Email #7 -Protective styling

Protective Styling 101 

This is a term we see a lot in the natural hair community but oftentimes, what people define as protective styles aren’t truly what they are. Protective styles are meant to protect the ends of the hair, keeping them safe from being exposed to the elements. Since this is the most fragile part of the hair, the styles are meant to protect it from breakage and encourage length retention. 

 Whether you choose to opt for protective styles or low manipulation styles is entirely up to you and your lifestyle. Protective styles are meant to be worn for extended periods of time. 

Bun

An easy-to-do low manipulation protective style that’s versatile. You can have a side part, middle part, one bun, or two – this one if up to you, have fun with it! Buns are a great example of a protective style because the ends are tucked away and protected.

Pineapple

This style is absolutely great for nighttime, and can also work well in between wash days. Your ends are exposed, so it’s easy to hydrate it and spritz it with your favorite midweek products. 

Twist out

This classic style keeps your hair safe from damage and out of your face, and the result is often stunning curls, depending on how large or small your twists are. You can leave the twists in for a couple of days, making sure to spritz it with water and oil or your favorite leave-in conditioner to keep it hydrated. Take out the twists when your hair is dry for maximum results.  

Braid out 

Similar to a twist-out, this is a great style for protecting your hair from damage and reducing frizz. The result is often wavy, tight curls. 

Two strand twists

An iconic hairstyle that easily allows you to spritz your hair and moisturize it. You can do these twists on damp or dry hair – whatever works for you! –  although we recommend damp hair for more definition. 

Bantu knots

This style is great for kinkier textures and for stretching hair. Section your hair off into as many parts as you like – this depends on if you want your knots to be bigger or smaller. Then wrap each section into little buns, making sure that the ends are tucked in. You can do this style when your hair is damp or dry. 

*So what about twists and braids? While these are great styles to keep the hair safe from breakage and frizz, these are considered low manipulation styles, since the ends aren’t protected. They have their perks too! Since they require little manipulation and maintenance, you don’t have to style it again for a few days. They also help with length and moisture retention, you just have to be a little more cautious when it comes to your ends.

Protective styling is a skill and method that we have not actively applied in this course. But as you continue your hair journey we want to equip you with tools that will allow you to pursue long-term growth. Take this tool and put it in your hair growth and wellness toolkit and feel free to apply it thoughtfully in the future. 

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