In the natural hair community, you hear lots of people throwing around the term “protective style”. This term has been attached to some pretty damaging styles so let’s break down what needs to be taking place to qualify.
Condition 1- Moisture is not being rapidly drained from the hair. Synthetic hair and wood products wick away moisture from your hair.
Condition 2- The hair is not being pulled at unsafe tension levels. Pulling hair too tightly in braids can cause the hair to fall out in the high stress areas.
Condition 3- There is not a daily duty to constantly re-style and manipulate using heat or a comb. Excessive flat ironing or combing around edges of weaves for “blending” purposes leaves your hairline still in jeopardy.
We spent a little time on YouTube this weekend and noticed that there were some tight twists, mock locs, yarn wraps and weaves being labeled as protective styles. It’s not so much that they were incorrectly labeled, as they were not accompanied with the level of information that a newbie DIY hair Diva needs to know. Moisture regimens as well as how long to keep a particular style with a particular medium (fabrics, synthetic hair, etc.) were all missing from some of the Kitchmatology tutorials.
By no means are we saying stay away from, weaves, braids or wraps. We are saying remember why you’re getting the style in the first place. There may be instances that you have a style that you need to achieve for a certain occasion and in many of those cases you won’t keep the style for long. But if you are seeking a protective style for the purpose of giving your hair a rehabilitative break, keep in mind the points listed above. Remember you want to send your hair on vacation, not a work trip.
We love the style posted above by the way! Versatile, extremely low maintenance, and hair is available to be thoroughly moisturized.
As usual, ask questions when things stop making sense. Enjoy!
- 5 Tips for Getting Professionally Braided Extensions in Natural Hair (jaylabastien.com)
- Natural Hair – Protective Style #1 (lovelyyoublog.com)
- The Importance of Hair Moisture (ultraimportsproduct.wordpress.com)
- Natural hair does not mean unmaintained hair (pinklilliesandbg.com)