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What Are Protective Hair Styles?

Protective Style - Doughnut Bun

Protective Style - Doughnut Bun

Protective styles are styles that keep your ends shielded from the various weather elements (wind, rain, snow, sun, etc.). These styles require no direct heat and no additional manipulation of the hair outside of the original styling. If done correctly, protective styling can to help retain moisture, prevent split ends and breakage, and cause less stress to the hair from constant combing, brushing, and styling. These styles are particularly useful for people with shoulder length hair. Once the hair is shoulder length, the ends of the hair tend to brush against clothing which causes a great deal of breakage.

There are many benefits to wearing protective styles. One major benefit is healthier, longer hair. Hair is healthier and can grow longer due to the fact that the hair is protected and not manipulated daily. Another benefit is the ability to spend less time on the hair on a daily basis. Protective styles usually require one styling day and the styles usually last anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks. True protective styles can also result in a reduction of acne that often results from hair and hair products coming in contact with the face. Lastly, some people just enjoy the look and the variety of protective styling options.

True protective styles keep the ends completely hidden. Examples of these styling options include:

• Buns
• Weaves
• Wigs
• Braid Extensions
• Phony Ponies
• Tucked styles
• Bantu Knots

Some consider low manipulation styles protective as well. While these are not truly protective styles because the ends are often exposed, they do require no direct heat and little to no manipulation which results in healthier hair and greater hair retention. These styling options include:

• Twists
• Twist outs, Braid outs, Bantu Knot outs
• Braids
• Coils
• Shrunken Fro
• Rollersets
• Pinned Up Styles

It is important to remember that even protective styles can cause damage if not done correctly. It is vital to be very careful whenever handling your hair, even if you are only handling it every so often. Never pull the hair and pay close attention when detangling. Many protective styles, such as twists will require extensive detangling when it’s time to remove them.

Also, while buns are considered the ultimate protective style, there are some things to take into consideration when choosing this style. First, consider the length of your hair. If your hair is a length that the ponytail holder will sit on the ends of your hair, buns may not be the best style until the hair grows out more. Secondly, hair needs a break even when in a bun. Switch up the style every so often. At least, switch the location of the bun. Breakage can result if the bun is worn in the same location every time.

Protective styles are fantastic styling options and promote healthier, longer hair. They look great, are easy to create, and give us a break from daily hair styling.



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