Protective hairstyles are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reasons – they are low-maintenance and can help protect your hair from damage. If you’re looking for information on protective hairstyles, you’ve come to the right place! This article will discuss everything you need to know about protecting your hair from damage. We’ll cover everything from why protective hairstyles are essential to the different types of protective styles available. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to choose a style that’s perfect for you!
What is a Protective Hairstyle?
A protective hairstyle is any style that helps protect your hair from damage.
The ends of our hair are the oldest and most vulnerable part, so it’s essential to take extra care of them.
Wearing your hair loose all the time can lead to split ends and breakage, but protective hairstyles can help prevent this.
Such hairstyles can range from simple styles like braids and buns to more complex types like weave extensions.
An important thing to remember is that protective styling is not just for natural hair – it can be beneficial for all hair types and lengths.
The Top 7 Benefits of Wearing Protective Hairstyles
You might want to consider wearing a protective hairstyle for many reasons. Protective styles can help:
#1. Help your hair grow longer and stronger
Has your hair been the same length despite not getting a significant haircut in years?
Protective hairstyles can help your hair grow longer by giving your ends a much-needed break.
While a protective style will not increase your hair growth rate, it can help your hair reach its full-length potential by reducing breakage.
It is especially beneficial if you have damaged hair or are trying to grow out your hair from a previous haircut.
#2. Keep your hair healthy and moisturized
Protective styles can also help keep your hair healthy and moisturized.
When your hair is in a protective style, it is less likely to become dry and brittle from environmental factors like wind and sun exposure.
Dryness and brittleness are two common causes of breakage, so keeping your hair moisturized can reduce the risk of damage.
Protective styles can also help seal moisture and prevent your hair from becoming frizzy.
If you have trouble keeping your hair moisturized, consider using a leave-in conditioner or oil treatment before styling your hair.
#3. Prevent damage from heat styling tools
Protective hairstyles can help shield your hair from damage caused by heat styling tools, such as curling irons and hair straighteners.
Since you won’t use these tools as often, your hair will have a chance to recover from any heat damage it may have sustained.
It also prevents further breakage and split ends.
#4. Reduce the amount of time you spend on your hair
Protective styles can save you time in the morning, as you’ll have fewer things to style. They also reduce the heat and styling products you may need for your hair.
It is beneficial if you have lots of hair and thus, requires a lot of time to style it.
Protective styles can also last for weeks, meaning you won’t have to style your hair as often.
They can give your hair a much-needed break from all the heat and styling products daily.
#5. Provides variety without the permanence
Protective styles offer a great way to change your look without making a permanent change.
If you’re tired of your current style, you can take it out and try something new.
Protective styles are also a good option if you’re not ready to commit to a particular hairstyle.
You can experiment with different styles and colours without making a long-term commitment.
#6. Reduce the chances of tangles and knots
Protective styles can also help reduce the chances of tangles and knots.
When your hair is in a protective style, it is less likely to become tangled and matted.
The hair is not as exposed to environmental factors like wind and friction.
Tangles and knots are more likely to occur when your hair is loose and unprotected.
By wearing your hair in a protective style, you can keep it healthy and free from tangles and knots.
#7. Prevent damage from chemical treatments
Protective hairstyles can also help shield your hair from damage caused by chemical treatments, such as relaxers and colourants.
By wearing your hair in a protective style, you can reduce the time these chemicals are in contact with your hair.
It will help minimize any damage they may cause.
How to Maintain Your Protective Hairstyles
Now that you know all the benefits of protective hairstyles, you may be wondering how to maintain your style.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your hair healthy and looking its best:
#1. Wash your hair regularly
Aim to wash your hair every two weeks or so.
If you have a lot of build-up, you may need to wash it more often.
Be sure to use a mild shampoo and conditioner to avoid stripping your hair of its natural oils.
#2. Keep your hair moisturized
Contrary to popular belief, you can still moisturize your hair while it’s in a protective style.
Be sure to use a light oil or leave-in conditioner to keep your scalp and hair hydrated.
You may also want to spritz your hair with water every day to help ensure it doesn’t become too dry.
#3. Wear your hair in loose styles
During the installation of your protective style, be sure not to pull or tug on your hair too much.
It can cause damage and breakage.
Try to avoid tight hairstyles that pull on your hair while wearing the style.
Keeping your hair in loose styles will help minimize the tension on your scalp and hair.
#4. Be gentle when removing your style
When it’s time to remove your protective style, do it gently.
Take your time to avoid damaging your hair.
Start by loosening the style with your fingers before using a comb to remove any knots.
Be sure to use a wide-tooth comb to avoid causing any breakage.
We shed about 100 strands of hair a day. And thus, after a protective style, you may notice an increase in shedding.
This extra shedding is normal; you should not be alarmed about it.
Shedding is a part of the hair growth cycle and is necessary for new hair growth.
Gently detangle and remove all shed hairs before washing to prevent them from tangling up your new growth.
Things to Avoid While Wearing a Protective Hairstyle
Just as there are things you should do to care for your hair while wearing a protective style, there are also things you should avoid.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
#1. Don’t leave your Protective Hairstyle in for too long
Although protective styles can be left in for weeks, it’s important not to leave them in for too long.
Leaving your hair in a style for more than eight weeks can cause breakage and damage.
#2. Avoid wearing the same style repeatedly
Repeatedly wearing the same style can cause damage to your hair.
Repeatedly wearing a tight hairstyle, such as a ponytail, can cause tension alopecia.
Repeated pulling or tension on the hair can cause this hair loss.
