What is a protective style?
Protective styles are styles that help to keep the ends of your hair tucked away. It helps to keep your hair safe from everyday routines.
Routines that cause breakage and damage. Your ends are the oldest but also the most fragile part of your hair.
It is good to give your hair a break from the consistent use of heat and different products. When we can leave it alone, this allows so much room for growth.
There are people that I know who could never get their hair to grow past their shoulders. Only to grow locs and now their hair is longer.
Protective styles create this same freedom. If you moisturize your hair, keep your scalp clean, and safely remove your style when it’s time to take it down.
A protective style can help grow your hair. Let your hair do what it was meant to do.
Which is grow without manipulating It every day with products, curling irons, combs, and brushes. It can be a wonderful experience when implemented correctly.
Are protective styles really protective?
They’re protective when you take care of your natural hair underneath. Natural hair care is especially important when wearing a protective style.
You can destroy your natural hairline and even cause alopecia when you don’t properly take care of it.
Pulling your hair or edges tightly when trying to manipulate your hair into a style can cause breakage. Styling should not be painful!
Develop a relationship with your stylist, let them know what you desire when they are styling your hair.
Not doing so can cause extensive damage to your hair and skin. If you have a style that you don’t know how to take down.
Let a stylist do it for you. You can easily cause damage by not doing it correctly.
Moisturizing your natural hair with an oil or growth serum while wearing these styles helps to promote growth.
Protective styles are protective when professionally installed, cared for, and taken down correctly. They are a wonderful solution to giving your hair a break.
How long should you wear protective styles?
When deciding how long you should keep a style. There are a couple of things you need to consider.
When trying to get the maximum benefit from the style. First, you should determine if the style eliminates
- the use of heat
- the need to comb and brush hair on a daily base’s
Buns and updos are styles that need to be manipulated to keep them looking fresh. These are styles that should stay in for about a week.
Protective styles that can stay in longer are braids, sew-ins, and wigs. The standard length of time to keep a hairstyle in such as these are 6-8 weeks.
Anything longer than that can cause product build-up. Certain hairstyles can cause the new growth to get tangled in with the extension hair used to create the style.
So, it is a good rule of thumb to follow the standard guidelines.
What style is best for you?
Choosing a protective style consists of knowing what your preferences are. If you hate long styles, then a short style would work great for you.
So, the next question to ask yourself would be if you prefer to have your hair braided or if you want to rock a cute shortcut.
If you chose braids, then start looking at the latest short styles to help make your decision. There are a lot of short styles to choose from.
Once you choose your style, the next step would be to find a stylist that can create it.
Which protective styles last the longest?
The style that can be worn the longest is braids. It is an extremely low maintenance hairstyle.
Sew-ins are the next runner-up, when installed correctly they can last you for a while.
Depending on the type of hair you use determines how long it will last. If you use virgin hair, the style in my opinion lasts longer. If you are not familiar with virgin hair, read What is virgin hair.
When you use processed hair, it tangles quickly and loses its lust faster. When processed hair gets wet it sometimes ruins the hair.
Virgin hair bundles can last for 2-3 years (not the style but the hair itself can be reused), it can get wet, you can use heat on it and even color it. So, when it’s added to a protective style it lasts longer. Caring for virgin hair extensions correctly can add longevity to your styles.
Preparing your hair for protective styles
This is a particularly important step in keeping your hair healthy. To protect your hair, you must care for it before installation. Wash and condition your hair with a non-sulfate shampoo.
Make sure to either do a deep condition treatment or a hot oil treatment. Once you have treated your hair, moisturize your hair with a product that pertains to your hair.
So that your hair retains moisture while it’s in the protective style. Low porosity hair, which means the structure of the hair doesn’t allow moisture to penetrate it easily.
You should use products specifically designed for low porosity hair. I prefer the L.O.C method (liquid, oil, and crème). Stretch your hair before installation.
You can do this by braiding it or twisting it while letting it dry naturally, or you can blow dry it.
Types of protective styles
Sew-in hairstyles are extremely popular today. It’s so versatile! You can create short or long styles no matter how long your hair is.
If there is a certain hair color you have been dying to try without putting chemicals in your hair. This would be the perfect style for you!
To achieve this, you would have to use hair that’s already the color you want to try.
While on the other hand, you can purchase virgin bundles that are 100% human hair. That can be lifted so that you can achieve the color your heart desires!
It is a good idea to use virgin hair when getting this style. The hair lasts longer, and it is more cost-efficient.
You can use this hair numerous times. As long as you care for it, depending on the type of hair it can last you for 1 to 3 years.
Braids will never go out of style! They only reinvent them every year. It’s so many different braid styles available now. If you want to get your natural hair braided without extensions:
- Headband braid
- Braided ponytail
- Braided bun
- Twist in a bun
Braids with extensions
- Crochet braids
- Box braids
- Feed-in braids
- Ghana braids
- Kinky twist
- Micro braids
There are different types of wigs. Choosing the right wig for you depends on your personal preference.
Wigs that are partially or fully made with lace allow you to create a scalp illusion. There are some wigs that are one size fits all and contain an adjustable strap. Wig grips are used when a wig either doesn’t have an adjustable strap or it is too big.
A U-part wig allows you to leave a small section of your hair out. It is made in a U-form so that the wig easily allows leave out to make it look natural.
A wig with a headband connected to it. It’s an upgraded version of the half a wig. A popular protective style that makes your hair look very natural.
Quick weaves are popular because it takes less time to have them installed. It is when extensions are installed using hair glue.
Prepare your natural hair by using a coating such as morning glory or another type of shield. That protects the hair from the glue used to apply the extensions.
Many people skip this step. When you do this, you make the style difficult to take out.
With morning glory, you put the style under running warm water. This breaks up the protective shield. The hair will slide off without breakage.
If you don’t use morning glory, then make sure you use a hair glue remover. Follow the directions carefully. Quick weaves last a couple of weeks and can be a quick solution to a protective style.
Protective styles for short hair
Here are some short style ideas that you can choose from:
- Bantu knots
- Bob length faux locs
- Feed-in braids
- Headband wig
- Lace wigs