braids protective style

Protective styling is an immensely popular term in the natural hair community. It refers to methods of keeping your hair tucked away to reduce manipulation and help with length retention. But some people view it as a magic pill that makes their hair grow without applying effort. Just because you have a protective style on doesn’t mean you neglect your hair.

Some examples of protective styles include braids, twists, cornrows, flat twists, weaves and wigs. How you install the style is important. Make sure whoever is handling the hair is gentle. Tight pulling, combing and parting weakens the strands thus causing breakage. Hair around the perimeter needs extra gentleness since it tends to be the weakest.

Prepare your hair adequately before installing the style. Wash and deep condition the hair to infuse it with moisture. This gives you the needed nourishment and makes the strands pliable. If you’re going for styles that need extensions, a protein treatment is needed to strengthen your hair. Keep your hair stretched after you wash it to make parting easier when it’s time to style.

When your hair is in the protective style it still needs tender care. Use a water-conditioner spritz to hydrate the strands every few days. Wear a satin bonnet or scarf to bed to preserve moisture. If holding braids in a ponytail or bun, be wary of pulling them tightly- we need our edges in 2018. A cotton pad soaked in diluted apple cider vinegar is amazing for removing buildup from the scalp. Follow through with oil such as castor oil to soothe the scalp.

Leaving our hair alone for some time encourages length retention, but having a weave for 6 months is unhealthy. The strands begin to mat at the roots, your hair dries out for lack of deep conditioning leading to breakage, your hairline is strained. Nobody wants that. Four to six weeks is the recommended time frame for long-term protective styles.

Taking down the protective style is another crucial step. Allocate enough time and be gentle. For braids you can use diluted conditioner to coat them for a few hours. This softens them significantly saving on takedown time.

If you’re a wigs fan, use a wig cap made of soft material. This acts as a barrier between your hair and the wig. Ensure your securing mechanism (strap, combs or pins) isn’t snagging on the hairline.

With proper use of protective styles, our hair stays truly healthy. They have been proven to achieve great results for those seeking length retention. Happy styling!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here