Hair Ramble: Long Vs.Short Term Protective Styles

Hair Ramble: Long Vs.Short Term Protective Styles


Hair Ramble I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and planning about what I want to do with my hair next now that we are in the FINAL week of our L4LPSC. *cue crowd cheer!*  On one hand, as I told you I have started missing my hair!  I’m ready to do a length check, see and feel my hair, run my fingers through it, etc.  For me, there is a difference between “regular” protective styles such as buns and updos and “hidden” protective styles like braids, weaves and wigs.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages so I thought I’d share my opinions with you.

Regular Protective Styles: buns, updos, french rolls

  • Require re-styling daily or at the very least a few times per week.
  • Allows you to see and feel your hair
  • Low Manipulation

Hidden (long term) Protective Styles: wigs, weaves, braids, kinky/Senegalese twists

  • Quick, easy, out-the-door style
  • Best length retention
  • No Manipulation
  • Take down can be tedious

I prefer long-term protective styles because I love wigs and weaves.  They allow me to feel like my hair is “done” and glamorous while protecting my hair.  Long-term protective styles require very little time and energy to maintain.  On the other hand, once my excitement about my wig/weave wears off they leave me with a sense of missing MY hair!  Also, the takedown of long-term protective styles can be tedious and even problematic if you are not careful and patient.

Now, short term protective styles like buns and updos are nice for protecting your hair for a few days at a time and still give you the versatility of being able to let your hair down when you get tired of having it protected.  However, they require regular styling and maintenance and are not as great for long stretches (not applicable for naturals).

So…as we come to the end of our challenge I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next.  I have lots of weave that I am anxious to wear, but at the same time I need a chance to fling my hair around my shoulders just a bit!  So I think what I’m going to do is…relax my hair next week and wear it for a couple of weeks to a month. Wrap it.  Rollerset it.  Pincurl it.  Flexirod it.  Whatever my lil hard desires!  Then I plan to wig and weave it right back up for the summer.  Honestly, aside from wanting to wear the hair I have, I am really ready to get over this APL-BSL hump I’ve been stuck in for the past couple of years.  I reach it but then have a setback…reach it again…and another setback!  Well, I’m ready to hide til I finally HIT it.  I think I’ll rotate with a week or two of wearing my hair out, half and u-part wigs don’t cause as much stress to my hair and will allow me to have a “break” when I need to.  By the fall, I have no doubt that I will definitely be full BSL.  So, that’s my plan.  I think it is a really good one, I think I’ll enjoy my weave and the breaks in between will provide the perfect balance.  Okay…enough rambling!

What are your plans after the challenge ends?



  • As much as I’ve missed wearing my hair down, I will probably go into braids or twists. They last much longer (well, 1 month lol) than my sew-in did, and I think they’re the best for summer. Plus, they’re easier to wash. But first, a good flat iron and trim. If I maintain my length, I’m seeing BSL by October 🙂 *fingers crossed*

    • I am considering some “Poetic Justice” braids for a month over the summer as well…it’s been a while since I’ve worn braids. I’m hoping for BSL by the end of the year also – c’mon girl we can make it!

  • BeautifulMe

    I will be hiding my hair for the rest of the year except for special occasions.

    • I really WANNA do the same, but I think I’m going to need 2 week breaks every two months or so. But that should still help me retain. I’ll be anxious to see/hear your progress, I’m sure you will retain a LOT of length!

  • Robyn Kleinhans

    I am planning to relax my hair and have a blow out done after this challenge ends, I haven’t been to a salon in almost a YEAR! After that I suspect that I would wear my hair out and swanging for a week or two and then put in some box braids to help me retain some serious length over the fall and winter months. When spring arrives, I want myself and the rest of the world to marvel at my progress, lol.

    • Whoo hooo! Salon visit! I’m thinking about braids for a month this summer too. Wait, is it fall/winter there? Let’s protect and grow girlie!

      • Robyn Kleinhans

        Yep, we’re in the middle of fall now. The days are still nice and warm but the evenings are getting chilly. Which also means I can whip out my boots!!! I am totally gonna protect and grow – if I can reach APL by the end of the year I would be ecstatic!!

  • Ana

    I’m ready to hide my hair to retain length, but I’ve read so many horror stories of weaves and braids, some of which I went through myself back then.
    I’m thinking of cornrows for a month while wearing a wig or probably some cornrows braids.
    Which long term protective style y’all think is best.