Simple protective styling

What's the deal with protective styles? Many women with long hair swear by them. They insist that keeping their hair's ends up and out of sight helps them to retain length. So is it true?

Protective styles don't make your hair grow, but they do make it possible to prevent breakage since your hair may be breaking off faster than it grows. What protective styles do is keep your ends "protected." I swear by protective styling. I wear my hair in protective styles all the time. When I had relaxed hair I never protected my ends and as a result my hair never grew past neck length.

Now with protective styling, my favourite being twists or wigs, my hair has retained length and is the longest it’s ever been in my whole life!

Try any of these protective styles and see if you experience more hair retention. Just make sure, no matter which way you wear your hair, that your ends are put away.

1. Bun


This is a simple style that works for any occasion, especially dressy or formal ones. All you need are hairpins and a covered elastic band. Buns are easy and you can part your hair down the centre or on one side if you prefer.

2. Two-Strand Twists


Twists work best on natural hair. Relaxed strands are simply too straight and slippery to hold twists in place without unravelling. They work for children and for adults. You can fashion twists in various ways while still protecting your delicate ends.

3. Braids

You can braid your natural hair or you can opt for braid extensions. Whether your braids are all yours or created with enhancements, you still need to care for your hair and scalp while you're wearing them.

4. Weaves

How many times have you heard a woman say that she got a weave and her hair just grew like weeds? The reason this seems to be so is because a properly cared for weave is a great protective style. If your hair is braided completely beneath it, it's not subject to sun, wind, rain or other weather. For maximum hair growth, however, it's still important to care for the hair beneath the weave.

5. Flat Twists


Similar to cornrows, flat twists are created with two sections of hair instead of three. Flat twists offer more versatility because unlike two-strand twists, flat twists work equally well on relaxed or natural hair. If your hair extends past the nape of your neck, you can gather the ends of flat twists and fashion them into a ponytail or bun.

Ladies, what protective styles do you do on your hair and are they effective?

About the Author

Amanda Dliwayo

Amanda Dliwayo

South African. World citizen. Currently based in Paris.

Traveler. Writer. Model. Teacher.

                     Natural. 4B/4C.

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