“Protective Styling…How Important Is It…?”
“I believe protective styling can not only be beneficial for growth…but also alluring.”
-The Brown Truth
What is the purpose of protective styling?
Protective styling is crucial for not only a natural, but also any women who has to wear her hair out into the environment. Having a style, any style rather, that shields your ends from being frequently exposed and touched will in time not only contribute to the continued health of your hair…but it will also contribute to the continuous growth of your hair as well.
If you are constantly touching, pulling, or styling your hair, this inadvertently causes friction and splitting to occur on your ends, which will eventually lead to breakage (which is the number one culprit to length retention).
How often should you wear a protective style?
Personally, I wear my natural hair in protective styling more than I wear it out. It’s a personal preference, and I often enjoy the exoticness of the types of styes I can do with my multi-textured hair.
I love the way I can do the coolest style ever-where my ends are protected and I am not constantly having to touch it-and it lasts for weeks…and still looks like I just did it, even while taking it down.
The only reason I usually never go past two to three weeks for any of my “homemade” protective styles is because I am keen on deep conditioning my hair-within that time cycle-faithfully. Never have I not deep conditioned my hair at least every two to three weeks; many times I am doing a hot oil treatment within that same time span.
Are all protective styles boring?
First, if the question as to whether or not protective styles are boring is on your mind…then…I am definitely the wrong person to be asking. I am pro’ protective hair everything. I absolutely love anything that contributes to the health and growth of my hair.
SO, with that being said…none of MY protective styles that I’ve ever done-since being natural-have EVER been boring…this is not up for debate. The proof is in the pudding…here is a snapshot of the different protective styles I’ve sported since going natural:
*Just a few examples….
Do they really help to retain length?
As a blogger, I must say that everyone seems to be an expect when it comes to the subject of growing long healthy natural hair by focusing on “length retention”. Well…I can only offer my experience and firsthand knowledge.
I will like to start by saying that my hair does not follow the estimated expectation of 1/2 inch of monthly growth. I have never taken any super vitamin or hairfinity, or any of those advertised products that advances growth.
What I have done is create a consistently effective regimen. In a previous post from a few months ago I spoke about simplicity and consistency. The main components of my regimen are: WATER, OILS, AND BUTTERS. It’s just that simple. With any style I do (because of the texture of my hair), I make sure that water is a consistent component from beginning to end, whether it’s used purely or as the primary ingredient in the products that I am using.
With that being said, I BELIEVE because of the simplicity of the natural components I consistently put into my hair, this is the reason my growth and retention rate is often much higher than the general estimation. I really don’t care if people claim it’s my genetics-and I am going to take the liberty of making this point: MY GROWTH AND RETENTION RATE WAS NOT AS SUCCESSFUL WHEN I WAS RELAXED, though I had long hair…it took most of my life to grow it-if anyone take the time to pay attention to the type of ingredients they are putting into their hair and being consistent with an effective regimen, they will find the optimum way of promoting growth and receiving retention; especially if protective styling is a part of that (depending on the texture, some naturals may need more or less of protective styling within their regimen).
Will You Run Out Of Protective Styling Ideas?
This is one of the most important questions to consider if you are on the fence about making protective styling apart of your long-term natural hair care regimen. I believe the answer is NO.
Our hair is versatile beyond belief. I have not repeated a protective style since going natural exactly 25 months ago. I have created and gathered styles on my to-do list that will fill up the next two years at least (…if I stick to my 2-3 average week range that I usually wear them). This is only from the list of ideas I have developed since this year along…and…I am still catching up with all of my ideas I have listed from last year. Now, keep in mind…I don’t solely wear my hair in protective styling 365 days a year. Sometimes I like to let her out to go free, the ‘Curly Fro’ of course…and many times I love to spend time doing the high curly puffs, buns, and flexi rod sets.
Obviously, I am in love with being natural…SO naturally for me I am finding limitless solutions and options. I must admit, when your heart is into something…it seems to be neverending.
Words of advice…
If I could tell you one thing about protective styles it would be to:
“…Use protective styling as an avenue for understanding patience and having more time for you. You’re going to be amazed at the creativity you find yourself amidst…and the ball of humbleness time has made you into…”
*Here Are A Few Pictures of my Freshly Finished Protective Style…Large Twists…
–The Brown Truth