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Are 4B/4C Naturals Limited to Only Protective Styles?

• Mar 20, 2012

By Geniece of Beautifully Made

I’ve heard some naturals lament the so-called need to protective style in order to retain length. For some, such styles are viewed as boring or uncomplimentary to one’s facial structure. I’ve also heard women express frustration at having to protect their hair when they believe that other women with straight hair, loose curls, thicker strands, etc. can maintain length while wearing their hair out.  When it comes to retaining length for my kinky tresses I’m an ardent proponent of protective styling. My own experience has proven the method to be effective. While a fan, however, I’m not militant. As is the case with many other things in life, everything ain’t for everybody. Take weight gain for example. Some can eat ribs and cheesecake and remain thin and runway ready. For others this is simply not so.  For many people, getting to the weight they want requires giving up some culinary delights and exercising more often. In short, it involves sacrifice and patience. Once you shed a significant amount of weight you can indulge in some treats, though you must still be moderate. Likewise with hair care, you can expect to see improvement but you may have to implement some practices that, though temporary, are a bit out of your comfort zone.

I became a fan of protective style not by watching the progress of others who’ve used the method but by experimentation with my own hair. In July of 2007, after being natural for almost 3 years, I flat ironed my hair and did flat iron touch ups for the next two weeks. The flat iron was always set to 450 degrees. Needless to say my hair was heat damaged to the point that one hair dresser asked if I was growing out my relaxer a few months later. I decided to trim the ends away slowly and by 2009 I was relieved to have shoulder length heat damage free kinks and coils.  Around this time I began experimenting with wigs, which was actually quite fun. Still, something was missing. I wanted to learn how to properly take care of my own hair and, quite frankly, enjoy the length with my own hair that I did with wigs.

In the fall of 2009 I discovered several vlogs and blogs devoted to natural hair. I even joined a hair forum. By the end of November of that year I officially embarked on my hair care journey and chose to implement two practices over the following year: 1. Safe detangling: I would only detangle on wash day when my hair was coated with oil and conditioner. I would also deep condition every week 2. I would wear protective styles throughout the week, keeping my ends moisturized and protected. Two years later I am a firm believer that these practices are fail safe. In fact, after I retained 5 inches of hair in 2010, I decided that in 2011 I would experiment more with ‘out’ styles like braid outs. I wore my hair out for much of the winter, spring and summer and loved it. By the fall, however, I realized that I wasn’t retaining at the same rate I did the previous year. I only retained 2–3 inches in length. In October of last year I went back to basics and implemented a protective styling regimen. In February of this year, after only 4 months of going back to exclusively protective styling, I blew my hair out. Not only did I notice the difference but so did my friends and family. Protective styling works for me. Point. Blank. Period.

If you hate protective styling but have struggled to retain length I encourage you to conduct an experiment. Measure one portion of your hair. I like to choose a section of hair along my nape. Consistently protect that section. So, if you wear braid outs make sure you leave that section braided (if the braid is small and along your nape it shouldn’t be obvious that the hair is still braided when the hair is styled). Three or four months later measure that section of hair and form a conclusion as to the effectiveness of the method.  Once you realize that a method works you may not implement it all the time but at least you know what to do if, for example, you want to grow you hair out for a particular occasion, to accomplish certain hair styles or simply to change up your look.  Protective styling isn’t a natural hair law but rather a tool that if effective for you, can address any frustration you’ve encountered regarding length retention.  Furthermore, if you find that some styles are less than becoming on you (i.e. mini twists seem scalpy), you might consider updos with loose stretched hair. I wore my hair this way and still do from time to time.

So, will I forever wear protective styles? Well, yes and no. For length retention, likely not. Once I reach my goal length I can technically maintain the length of my hair even if I wear it out every week. However, I actually enjoy wearing huge buns and the ease of mini twists. For this reason protective styling will more than likely always be a part of my hair journey.

Ladies, how do you feel about protective styling? If you are a 4B or 4C natural do you find it frustrating that consistent protective styling is required to retain length?

For more of Geniece’s thoughts on 4b/4c haircare, check out her YouTube channel: Beautifully Made.

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94 Comments on "Are 4B/4C Naturals Limited to Only Protective Styles?"

