Protective styling is one of the best ways to – you guessed it – protect your hair from natural elements. Warm weather brings heat and humidity, which often doesn’t pair well with natural hair. Additionally, water and sweat (both issues in warm weather) can also pose a threat to natural hair. With protective styles, you can maintain moisture, prevent breakage, and encourage growth.
We at Root2tip are aware of how important it is to preserve and encourage the growth of your natural hair. To help you obtain and keep long, healthy hair, we’re taking a deep dive into the subject of protective styling for natural hair today.
In this blog, we’ll talk about all the benefits of protective styling as well as everything you should know about wearing these hairstyles. How long should you keep them in? What kind of protective styles are available? How should you keep your protective style clean? What may harm your hair when it’s in a protective style? Everything you wanted to know and more below!
The benefits of protective styling
- Ideal for all-weather: You may hear a lot about protective styles during different times of the year. For example, as you head into summer, you’ll hear about how heat and humidity impact natural hair. When it’s winter, you’ll hear about how cold, dry winter affects natural hair. The takeaway? Your hair is always susceptible to the environment around you, which means there’s never a bad time to use protective styling on your hair.
- Low maintenance: If you’re the kind of girl who loves rolling out of bed, then a protective style is awesome. A protective style is high-maintenance when you’re doing you’re hair, but after that, you’re giving your hair some much-needed rest. Not to mention they’re super
- Helps retain length:Protective styles prevent breakage, which increases your chance of seeing length retention. If your hair is breaking as fast as it grows, then you won’t see much growth month to month. So, put it in a protective style and see how that changes. We recommend using Root2tip’s Whipped Butter and Quench Anti Hair Breakage Cream before protective styling which will add moisture to your hair and help in retaining your hair length
- Maintains moisture: Regardless of the time of year, the weather drastically impacts the amount of moisture that natural hair can maintain. When your hair isn’t in a protective style, you may have tangling, dryness, or breakage that can result in moisture loss. Eliminating these factors can help you lock in moisture. You can also make it a habit to spritz on a leave-in conditioner that will also help maintain your protective style once it’s in. You can try Root2tip’s Honey Rain Juice Leave-in Conditioner for best results.
When to take out your protective styling
Unfortunately, every style has an expiration date. This may vary according to a variety of factors: your rate of hair growth and who you ask. While some stylists may tell you that a style will last 4 weeks, others will say 12 weeks. The standard time is 6 to 8 weeks, so you can keep that in mind as your style grows older and you begin to see new hair growth.
The new hair growth is natural hair that can be seen growing from your scalp. As your hair grows, styles like box braids or twists will loosen. This is one sign that it’s time to take out your protective styling.
A second sign is build-up that you see in your hair. You should be continuing to clean your hair and scalp while you have a protective style in because it helps to prevent build-up in your hair. However, if you choose not to or are unable to, then you’ll begin to see this build-up, and you’ll know that it’s time to take out your protective style so you’re able to take care of your hair in this way.
Aim to wash your hair bi-weekly to remove any build-up and keep your protective style refreshed. You should also oil your scalp or spray your hair with leave-in conditioner to prevent breakage, promote growth, and maintain moisture. If you’re looking for a great cleanser, try Root2tip’s Stimulate and Cleanse SLS Free Hair Shampoo.
Protective styles to try
Let’s now look at some protective hairstyles you may use to encourage growth and retention during your natural hair journey.
- Box braids
A timeless classic, box braids not only look gorgeous but also offer fantastic protection for your natural hair. To suit your personal preferences, experiment with different lengths and hues.
A flexible and low-maintenance protective style is the Marley twist. They provide a natural look and lots of protection for your hair because they are made from Marley hair extensions.
When unravelled, Bantu knots are a terrific technique to create defined curls in addition to being a fashionable protective alternative. They are the ideal option for people seeking versatility
Faux locs offer the traditional dreadlocks style without the commitment over an extended period. They can be tailored to your preferences and are kind to your natural hair
A traditional form of protection, cornrows can be as simple or complex as you like. They are a great option for keeping your natural hair healthy.
Things not to do while Wearing protective styles
- Use non-water-based products
Using water-based products when your hair is in a protective style allows it to penetrate your hair without it caking too much. Switch to products that won’t create build-up or flaking.
- Forget to wrap your hair up at night
Just as you would without a protective hairstyle, you should always wrap your hair up at night to prevent flyaway and breakage. This alone will help you maintain your protective style for weeks.
- Leave your protective style in too long
A protective style is designed to help (not harm) your hair, but if your hair is in the style forever, then it’ll be working against you. The standard is typically 6 to 8 weeks. Keep in mind that the longer you leave your protective style in for, the more build-up you’ll have. You’ll also have new growth that is putting pressure on your braids or twists that can result in the breakage you’re attempting to prevent. Thus, finding a happy medium for your hair is essential.
- Rush when taking down your protective style
The goal of a protective style is to take your hair down and see how it’s both longer and thicker. However, if you rush to take it out then you can be damaging it in the process. While it can be a long and tedious process to dismantle your protected style, you’re better off doing it slowly and thoughtfully than ripping through it.
- Put a new style in immediately
Stylists often recommend that you let your natural hair and scalp relax and breathe before putting another protective style in. If you can allow at least one week between styles, then you’ll have time to see the state of your hair. You can tell if you need a trim or a protein treatment and how to best take care of it. Once you’ve done that, you can put in a different protective style to ensure it remains in the best shape possible. Its always best to use a protein mask like the Root2tip’s Triple M Protein Mask before putting new protective style
- Avoid Tight Hairstyles
Opt for loose hairstyles that won't pull too hard on your scalp, keeping your hair healthy. Avoid tight styles that can damage your hair, roots and follicles, like putting your hair through stress. Go for styles that let your hair grow freely and stay strong. Your scalp is like a factory which produces hair and it’s important that your scalp is healthy so that it can harvest healthy hair. Its best to use products like Root2tip’s Grow It Long Scalp Serum and Root Energizer Oil which will provide nutrients to your scalp and helps in promoting hair growth
Protective styles are a remedy for hair growth and allow you to maintain your hair in a low-maintenance way. Once you’ve found a few of your favourite styles, you can rotate them for optimal effect (as long as you give your hair a chance to rest in between). Finding a consistent hair care routine and favourite products to use will greatly improve your hair care regime. Visit www.root2tip.com for a variety of haircare products.