What is a protective style? Exactly what it says it is. Any style that minimizes the manipulation of your natural hair, in turn, protecting it. These styles allow for us to tuck away our ends, which happen to be the most vulnerable part of our hair. They also allow our hair to grow in peace, free from the threat of heat damage and breakage from everyday wear and tear.
There are various style options to choose from when deciding to give our natural hair a break. The most popular ones include braids and twists. You can also opt for a nice wig unit that can be sewn or glued for installation or taken off each day.
No matter which style you choose, there is one extremely important point to remember. Do not forget to take care of your natural hair while it is in a protective style. A huge but common misconception is that just because your natural hair is up in a protective style, nothing else needs to be done. This is far from the truth. If anything, it is even more imperative to tend to your hair while it is up. This is to make sure the style is actually productive in growing and protecting your hair.
Your hair and scalp should be moisturized every couple of days, if not daily. If possible, wash your hair while it is in a protective style to prevent harmful buildup of product. You can use a sulfate free dry shampoo, or your favorite brand. Make sure your hair is fully dried after washing it.
Also, never leave your protective style in for too long. Traditionally, 3 to 8 weeks is the time period that protective styles are kept before switching to a new style. They should never be kept for a long period of time causing you to neglect your natural hair. This can cause your natural hair to tangle, and when it is time to take down the style, let’s just say it will not be pretty.
And in-between all the protective styles and tender, love and care, give your hair a chance to breathe! This means take it out of that style and let it rest. Having it in a style all the time can cause tension on your hair which leads to hair loss. Remember, we are trying to protect not neglect our hair!