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Mai
Guest
I have a combination of 3c, 4a, and 4b (and even some 1 and 2s specifically in my crown) and while I am not a fan of protective styling, it saves me valuable time when getting ready to go to work in the morning and going to bed at night. On wash days, I just 2 strand twist my hair and leave it in a ponytail during the week and spraying with a water mixture of conditioner, olive oil, and glycerin at night. I used to spend an hour preparing my hair at night and 15 minutes in the morning… Read more »
Hermione
Guest

While I will agree that protective styling does help my 4b/c hair achieve length, I also end up with dry, crispy ends. End that I cut off because I view them as damaged hair. Sign. How am I to retain the length I’ve gained without having dry ends? I spritz my hair 2 times a day with a water and evoo mix. This winter alone, my hair has grown 2 inches resulting in 2 inches of dry, crispy ends — that were cut off. Trying to listen to my hair. Help!!!

Loo
Guest

It is possible you’ve cut off all the damage and your hair will flourish from here. You may also want to experiment with other moisturizers and/or conditioners. It seems like dryness is more of the issue than the actual protective styling. Sorry to hear about your setback. Hang in the hair care journey!

BrinkyDinks
Guest
I used to have this issue too! What saved me from going crazy was doing the LOC method when sealing my hair. My hair stays moisturised for at least 3 days if not 5. If I had to type I’m 4a but I have patches in the back that are 4b. Basically after you wash your hair, you spray your hair hair with a Liquid leave in (I make my own with aloe vera juice, distilled water. Sometimes, I may steep the water with marshmallow root or hibiscus). Then, I use an oil to seal that in (use any oil… Read more »
Jane
Guest

I love the LOC method, but my liquid is the water on my hair after washing. I prefer lighter oils and then using a moisturizing cream. My hair is always so super soft and wonderfully touchable, and I leave it out all the time.

Coily Africana
Guest

I second BrinkyDinks said, try the LOC method as it seems your hair might not like being sealed with oils. My hair used to feel greasy but dry and brittle before, but now it has improved. I actually stumbled on that method accidentally, after washing one weekend I put coconut oil to wet hair before sealing and twisting with Nexxus humectress(old formula). I have since refined the process but it still works.

Sonya
Guest
Hermione — it sounds like you have the wrong moisturizer. I used to be plagued with dry, crunchy ends too. My hair does not respond to evoo. My hair loves coconut oil. And my “holy grail” product is Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Now my ends (and my whole head) feel like butter (all day every day). I only have to reapply once or twice/week. Keep trying different combinations of oils that penetrate the hair shaft until you find your “holy grail.” If you listen to your hair, your hair will tell you what it wants.
Dolores
Guest
This is just my two cents, but having dry ends may be a characteristic of your hair type. Are you sure your ends are damaged? Are they split and frayed? I am 4b, and when I blow-dry my hair, my ends tend to be very hard and dry in comparison to the rest of my hair. I don’t have split ends though, and I feel no need to cut my hair. A hair stylist once asked my why my hair is “nappy at the end” after she blow dried it. Needless to say, I no longer use her services and… Read more »
Dolores
Guest

One more thing. Many women think that certain products are the answer, but I kindly disagree. I have wasted my money on expensive products in the past, and they have done nothing for me. I use cheapie drug store products now, and my hair is longer than it has ever been. It is important, however, to find a shampoo (if you choose to use one instead of co-washing) that does not strip your hair too much.

Kate
Guest

Dry ends means damaged ends, you need to moisturize your ends because otherwise they will split and become frayed. I use water and oil on my ends when they are in protective styles, maybe you should use heat protect.

