Saturday, February 23, 2019


Protective Styles are a means to put away the ends of our hair (relaxed or natural) into beautiful styles for protection from the environment and weather. They are one of the gifts in the natural hair community cause they save us time and energy for wash-n-go all the time.

(Photo: Instagram/ dakoreea)

Protective Styles give our hair a break and save it from a lot of manipulation and maintenance. It is a key to growth, retaining length and keeping hair healthy if taken care of properly. Since it is easy for natural hair to get dry and brittle easily, Protective Styles help maintain moisture in hair.

For Transitioning Sisters, protective styling helps to blend the two distinct textures and encourage hair growth, making the journey as smooth and easy as possible.

Protective styles keep the ends of hair tucked away in order to discourage pulling, tugging and over manipulation since the entire idea is to touch the hair as little as possible.


Deciding on the Protective Styles you want depends mainly on personal preference, then the condition of hair and the time available for styling.

You are wondering which one you should choose?
That is why we are here, don't fret.

There are 3 types of Protective Styles which are;
  • Long term Protective Styles
  • Short term Protective Styles
  • Low Manipulation Styles

Long term Protective Styles

Long term protective styles as the name implies are kept in for long. Say between one to two months.
These styles are ideal for;
  • Length Retention.
  • Getting over the "frustrated" phase of natural hair journey.
  • Less time for hair care due to busy schedule or just being lazy.
  • Damage from over-manipulation of hair.  
Long term protective styles include any hairstyle where extensions or weaves are added to the hair.

(Photo: Instagram/ leonegoddess)

(Photo: Instagram/ braidskulture)

(Photo: Instagram/ pearlthestylist_)

Short term Protective Styles

Short term protective styles are kept in for a shorter period of time say one to three weeks.
These styles are ideal for;
  • People that like to switch up their hair from time to time.
  • Hair that tangle easily and quite often.
  • Allows for better access to hair for moisturising.
  • For length retention.
Short term protective styles include hairstyles where the hair is easily accessible and the ends are protected.

(Photo: Instagram/ curldaze)

(Photo: Instagram/ tianna.shanell)

(Photo: Instagram/ dakoreea)

(Photo: Instagram/ transformedbyo)

Low Manipulation Hairstyles

Low manipulation hairstyles are styles that allow for easy access to hair and are kept for few days to a week.
These styles are ideal for;
  • People that like to switch up their hair from time to time.
  • People that have more time on their hands.
  • Healthy hair.
  • Allows for better access to hair for moisturising.
Low Manipulation Styles include hairstyles that are not redone everyday.

(Photo: Instagram)

(Photo: Instagram/ brittanywebb)

(Photo:Instagram/ mztarabelle)

(Photo: Instagram/ tianna.shanell)

When you go for protective styles, don't forget to maintain your scalp and hair underneath your style.
You would want to start your protective style on freshly washed and properly deep conditioned hair. Using a good leave-in conditioner and or moisturiser and sealing everything in with your favourite oil.

And because your ends are tucked away does not mean dryness won't be an issue. Dry and brittle hair leads to breakage. So you need to cleanse and moisturise till you take down your protective style.

While some of us subscribe to the idea of doing Protective Styles for whatever reasons (length  retention, getting over "frustrated phase" etc), some people do not buy the idea.

The reason for Protective Styling becomes futile when we use that as an avenue not to care for our hair.

We should Wash, Moisturise and seal the moisture like we would without them. That's when we can achieve our goals. 

What is your say about Protective Styles and which of the styles would you rock?
Let's know what you think in the comment section below. 

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