This has been a myth in the natural hair community for quite awhile. Now when we speak of protective styles we’re speaking of a style that protect the ends of our hair. Protective styles include twists, braids, wigs, extensions, weaves, etc. When we protect our ends we avoid the chance of it breaking off. Ends not being broken off = more length.
Women will often do back to back protective styles to encourage hair growth but are not aware of the downfalls of doing this. I myself have been a victim of the back-to-back protective styling trying to grow long hair. Protective styles helps us to retain length – not grow our hair.
Downfalls of the Back-to-Back Protective Styling
- Breakage from over manipulating the hair to create extravagant hairstyles. We know a high bun is a protective style because our ends are tucked away. I love my high buns but guess what the pressure applied to the crown of my head over and over has caused my hair to break.
- Tangling from hair being untouched for a period of time. I am also a victim of the tangling. I loved my mini rope twists so I would do them each month and it would last a month. I did not moisturize, nothing. When it was time for take down my hair was completely tangled or had knots.
- Dryness from hair that is uncared for for too long. Look back at #2, my mini twists not being moisturized at all over the course of the month led to dryness and this dryness in turn led to breakage.
Do you get the picture? We aware that in life everything is a balance. Look at it like this, a sea saw. In order for this sea saw to be balanced we need the same amount of weights on each end. Therefore, if we are doing this much protective styling, we have to do this much moisturizing. Get it?
This information may come off as being confusing but read on.
How to reap the benefits of protective styling?
- Moisturize – many of us may spend a lot of time installing these beautiful protective styles and fail to moisturize. I know you don’t want to mess up the hairstyle with water but do you rather to retain length or you know what.
- Limit protective styles – Opt for doing you protective styles every other month or every two months. Many times these protective styles take a lot of manipulation to install, therefore, we start seeing breakage and we want to avoid this.
If protective styling is not your thing as it can become boring at times, an option is here. Choose low manipulative styles such as wash n’ gos, twist/braid outs. These hairstyles are not only easy to install but also easier to maintain and are more flexible, that is, you can style as you desire.
I was that natural hair girl once that spent hours installing a protective style, forgetting to moisturize or maybe was just too lazy to do so. Don’t be that naturalista. I beg you. Which do you prefer – protective styles or low manipulative styles?
Until next time,
Peace & Love. 💋