The Perfect Fix…For A Natural-Haired Beauty…

“Protective Styling…How Important Is It…?”

“I believe protective styling can not only be beneficial for growth…but also alluring.”

-The Brown Truth

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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….

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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…

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The Brown Truth

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9 responses

  1. Snow

    simply beautiful. I love how your twist are so PLUMP! Omg… slight hair envy lol. Either my hair is too thin or I’m just not doing this right.

    July 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    • Hey Lady,

      No worries…though my hair IS super thick naturally…I actually used that jumbo braid hair to achieve this protective style.

      You can find pictures of my natural hair in twists and yes, my hair is super thick and getting longer (I made 25 months post relaxer this month). It’s a lot of work and I have been trying to perfect havana twists ALL summer long, and it’s been fail after fail, lol, until I switched from the Marley hair to the Jumbo braid hair…as you can see…it came out so much better and I am in love with it…I already have plans to try this again with smaller twists!

      …And it’s not about doing it right or doing something wrong…it’s about being able to copy a version that you like a lot! (lol)

      So, I’d love it if you were to be brave and try this before the summer is out…or even in the fall. Go out and buy some of that jumbo braid hair…those mini black rubber bands and try the style out. I needed six packs because my natural hair is so thick. After opening each pack I made sure to cut it in half at the part where the rubber band lies…I wanted the style to be slightly past shoulder length, but long enough to come out to about the same length as my hair when twisted.

      It was hard to ensure each twist was the same size but I was able to do it. Also, thanks for the compliment…let me know if you decide to try it out and make sure to send me a picture when you do! Take care lady.

      -The Brown Truth

      July 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      • Snow

        I been wanting to try them or those box braids but as always fear wins every time. But I’m going to think on it real hard. I might do it in the fall. Thanks for the advice and input. 🙂

        July 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        • Girl, do it…

          …I can’t even walk out the door without a compliment hitting me in the face…literally today’s Kroger run turned into about ten mini interviews (haha…no really).

          This style is simple, easy…and WORTH the time it takes to put it in…it’s not that long…if you don’t count the numerous breaks I took to watch parts of my favorite movie…text family members…eat a snack…get in a fifteen minute workout on my elliptical…and daydream about my planned vacation during installment time..then it should go by really fast for you.

          I hope you decide to try it out…protective styles are great for the fall. I’m rooting for a “Yes I will do it!”

          Take Care Lady!

          -The Brown Truth

          July 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm

  2. Pingback: Creative Designs | Yvette's Image

  3. am so jealous of all that hair!!!

    nice blog.
    http://www.artbecomesyou.com

    September 22, 2013 at 6:22 am

    • Hey lady! Be encouraged! With a commitment to hair regimens and healthy routines…you’ll be amazed in no time. The key is to be consistent and dedicated to the results.

      Most times I forget about my goal and just enjoy the moments my hair and I have… lol…you know what I mean! ; – D

      -The Brown Truth

      September 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm

  4. Nafeesah

    Help me! :/ I’ve been natural for a year and a half and my hair just constantly seems to break off. I’ve tried no heat, and that has not stopped the shedding. I’ve done deep conditioning and that only reduced the breakage. I don’t know what to do. It seems the only way my hair will grow is if I wear a sew in.

    May 9, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    • Nafeesah,

      First, I would like to start by saying I am so sorry that you are going through this. Though there could be many causes of why your newly natural hair is breaking off, a good investigative start would be to conjure up a list to isolate the actions that you are doing or are not doing with your hair directly and indirectly:

      1. What you are regularly doing to your hair?
      2. What you are not regularly doing with your hair?
      3. What you are eating?
      4. Do you work out regularly?
      5. How much water do you drink regularly?
      6. Do you eat a healthy diet?
      7. (One of the most important) Do you take your time when detangling and are you staying away from combs/brushing?
      8. Are you moisturizing or adding too much of an ingredient that your hair doesn’t like during deep conditioning?

      There are so many questions, but this can get you started. I would like to add that for most naturals the number one most important component of a healthy hair regimen is keeping our hair clean and moisturized.

      I am no expert, but I have an extremely healthy hair regimen that helps me to keep my hair growing consistently.

      If it’s not too much trouble, please share some of the answers to my questions above along with some of your steps during your daily/weekly/monthly hair regimen, then we can start from there…worst case scenario, it could be chemical/physical. I’ve heard many women explain how they’ve had periods of extreme hair loss and later found out that they have extremely low iron levels, vitamin d deficient or had other nutrient deficiencies that caused their long term hair loss. Also, a good immediate start would be to drink no less than 9 cups of water daily and to start taking a daily multivitamin.

      -The Brown Truth

      (I hope to hear from you soon!)

      May 9, 2014 at 9:21 pm

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