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3 Keys to Effective Protective Styling

Avatar • Oct 1, 2011

By Cipriana of UrbanBushBabes.com

Protective styles can be very beneficial and help achieve length goals but, as with anything, they take work and upkeep to maintain. Lack of care can put stress on your hair. Here are 3 simple steps to ensure your locks stay strong and truly protected when you rock protective styles.

Low Tension

If hair is too tight or you experience any type of uncomfortable tension from a hairstyle, whether cornrows, updos, weaves or braids don’t give in to the mentality the strands will loosen in a couple of days and the pain will subside. The damage that can be done in a short amount of time can sometimes be irreversible, resulting in temporary or permanent traction alopecia. Fortunately my ordeal with traction alopecia years ago from high stressed hairstyles was reversible but I do speak from experience when I suggest to keep tension at a minimum.

Moisture

Even though your hair is secured in a protective style of your choice it doesn’t mean you can neglect providing moisture to your strands. Protective styles still needs TLC and special attention to prevent dryness, breakage, excessive split ends or unintentional dreading. Like a vine you must continue constant pruning or the plant will grow and tangle beyond measures that will be hard to control.

Time

Leaving your protective style in indefinitely can lead your hair to a state of extreme distress when it comes to your detangling sessions. The more tangled your protective style is (especially at the roots) when it is time for your detangling session the more likely your hair is susceptible to breakage. The most I will leave my protective styles in is for three weeks sometimes four (because I wear loose twists) but no longer then four weeks and this number can vary depending on your protective style, regimen, lifestyle and upkeep. Also remember that, depending on the length, loose protective styles (like twists or braids) that are not placed in an updo of some sort are still susceptible to split ends from friction on clothing.

In the end, from my perspective and in my experience, protective styles are highly beneficial and will be a hair staple that will frequent my regimen for years to come. Just remember — anything positive can become negative if certain precautions are not taken into consideration.

Ladies what is your favorite protective style? Which protective style do you rock most frequently?

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E
E
9 years ago

i kept my yarn braids in for 7 weeks. I retain alot of length, i guess it depends on what your hair can handle

GorgeousSmile
GorgeousSmile
9 years ago
Reply to  E

How much shedding did you have after 7 weeks with yarn braids???

E
E
9 years ago
Reply to  GorgeousSmile

not alot but i cowashed every other weekend and spritz when i remembered. I’ve been wearing braids since grade school, im used to it lol

E
E
9 years ago
Reply to  E

plus the older yarn braids are the better they look in my opinion
[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2011–09-29085206.jpg[/img]

Jerrie
Jerrie
8 years ago
Reply to  E

I kept my yarn braids for about that same amount of time too. I also washed, co-washed, clarified (w/baking soda & acv), and dc’d while I had them and they looked great and I had very minimal shedding and no matting or breakage. During takedown you could feel how moisturized my hair was!!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/yarnbraids2.jpg[/img]

Jerrie
Jerrie
8 years ago
Reply to  Jerrie

I have been playing around w/Marley Braid hair too..
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/IMG_2038-jerrie-ready.png[/img]

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago

My favorite protective style is a bun (sock bun or cinnabun). I like them because they’re simple, quick (to put in and take down) and cute. I wear buns a couple days out of every week (before wash day) or for one week stretches of time.

Marcia
Marcia
8 years ago
Reply to  mangomadness

A sock bun???

Faye
8 years ago
Reply to  Marcia

That’s where you cut the foot contoured piece off of a sock and are left with a tube that you then roll into a donut shape. That donut shape is then put on the base of a ponytail and your hair is wrapped around and tucked under the donut using tension and bobby/hair pins to secure. Or at least that is what I do… LOL The resulting bun is neat and depending on how much hair you have either large or small…

CessCurls
9 years ago

My favorite protective styles are between buns and 2 strand twists. I usually keep my buns in for a week,moisturizing every 2–3 days as needed, and my twist in for 2 weeks, moisturizing daily. I use plain water to moisturize and seal with oil or butter of choice (concentrating on my ends). Often times I find myself incorporating both styles into one easy fun style by bunning(my loose hair in) the back and twisting the front, or placing my two strand twists in a cute bun style.

honeybrown1976
honeybrown1976
9 years ago

Buns are my favorite. I sometimes twist my hair and pin them up.

Porsha G.
Porsha G.
9 years ago

I love my hair flat twisted or braided 2the side in a bun(last1-2wkz)… But wearing weave styles like kinky twist and braids really help with my length retention and I can keep them n longer(last 4–8wkz)

Jeanna
Jeanna
9 years ago

Presently I am wearing braids with extensions. I plan to keep them in for about a month. I appreciate this article for reminding me to moisturize my hair.

Adriii
Adriii
9 years ago

2 minute protective style: 

While in the shower, I coat my hair with conditioner and coconut oil, part in middle, and wear in single braid down my back. My hair feels AMAZING when I take it out and it’s quick (my schedule doesn’t allow for creating a bunch of twists or braids). The next day, add some water, perhaps a little conditioner, brush down and rebraid. It’s actually one of my favourite hairstyles! Very simple chic!

MotorCityMoxie
9 years ago

Protective styling is essential to my length retention. I’ve been wiggin it for the past year.

Leen
9 years ago

My favorite are the two strand twists. Leaves my hair soft with defined curls 🙂

LillianMae
8 years ago

I am an avid Protective Styler; however, since most times I wash weekly, I only wear the style for a week. Since I’ve been having to travel for two week intervals, at the end of week 1, I re-moisturize and re-style my hair and wear for the next week.

Here are some shots of Protective Styles I wear and have worn since I began transitioning: http://www.lillian-mae.com/transitioning-guide/protective-styling-it-aint-always-glamorous-but-it-always-works/

Danielle F.
Danielle F.
8 years ago

I mostly two strand twist! I am keeping my hair in protective styles until April so that it can get a break from the abuse of direct heat and conbing…

LovelyLauz
LovelyLauz
8 years ago

I do a lot of the flat twist updos, just because it’s a “set it and forget it” style. I usually leave them in for 7–10 days, take down, wash and DC and put the hair back up.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/again369.JPG[/img]

LovelyLauz
LovelyLauz
8 years ago

I am so sorry for that MAMMOTH picture!1 OMG, I’m embarrassed, I had no idea it would come in that big… SORRY GUYS!!!

Layah
Layah
8 years ago

Well your scalp looks very moisturized! lol

ohr
ohr
8 years ago

^Indeed! very moisturized 😀

viviane
viviane
8 years ago

hey LovelyLauz, do you do your hair yourself? and if yes…how? It’s so well done!

ashley
ashley
8 years ago

I’ve been trying new styles with braiding hair. I’m trying to be creative since my hair is too short for a long style and too long for a short style 🙁
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/120223–130958.jpg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/120224–220757.jpg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/120226–002507.jpg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/120226–002404.jpg[/img]

Bari Lariosa
Bari Lariosa
8 years ago

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