Dolores
Guest
Thanks Kate. I really don’t blow dry my hair very often. I’ve used a heat protectant before, and I am not convinced that it did much. I prefer to avoid heat instead. I disagree that dry ends are necessarily damaged though. Yes, they are more susceptible to damage, but they are not already damaged. I’m not sure what your hair type is like, but my ends are always dry. No amount of water or oil will change that. Moisturizing can reduce dryness, but ultimately the hair will always be dry. If I cut off ends that I thought were dry… Read more »
Dawn
Guest
i see what you’re saying. i read a blog post by a woman who also describes her hair as 4b/4a and she says that dryness is simply a characteristic of our hair type. and she’s not too far off the mark. i went for a year and a half without bothering to moisturize my hair. mind you, i started off at Collarbone length, and i wasn’t particularly trying to grow my hair out. i could have cared less because at the time i wasn’t focused on length at all. by the time the year and a half was up, i… Read more »
BrinkyDinks
Guest
I kind of agree with this. I first went natural in 2007, and I shaved off all my hair and didn’t bother with “proper” hair care. I wasn’t moisturizing or sleeping with anything on my hair, wasn’t getting it trimmed. My diet was a little bad as well. But after I relaxed my hair again because my grandma wanted me to, my hair was fine. No single strand knots, my ends were even, I retained all of my length. So I do agree some people make natural hair more difficult than what it needs to be.
Geniece
Guest

My hair sometimes feels dry but if I’m moisturizing it regularly and not using heat I know it’s not going to result in breakage. Kinky fine textured hair can ‘feel’ moisturized. My hair will feel this way. But a few days after wash day it feels dry even though I’m caring for the ends. It’s just a characteristic of my hair

Lynn
Guest

You may also want to try the baggy method. This focuses soley on the ends of your hair. It’s just a plastic sandwich baggy filled with your fav conditioner & oils, place the ends of your hair in the baggy, secure it w/ a ponytail holder, and a nylon knee high. Some ladies use this method to give their ends a little extra TLC. Hope this helps 🙂

Loo
Guest
Geniece is one of my favorite youtubers! :o) I’m a 4abcxyz … a type I made up. My hair largely consists of 4b/4c strands mixed in with other stuff. Protective styling has been my ticket to retaining length as a natural when it is done right (i.e., styles not kept in for too long). I also like protective styling for the simplicity and the overall look. Twists and braids are so elegant to me. That being said, I agree that 4b/4c’s are not limited to only protective styles. There are a couple natural youtubers who have reached waistlength while incorporating… Read more »
Jhae
Guest

Do you mean Reniece? I tried to look Geniece up I couldn’t find anything. I’m always looking for good channels to follow 🙂

O0oro0O
Guest

Geniece = sunshower143 on you tube ^^ if I am not mistaking

Loo
Guest

Yep, sunshower143 on youtube. ;o)

Selah
Guest

I know that protective styling is best for me, but at the length that my hair (slightly longer than a twa but not a big ass afro) i don’t feel like i have many options available to me that are aesthetically pleasing to MY eye.

Dani
Guest

^^^^THIS.

I settle for twist-outs, or letting it shrink into a fro that’s easily half of my hair’s natural length. I don’t mind it — I’m enjoying my hair — but I don’t think my hair is long enough for days of one protective style, and I don’t plan on getting braids or twists with extra hair put in.

Geniece
Guest
When your hair is shorter the hair, at least in my experience, is relatively new, and can thrive in out style as long as it is treated gently and moisturized. When the hair gets older, around the 8 inch mark for me, that’s when the ends become more fragile. That hair is a little over a year old. By that point you have enough length to wear protective styles if you want to. I treated my hair like terribly (hangs head in shame) and it made it to the 8 inch mark. Year old hair is fairly resilient, relative to… Read more »
Lateefah
Guest
People like to say going natural is so much easier, but it has been even more tedious for me than maintaining a relaxer. I’ve come to accept that I probably will never get my hair to do what I want. I have been natural for 6 years, and I would not mind protective styles if they didn’t take so long. Are they effective? YES. Are they efficient? NOT REALLY. It takes me 4–5 hours to twist my hair. It’s right at that length that it’s long enough to do SOMETHING (suggestions???), but still too short to pull it into a… Read more »
merry
Guest

i wore my hair short for more than 10 years before i started to let it grow. it’s incredibly easy, esp. for someone who is not all the into hair.

Dolores
Guest

Actually, manipulating your hair less often helps you retain more length. As a result, you may retain more length by being “lazy” about your hair, lol! I know that twisting takes a long time, but you don’t have to do it. You might try doing french braids, cinnabuns, or “folded” hairstyles on loose hair. Use hair pins. Depending on your hair type, it may be easier if you stretch your hair first.

Nia
Guest

You don’t like locs?