To avoid this, try to switch up your style every few weeks.
#3. Don’t install a new style immediately after removing an old one
If you plan on wearing a protective style for an extended period, give your hair a break in between styles.
After removing a protective hairstyle, give your hair a few days to recover before installing a new one.
Giving your hair a break allows you to assess the condition of your hair and scalp and make any necessary changes to your hair care routine.
It also allows your hair to breathe and relax before being put into another style.
#4. Don’t neglect your scalp
It’s important to remember that your scalp needs just as much attention as your hair.
When caring for your hair in a protective style, massage your scalp regularly with an oil or leave-in conditioner.
It will help keep your scalp healthy and prevent dryness, itchiness, and flaking.
10 of the Best Protective Hairstyles
There are many protective hairstyles, so finding one right for you can seem daunting. But don’t worry – we’re here to help!
Here are some of the most popular protective styles:
#1. Box braids
Box braids are one of the most popular protective styles.
They are created by braiding the hair close to the scalp in small boxed sections.
Box braids can be left in for weeks and are low-maintenance. They are versatile, and you can style them in many different ways.
#2. Slip-on Protective Styles (Wigs, Headwraps, etc.)
Wigs, headwraps, and other slip-on protective styles are perfect for those who don’t have the time or patience to style their hair daily.
They are also a good option for those with sensitive scalps or who want to give their hair a break from styling.
Slip-on styles can be worn for a few days or weeks and quickly removed and put on.
Ponytails are a classic style that you can dress up or down.
They’re also one of the most effortless styles to do, making them perfect for busy ladies on the go.
Ponytails are easy to create, and you can style them in many different ways.
Buns are another versatile and easy-to-style option.
They can be worn in and out of the gym and styled in many different ways. Buns are also a good option for those with sensitive scalps or who want to give their hair a break from styling.
#5. Sew-in Weaves
Sew-in weaves are popular for those who want to add length or fullness to their hair.
They are also a good option for those with sensitive scalps or who want to give their hair a break from styling.
Sew-in weaves are easy to take care of, and you can leave them in for weeks.
#6. Twist Out
A twist-out is a style created by twisting damp hair in small sections.
Once the hair is twisted, it can be left to air dry or styled with a diffuser.
Twist-outs are easy to do and can be worn in and out of the gym. They are versatile, and you can style them in many different ways.
Cornrows are a type of protective style that involves braiding the hair close to the scalp in rows.
Cornrows can be left in for weeks and, like box braids, are low-maintenance.
When installing cornrows, use a wide-tooth comb to avoid damaging your hair.
#8. Crochet braids
Crochet braids are a type of protective style that involves adding synthetic hair to the natural hair using a crochet needle.
Crochet braids are quick and easy to install, and you can wear them for weeks at a time.
They are also versatile, and you can style them in many different ways.
#9. Bantu knots
Bantu knots are small, tight knots created by twisting and wrapping small sections of hair around itself.
Bantu knots can be left in for a few days or weeks at a time and are an excellent option for those with shorter hair.
They are also relatively low-maintenance.
#10. Faux Locs
Faux locs are a type of protective style that involves adding synthetic hair to the natural hair to create the appearance of dreadlocks.
Faux locs can be worn for weeks and are relatively low-maintenance.
If you like the look of dreadlocks but don’t want to commit to the long-term care required, then faux locs are a great option for you.
FAQs on Protective Hairstyles
Do protective hairstyles help hair grow?
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that protective hairstyles help hair grow.
The rate of hair growth is genetic and varies from person to person. However, on average, hair grows at about half an inch per month.
Protective styles can help prevent breakage and split ends, making hair appear healthier and fuller.
Can protective hairstyles damage hair?
If not installed correctly, certain types of protective hairstyles can damage hair.
For example, tight braids and cornrows can cause traction alopecia, a hair loss caused by excessive pulling on the hair.
It is essential to consult with a professional stylist to ensure that your protective style is installed correctly and will not damage your hair.
How often should you wash your hair when wearing a protective style?
The general rule of thumb is to wash your hair once every two weeks when wearing a protective style.
However, if your scalp becomes oily or itchy, you may need to wash your hair more frequently.
When washing your hair, use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to avoid damaging your hair.
Who should use protective hairstyles?
Anyone can use protective hairstyles, but they are especially beneficial for those with natural and relaxed hair.
Protective styles help keep the hair moisturized and prevent damage from everyday styling.
They are also a good option for those who want to give their hair a break from styling or who have sensitive scalps.
What are some of the most popular protective hairstyles?
The most popular protective hairstyles include slip-on styles (wigs, headwraps, etc.), ponytails, buns, sew-in weaves, twist-outs, cornrows, crochet braids, Bantu knots, and faux locs.
How long can you wear a protective hairstyle?
You can wear most of the protective styles for a few days or weeks at a time.
Sew-in weaves and faux locs are the exceptions – you can wear them for months.
Taking breaks from protective styles is essential, as leaving them in for too long can lead to scalp irritation and damage to the hair.
How do you care for a protective hairstyle?
It is essential to take care of your hair while wearing a protective style.
Be sure to wash and condition your hair regularly to remove product build-up.
It is also important to moisturize your hair and scalp to prevent dryness and breakage.
Ask your stylist for advice on caring for your protective style if you have any questions.
Protective hairstyles are a great way to protect your hair from damage, keep it healthy and retain length.
They are also versatile, and you can wear them in many different ways.
Ask your stylist about protective hairstyles if you’re looking for a new style.