5.  Your hair will thank you! If you protective style on a regular basis, your hair will thank you. The health of your hair will surely prosper. Whether it be in length, thickness or both, you will surely benefit. Just be sure to switch it up so often and let your hair breathe so that it can recooperate between styles! Too much consecutive protective styling can have an adverse effect with too much tension on the hair.
6.  The surprise of the length check! It's always fun to see how much your hair has grown when you take down a protective style. The suspense and surprise is always very rewarding.

Besides these reasons encouraging you to protective style, there are many more! It is clearly something to consider.

Protective Style Ideas

There are so many examples of protective styling, however this list is simply telling you about a few examples.

  1. Box braids. These are extension braids that can last anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks. They vary in price but are well worth it! You can also get them in any length and color.
  2. Sew-in weaves. This is a method of adding track extensions to the hair by way of sewing them to a braided foundation. This style can last anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks. You can get this in any length and color. Also, you can buy your extension hair is virtually any texture, from straight to kinky!

Image Source: Big Stock Photo/Peter Kozikowski

Sew-in Weaves are an example of a great protective style.

4.  Buns. Buns are very easy to put in and take out. There are various types of buns you can do. (Check out our article on 5 beautiful buns for natural hair) They give you all the benefits of a protective style without the long process. If preserved correctly, a bun can last as long as a week! But, this requires you tie it up at night before bed.

5.  Quick weaves. This is a method of adding track extensions to the hair by way of gluing them to a cap that is thus sewed to the hairline. This method is great if you want a change in your look that is fast and will still give you a couple of weeks of wear. This style can last up to a month if preserved correctly.

6.  Wigs. Wigs can act as a protective style because they are shielding your hair and acting as a “helmet” if you will. If styled correctly, they can look quite natural. There are many tutorials to instruct you how to “slay” a lace front unit, or even just a simple half-unit.

7.  Bantu knots. Bantu knots act as a protective style because they keep your ends completely wrapped up. In a sense, you can look at them as being a bunch of miniature buns. They last anywhere from one to two weeks! You must preserve them at night.

Image Source: Medium Hairstyle Update/Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a great protective style because they keep your ends completely wrapped up.

There you have it! This is the close of your basic learnings about protective styling! Apply these tips and your hair will surely be grateful. This can help you reach length goals, thickness goals and health goals for your hair.

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