Ronnie
Guest
I know what you mean about the relaxer. Comb and go. But I didn’t like the chemical application, the money spent and my hair not growing that well. Going natural is ALOT of work and it’s rough when your hair seems to take forever to retain length. I have four children, as well. Three of which are daughters with natural hair. They all have different hair textures. One has 3c curls and I do the Curly Girl method on her, which works best for her hair and it’s sort of quick and no-fuss. I do a combination of wash and… Read more »
paige
Guest

I am a 4b/4c as well its like nobody ever wants to admit to this texture.… I can barely find tutorials or reviews for this texture. I haven’t been retaining length either…I’m gonna try her method and find some styles and see how successful I can be.. I really only want 5 or 6 more inches…but I think I’ll only get it with ps’s . Thank you! For this story…it was very helpful!

O0oro0O
Guest

In french I’ll suggest these you tuber sometimes for hairstyle you don’t have to understand the language :

misscamaelle : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwJZgqkssl4&list=UU53Jz3H2ZkEEZFX5T084W3g&index=2&feature=plcp

g6ka01 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R218Do-nfDk&context=C4a6d661ADvjVQa1PpcFNdUKfnC96f8JfvU9pF23x-HX02UJXLlzk=

In english to me Sunshower143, African export, BlackOnyx77, ThePinupNoire or SimplYounique and Nikkimae2003 are 4b / 4c natural and you can find hairstyles, reviews and care on their channeland they are a other even if they don’t get 10 thousand of views 😉

Ronnie
Guest

I think Sera2544 and Cipriana from Urban Bush Babes rep 4b/4c naturals very well. They both give great tips and they both have waist-length to hip-length natural hair.

O0oro0O
Guest
I do protective styles mostly twist because I like it and I’ve figured out that when my hair is out I am lazy and I’m prone to neglect it. While in twist I take better care of it plus it makes life easier and to be honest like I said in Geniece post I wanted to be able to do braided / twisted hairstyles with my own hair when I decided to let it extensions and weave free etc.. lHair is healthy and I’m able to retain length and when I want I do enjoy braid out or twist out.… Read more »
Lela7
Guest

I have actually come to hate protective styling because I’ve been doing it so long, but as a 4a/4b/4c — I don’t really have a choice if I want to retain length.

AH
Guest

I don’t care for hair typing, but I guess I fall in the 4b area. I don’t do “protective styles.” My hair has grown, or as they say has “retained length” (I honestly hate that phrase) just fine. I wear twists for a few days after washing and that’s it. Otherwise it’s a puff or a fro. Sometimes I’ll try a different style, but I have poor hairstyling skills. So no, I don’t believe protective styling is for everyone. It really doesn’t suit me or my personal style.

mangomadness
Guest

My hair retains length regardless of style. I wear braid-outs and buns (sock buns and cinnabuns). I wear my hair out more often than not and rock a bun when I feel like it. I like buns because they’re simple, quick, cute and get my hair out of my face.

Keeping my hair stretched and moisturized, my scalp clean and detangling gently are key to retaining length for me. That and paitence.

Suburban Soulgirl
Guest

I’m a 4c and the only thing that works for my hair is locks. As much as I’d like to have a long, loose ‘fro, my hair is just too thick and coarse for me to mess with like that.

LBell
Guest
I appreciate the overall post, but I want to address several things related to the post’s title, the URL text (which uses the word “doomed”…really??) and the question at the end. First off, why are protective styles “limiting”? There are so many different and creative ways to wear them (YouTube, anyone?). Believe it or not, some women wear protective styles not because they’re desperately trying to hang onto every inch of length, but because they ENJOY them. They can be creative, elegant, fun, and everything in between. Rather than seeing them as some kind of consolation prize, and feeling inferior… Read more »
Eboni
Guest
+1,000,000 about EVERYTHING LBell said. I installed yarn braids 2 weeks ago (second set this year) and I’m definitely appreciating the time spent doing other things like oh I don’t know…studying! hehe! But seriously despite how much I love my hair, it’s certainly beneficial to give it a break from the excessive manipulation of styling every week. I’m absolutely enjoying the versatility of my yarn braids! So no I don’t find protective styling frustrating. I’ve always worn braids more frequently than perms (even when I was relaxed) and my hair grew best that way, and STILL does. I guess I’m… Read more »
Lela7
Guest
But some of us do feel a bit ‘doomed’ by them! The only protective style that seems to work for me is cornrows under a wig. I’m starting to hate my wig, but there is no other style that lasts as long as this one. Also, my hair is dense but not as dense or long enough to protective styles that look nice and can be kept in for weeks on end. Just because we moan about aspects of our hair doesn’t mean we feel inferior. You’re the one who is saying that, no one else. You spoke about pros… Read more »
meme
Guest

