I love the concept of protective styling, a term which can vary from person to person. I define it as hairstyles that can protect the hair from physical and environmental disturbances. Most times the ends, which are the oldest and most fragile part of the hair, are concealed.
Buns, flat twists updos, Bantu knots and braids are some examples of protective styles. Protective styles can be achieved with just about any hair length. You can use hair extensions or wigs etc.; or use only your hair.
Naturals with TWAs can opt for coils. Create coils by twirling a rat-tail-comb or your index finger around a section of hair. The squared sections of hair should measure less than an inch. Twirl each section of hair until coils form.
One of the major benefits of protective styling is that it allows for quick styling when time is of the essence. Most of us with kinky hair are all toamiliar with the challenges that come with maintaining it.
I, for one, am a fan of any hairstyle that will save a little time in the morning.
There are more advantages of protective styling.
I have researched and discovered the top three reasons you should protect your hair using protective styling.
The most obvious reason to use protective styles is to protect your natural hair. Hair is naturally prone to breakage; so we must shield and conceal our hair from the physical disturbances and environmental disturbances.
Physical disturbances are the things we can control. They include over manipulation of the hair due to daily styling i.e. combing, using heat and even constant hands playing in the hair.
FACT: Did you know the fibers in our clothing sometimes cause hair breakage as well?
Environmental disturbances are the things we cannot control. They include environmental elements i.e. extreme hot and cold weather conditions such scorching heat, wind chills, blazing cold, smog, car pollution, and other environmental debris.
Remember the goal is healthy hair and it is virtually impossible to grow healthy hair with damaged, split ends.
If you’re a novice to protective styling use the approaching winter months to practice new styles to hide those ends. The videos on YouTube areexcellent guides. Just remember you can always wear a hat if you do not achieve your desired look!
I like to use protective styles two weeks out of each month. The use of protective styles has allowed me to gain maximum growth retention because it protects my hair from me! It gives hair a much needed break from all the rigors of styling i.e. twisting, bantu-knots, up-dos, puffs, and blow outs.
Protective styling simply preserves the ends so they stay on your head much longer than they would if you’re always twisting, bending and stretching them daily and nightly.
When you feel your hair hasn’t gained significant length over the course of a few months try a flat twist updo, as seen below, at least once or twice per month.
This is one of my favorite protective styles. This style allows me to go up to 7 days between washing without any manipulation to my hair.
Protective styling helps keep hair looking presentable without sacrificingvaluable time.
Styling type natural hair can be extremely time consuming. Most of us lead busy lifestyles and simply do not have the time to dedicate to daily or weekly hair maintenance.
The use of protective styles is ideal when traveling or when you know you’ll be busy for a while. Protective styles can be life/hair-savers when you just don’t have the time to groom your hair or when you are unable to pack up your home salon to take with you on vacation.
Simply put, It allows for extra time to spend on other things.
When I had a TWA it would take hours to twist my entire head. The process was both tedious and time consuming.
Protective styling allows for the hours spent twisting hair to be spent on other, more productive activities.
You can either create protective styles on your own, in the comfort of your home, or you can have a professional natural hair care stylist do it for you.
Keep practicing from the tutorials on YouTube. The more you practice, the better you will become.
Do you utilize protective styles in your regimen? What are your favorite ones? Please share in the comment section below.