Busy schedules make it hard to properly take care of your natural hair and protect it from ordinary defectors. Lucky for you, we have all the secrets to creating a protective styling that not only looks amazing but doubles as a fashionable barrier to protect those hair tips safely.
WHAT ARE PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLES
Protective hairstyles are updos that manipulate one’s natural hair into tight coils or curls, locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, or Afros. Adding hair extensions or faux locs is optional and is considered protective when the hair doesn’t cause additional tension on the scalp and follicles.
THE BENEFITS OF PROTECTING YOUR NATURAL HAIR
- Using a protective hairstyle has the potential to reduce damage from the environment as well as from over-manipulation. Studies have shown that over manipulation and tension are the leading causes of traction alopecia. Traction alopecia can present itself in the forms of balding, spotting, breakage, hair thinning, and rashes. This has disproportionately affected black women of African descent who commonly dress their hair in overly tight styles to present a more professional appearance for work environments consisting of conservative dress codes.
- Protective styles allow the wearer to comfortably manage their hair care with a low maintenance routine that doesn’t affect the integrity of the styling. This helps reduce build-up that would cause dryness and potentially lead to more severe ailments.
- Wearing a protective look allows for average hair growth on long and short hair. This is great for women with a kinky curly hair texture going through a transitioning phase from short to medium lengths.
HOW TO DO PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLES WITH NATURAL HAIR
There are many ways to construct a protective style properly; whether you want to start by braiding, coiling, or flat twists, as long as the hair isn’t pulled aggressively, you are on the right track to a safe hairdo. The style is completed when the hair ends are sealed in a fashion that prevents damage and manipulation.
Below is a video tutorial that represents one variation of a fast and straightforward protective style.
5 BEST PROTECTIVE LOOKS TO WEAR ALL 2021
- KNOTLESS BOX BRAIDS – Creating braid styles is a great way to protect your hair and tips and increase the length with the use of braiding hair in an elegant look that appears natural and professional. There are many braided hairstyles to choose from, including crown braids, halo braids, Fulani braids, and crochet braids. Check out our box braid page for more information about how you can create a look for yourself.
- CORNROWS – Rolling and twisting your hair into cornrows have been a favorite for hairstylists for centuries. The natural twist updo keeps relaxed hair in tightly sectioned rows that allow for easy hair care and maximum protection.
- TWIST OUTS – Twisting hair is the most straightforward form of protecting relaxed hair in fashionable tresses. Styles can use a single or two-strand twist technique to create a variety of twisted updos. Some of the more popular two-strand twist hairstyles are Havana twist, Senegalese Twist, and Marley twist.
- HIGH BUN/LOW BUN- When you need to control those natural curls and have long hair, a top knot might be the look for you. The Natural hairstyle involves collecting all of one’s hairs into a knot or bun that protects the hair tips from exposure to damage.
- FAUX LOCS – These are imitation dreadlocks added to one’s hair with a twist out, crochet, or braiding technique. If you would like to know more about faux locs and fake dreads, you should head over to that page and give it a good reading.
MAINTAINING AND PROTECTING HEALTHY HAIR
Wearing a protective hairstyle is only half the battle. Hair needs to be regularly maintained and cleaned to stay healthy. We understand that washing and managing your hair can be difficult. That is why we created a beneficial loc maintenance and twist maintenance page full of insightful tips and tricks to tame that mane.
WAITING BETWEEN STYLES FOR MAXIMUM PROTECTION
Did you know that you could still be damaging your hair even though you are wearing protective hairstyles? The purpose of defensive stylings is to help limit over manipulation and tension of the hair strands, follicles, and scalp.
When you change your hairstyle too much, you are defeating the purpose of a protective style. Hair becomes brittle over time and especially at the tips. Too much styling can lead to breakage or overworking your hair strands, causing them to kink and dry out. We recommend keeping a style for at least a week and then waiting before switching up the look.
WHAT ARE PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLES TO GROW HAIR LONG?
Most all protective hairstyles will allow you to grow your hair long. Styles will need to be retouched and adjusted as hair growth becomes more prevalent. Protective styles do not make your hair grow any faster than traditional styles.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLES?
You should always clean your hair thoroughly before starting any new protective hairstyles. It is recommended that you use a conditioner or moisturizing cream to help nourish your hair to help prevent dryness and frizz.
HOW LONG DO PROTECTIVE STYLES LAST?
Every hairstyle’s lifespan is going to be dependant on many factors. Styles can last anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks and even longer with the help of a licensed stylist and recommended hair care.
WHAT IS THE BEST PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLE?
Protective hairstyles have the same purpose, and that’s to help safeguard your hair. Techniques that protect your hair will prevent abrasion and manipulation, shield against the environment, and allow for steady growth. Styles that do this the best include faux locs, crochet braids, and pre-looped twists.
WHAT PROTECTIVE STYLES
WORK BEST WITH RELAXED HAIR?
Most all styles work great with relaxed hair. Softer hair can be trickier to manage and take a little more time to master. Try creating the jumbo version of your desired style to help in the manipulation of thick, dense hair. Not only does it reduce installation, but it often yields a more desirable look.
WHERE CAN I BUY PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLES?
Protective styles cannot be purchased; instead, a trained hairstylist creates the look with twists, braids, curls, and other techniques. Additional hair is attached to increase protection as long as it doesn’t add tension. Consult a professional before acquiring hair extensions.
We believe the more you know about your hair, the better you can protect it. This article included information about what protective styles are, the benefits, why we wear them, and so much more. If you think you have information that would be beneficial to our readers and would like to contribute to our site, please comment below and submit your email to keep up to date with all of our new publishings.
- “Traction Alopecia: A Type of Hair Loss.” University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, 8 Jan. 2019, uihc.org/health-topics/traction-alopecia-type-hair-loss.
- “Signs of Permanent Traction Alopecia.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/hair-loss/signs-of-permanent-traction-alopecia.
- “New York State Assembly.” Bill Search and Legislative Information | New York State Assembly, assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A07797&term=2019&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Text=Y&Committee%26nbspVotes=Y&Floor%26nbspVotes=Y.
- “H. Rept. 116-525 – CREATING A RESPECTFUL AND OPEN WORLD FOR NATURAL HAIR ACT OF 2020.” Congress.gov, www.congress.gov/congressional-report/116th-congress/house-report/525/1.