+1 this isn’t about “self hating“or comparing,ust facts.

juicy
Guest
I sooo agree. I dont understand why ppl see protective styling as bondage. I love my hair most when it is some cute updo or bun or cornrows or flattwists. Before i knew the term ‘protective styles’ thats just how i have always loved my hair. The caucasion kids i teach are like can you do that to my hair. you are so lucky. The black kids are like “Ms. your hair is always so cute, you change it so much” protective styling is versatile and can take anywhere from 5 minutes to sixteen hours. Its up to that person… Read more »
Dolores
Guest

Great comments.

Marcia
Guest

I find the need for protective styling having more to do with whether your hair is thick stranded or fine, the actually curl your seems less important. The finer the strand more prone to breakage from manipulation therefore the increased need for low manipulation or protective styles.

anastasia
Guest

I agree Marcia.

I have very very fine wiry 4abc..z hair and protective styling is a must for me if I want to retain these lovely fibers. Furthermore, I exercise like a mad-woman and sweat like a fugitive (seriously, its ridiculous), so I actually have to rinse, condition, and seal my hair daily (sometime 2x/day)so protective styles (2-strand twist and/or flat twist combos)are my only option. Fortunately for me, I love to rock a twist updo! Nevertheless, I STILL wish my hair was thicker, LOL!

anastasia
Guest
Oh, just in case I was unclear: I rinse, place leave-in, and seal (co-wash mid week,leave-in,and seal) all in twist. Every week or every two weeks, depending on what my hair, scalp, and syle is telling me, I take down twist to remove shed hairs etc and restyle. All of this is done as gently as possible. Y’all my hair is kinky=) I certainly have no qualms in rockin’ a gilda from time to time to keep my hair protected and to give me a break in terms of being concerned about the style or look of my twist(ie. keeping… Read more »
Moglet
Guest

I just had to chime in to agree so wholeheartedly! I have fine 4bc hair and I would have absolutely no hair if didnt do protective styles. As is it I continue to experience breakage and have never gotten past shoulder length. I also exercise a lot and swim once a week and more than every 2 — 4 weeks styling would not fit into my lifestyle. These forums and youtube are wonderful for advice but ultimately you have to listen to your hair and do what works for you.

anastasia
Guest
Moglet I completely get what you’re saying. I love myself some YT and hair blogs, but ultimately, I had to come to understand my own head of hair. I had to stop using my beloved braid extensions too, b/c they simply prevented me from learning what my hair desires in order to thrive. It’s funny though b/c ‘protective styles’ were the NORM for all so-called ‘races’ or ethnicities for ages (jsut take a look at old photos, movies, etc). This is certainly a leap in logic, but it seems that the recent norm of having hair loose for the majority… Read more »
Crist
Guest

love this

sosoulful_0125
Guest
I have been natural for 4 years and for the most part I wore my hair out in twist outs although my hair looks beautiful and I get many compliments but I noticed so much damage on my ends. I started reading about the benefits of protective styling and decided to give it a try.….what is the worst that can happen? What I try to do is for the week Monday-Thursday wear my hair in a protective style. Friday and Saturday I wear my hair out and Sunday is wash day. Although it’s been only three weeks I can definately… Read more »
shanna
Guest
I recently texlaxed for this very reason. I not only have type 4 hair but it is also fine textured and low density. This means that it is even harder to maintain length. Short hair looks bad on me so to grow it, I had to do protective styling, however, protective styles don’t look good on me either. I have like 70% shrinkage so I stretch it so it falls in a flattering way. The styles that looked good on me, I can’t really do because I teach hot yoga. I am constantly sweating in a humid room so twist… Read more »
anastasia
Guest

I hear ya, nobody likes scalpy twist =(. But, I certainly have ‘em! I find parting my hair certain ways and varying the twist size (since updo anyway, like a french-twist)creates less of a scalpy look.

Sunshine certainly has a thick head of hair, so I get it. Glad you found something that works for you. Hot yoga teacher-that’s awesome!

anastasia
Guest

oops-sunshower143

Krystal
Guest

Shanna, my hair sounds a lot like yours; I feel your pain!

tash
Guest
Omg. I flat ironed my shoulder length hair a year ago and quite a few pieces of hair did not revert back. I finally gave in and cut those pieces. It hurt so bad…3 inches of hair in various spots. I left enough for me to wear in a bun. With this said my very very fine 4a/4b hair grows best when I dont touch it. Braids/weaves really work well but they aren’t so good for my edges. I definitely don’t want to go back to relaxers but I never thought that natural hair would be as hard to keep… Read more »
anastasia
Guest

I also learned a trick from Carmen on naturalsistas on YT to not unravel twists all the way to the end. It definitely gives you more body/volume”

Oooo, thicker looking updo’s here I come!

Nice tip! thanks for sharing =)

tash
Guest

This is my Bantu Knotout that Carmen from naturalsistas did on YouTube. The trick is not to rake them completely loose. It’s really good for fine hair.

Deandra Ogilvie
Guest
im 19yrs and i am just starting to take care of my hair.. summer time is the only time i wear protective styles because my hair is hard to maintain with the humidity. When i take out my hair from my protective style i realized “hey my hair grew longer” So last summer i wore protective style for summer, fall, and half of winter, and you wouldn’t believe how fast my hair grew it has more length and its healthier. So i believe that for some people protective hair style is just about the best way to gain length at… Read more »
hyspin
Guest
Yes I must admit I am bored as hell of protective styles which I consider updos only, buns are disqualified do to the breakage they cause from the elastic and clips if done too often for long periods. I consider twists and braids low manipulation styles, more twists because I can do it an forget it. I think I might move on to extensions. This solves my problem of protective styling, low manipulation styling and having a style I actually want. My ends are protected, I don’t have to worry about styling my hair in the morning especially if I… Read more »
Krystal
Guest
I agree. I wore wigs for a year because I was tired of protective styling, and what I call the “librarian look.” My hair is fine, and I don’t have the volume for some of those outstanding styles that I see. My hair tends to get frizzy and I have a small head, so when I have my hair tucked away, I have a little beany head. I also have tons of shrinkage, so no matter what I do with my hair, no matter how long it grows, it looks scalpy and thin, unless it’s in an out style, which… Read more »
anastasia
Guest

LOL, “The librarian look”- I say that all the time to my husband (but, “naughty librarian” 😉

Dawn
Guest

whoa there, now! lol

anastasia
Guest

LOL =D Gotta keep it spicy, LOL!

shanna
Guest

Be careful with the extensions. I had those but my hair underneath wasn’t getting enough love so it caused damage. If you have fine textured or low density hair like me, I would invest in a good natural wig. It will set you back 300–800 bucks but you can take it on and off so you can take care of the hair underneath.

Amayou
Guest

to be honest I hate putting in Protective style, but I love it once they are in, takes no time to get ready in the morning :-)I can be a bit lazy when it comes to my hair.

lillian mae
Guest

Protective styling has worked for length retention thoroughout my transition. The styles work for me since I like wearing my hair out of my face, they save time in the morning and I achieve moisture retention as well. I’m sure after my BC, I will continue the practice…though I do live for the weekend when I can let out all hang out 🙂

Tiffany
Guest

I wish I was better at the protective styles for my 4b hair. I get so frustrated I ended up with twists or a bun. I need to find someone to actually teach me how to do it, not just from videos.

Peace, Love and Chocolate,
Tiffany

merry
Guest

protective styling is a relief for me because i don’t always like doing hair.

but, i’m not someone who gets bored with hair and has the need to change it all of the time.

i sometimes wear it out during the weekend though.

zyaran
Guest

I think protective styles are great for my 4b hair. It’s really thick and coarse and loves to soak up products. I keep my hair styled with medium twists/twistouts and mini-twists, along with afro puffs with flat twists in the front.
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Sue
Guest

I just don’t obsess over my hair and it grows. I think people need to relax more and not obsess over every strand.

Dananana
Guest

You may just have an easy time growing hair. For those of us that don’t, it’s devastating to crave a certain hair length only to fall short (literally) time and time again. Try to understand us obsessive types 😀

chanzii1
Guest
I grew to love protective styles!I have to say that i love getting up in the morning and my hair is done ! At the lenght where my hair is at i don’t feel like messing with it too much because i am in the in between phase and it gets me fustrated at times… I rather have my hair in a protective style than out! Just because i found that it is less work for me! I am not really the kind to really experiment with hairstyles i guess that it’s because i am satisfied with my twist and… Read more »
Geniece
Guest

Same here. In addition to retention it just makes getting up and going in the morning so easy. When I put in my mini twists I call it a 4 week hair vacation. LOL. When your hair get fairly long you appreciate protective styles all the more because they are so EASY.

Amija
Guest

I’m a year and half natural and I don’t know how people with type 4 wear their hair out. For me it’s really time consuming. And I better not go to sleep without plaiting it up. I already know that protective styling is a must. I do get sick of it, but I save my good stuff for the weekend and special occasions.

HelloKitty
Guest

Does anyone have any protective styling suggestions? If I want to see growth, I have to protect it. If I choose to leave my hair in braids then it will grow so fast and long. But I hate braids. I don’t feel glamorous in braids. I want something else.

Vonne
Guest

I’m surprised by these comments. I guess I’m on my own because I love protective styles. CharyJay (YouTube channel 160Days2lose2) does some of the best hairstyles I’ve seen.

I don’t like doing protective styles with fake hair (mircobraids, yarn twists) as they seem to do more harm that good. But I love flat twist, and various up-dos with my own natural hair. I only wear my hair loose a few days a month.

shanna
Guest

CharyJay has thick hair that looks great in protective styles. Everybody doesn’t have hair like that.

Addi
Guest
I’ve been natural since I was 10. I have fine, mostly 4a hair which can be trying at times. There’s some 4b in the center and unexpected 3s by my ears and in the back. My bread and butter is a protective style : ) My fav is two strand twists w/ additional hair added. I take my braids out every 2–2.5 months. When my braids are in, once in a while, I rub my scalp with a cotton swab and a bit of Sea Breeze remove buildup. Other than that, I do nothing to it. Once the braids are… Read more »
CuteKinks
Guest

I do NOT like protective styling. My mom kept my hair braided, I would say 90% of the time, prior to me getting my first relaxer. I tried to do the whole protective styling thing but I love wearing my hair out. After keeping it braided constantly for the first 12 years of my life, then being a slave to the hair salon for another 10 years…My hair just screams to be free lol.

vanisha
Guest

I love my hair big so i wear it in an afro like 90% of the time… and i have plenty of length

Ronnie
Guest
The number one issue I have with protective styles is the potential for receding, thinning, and breakage from updo’s buns, cornrows, over-twisting, weaves, braid extensions, etc. I see many naturals with this problem or naturals with the beginnings of this problem. Loosely pinned up hairstyles are better for protective styling — for example, Cipriana from Urban Bush Babes. However, even though I personally love her hairstyles, those avantgarde styles may not be within everyone’s aesthetic. I still don’t think it’s necessary to wear buns, cornrows, flat-twists, twists to retain length. Two of my daughters are natural and they wear their… Read more »
Lu
Guest
Never really tried this before but here goes nothing: I have been natural since I was 11 yrs old. I only started going natural the “right” way about 3 years ago. My hair is about collarbone length. This is the first time in my life I felt my hair touch my shoulder (I was that kid with the really short hair that came up to the ear, maybe the chin. You know, the one with the project ponytail hair piece that if you snatched off, only a millimeter of hair would be sticking out on the other end of the… Read more »
Shan
Guest
This happens to me when I mini twist my hair. The last time I did them I could just feel the hair tearing when I was taking them out and ended up cutting off an inch just to start fresh. It was combination of my hair not being fully detangled before I started and borrowing hair from the other twist when one side ran low (not sure if that makes sense but checkout Naptural85’s minitwist series on Youtube, she talks allll about it). So now I just do bigger twists because its quicker and less deadly to my ends. For… Read more »
curious kinks
Guest

I go protective styling for my 4C hair mostly due to the weather, dry climate and ease. I’m the kind of person who rushes out the door every morning. so having to style my hair in a particular style would require that I wake up earlier. Also, my hair tends to snap and tangle a lot with a lot of manipulation, so weekly styling works best!
curiouskinks.blogspot.com

kia
Guest

I do protective styles like twist outs and braid outs every 2 weeks but if im lazy then it might be longer .…I remember when my hair was shorter and within a year it grew long and i was only wearing twists which i think work better for my hair than braid outs and other styles…plus my hair grows better the longer i’m in between washes meaning i guess less manipulation lol this pic was from a year ago i big chopped in 10′
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Picture0035.jpg[/img]

ari
Guest

lol i think ur my long lost twin. when i manipulate my hair it looks exactly like ur hair, but i’m hyper lazy and wear a fro 24/7 😉

Shan
Guest
My hair tangles up so fast when its out (even in a bun) and is so fine that no matter how gentle I am during detangling it breaks and knots either way. Thus protective styling is the best thing I can do for my hair just to keep manipulation low and for me it only makes sense. Not touching my hair=no breakage=more length. I’m still searching for a PS that I really really like, most of them just look matronly and bland on me so I do them purely to get my hair to my goal length (mid back someday).… Read more »
CocoPuff
Guest
I’m 4c,and this past year was my first my at college, and I was away from home, so I did kinky twists to keep from having to do my hair all the time. After I took them out and pre pooed it, I had very little breakage when I washed it and even now. I have damaged ends from coloring but I cut those as I see it. I guess because at the moment, I’m more concerned about healthy hair, the length will come eventually. I generally go with a twist/twistout style because I love the way that both frame… Read more »
Hadiya
Guest

I end up having to do protective styles because I run/work/exercise a lot, and it simply isn’t practical for me to run around with my hair out. It’s really frustrating. My hair gets dry too. My hair is in a bun almost all of the time. I’ve heard that it is bad for your ends/hair, but I don’t have any other options. Anyone else in this boat?

Thanks. C:

Taylor
Guest

I feel like I’m gonna go bald before I settle in to a regimen and find a fitting protective style :/

annnsow
Guest
Hello I just want to tell you that it’s one of the best article I’ve read about 4C hair types until now because you are really straightforward and sincere regarding the 4C type’s problems. Yes, I have 4C hair I believe, and I hate protective styles but that’s what works the best for me. 1 month of protective style and you clairly see the difference in my hair. Actually, my hair grow pretty fast even when they’re breaking, as long as I do protective style (twist outs is definitely not protective for me, it breaks them so much and doens’t… Read more »
Carol Omara
Guest

Hi.

I’m trying to purchase the basic hair food and can’t get it in South Africa. Please advise what shops I can get them from. I am having problems with my hairline and need urgent help to restore it, I wear my hair in a lace wig so as to grow it up to a certain length and then wear it out. Please advise on the product for my hairline, I’m a 4B…

Khanyi-gee
Guest

Hi I know what may work for you, please inbox me for more details I’m in Joburg email ska28gal@gmail.com

Ugh
Guest
I went natural at 17… Having turned 19 and realizing that I really haven’t gone past shoulder length in the past year is really frustrating. I just hate to think that I have to spend so much money and time putting them in, taking them out, not to mention transportation to get to where I’m getting them done… It almost frustrates me to the point of tears since I’m incapable of braiding my own hair (effectively) and my mom refuses to help me. Being Black is starting to feel like a real chore (I grew up in California. Lot of… Read more »
Khanyi-gee
Guest
I’m so sorry that you have to feel this way, I would be lying if I say I didn’t ever have the same feelings like this before I learnt how to take care of my 4C borderline 4Z hair now with more familiriarity with my hair comes confidence and I am at that point that I say I have GOOD HAIR because I do! Don’t loose hope you were not created with the wrong hair type or colour for that matter the fact that you are mostly only amongst straight hair folks to me would be an opportunity to flaunt… Read more »
Gugu
Guest

Ugh, I feel your pain. Braiding my own hair is also difficult and ends up being a tedious task, frankly. May I suggest what I have been trying and it has proven better, double strand twists. I’ve learned by watching YouTubers to create styles that can last up to four weeks. Don’t dispair just yet, there’s a lot of help out there. Best of luck.

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