L4L Protective Styling Challenge Official Rules & Prizes!

L4L protective styling challenge

I’ve already mentioned this Protective Styling Challenge, but this is the OFFICIAL announcement and rules! *cue crowd cheering sound bite*  I have given a LOT of thought on how exactly I wanted to host this challenge, so it is easy for you and also for me.  Originally you were going to HAVE to have a blog in order to participate, but I know there are so many readers who do not blog who would love to participate so I have worked it out so that everyone can participate!  It will be structured similarly to the previous L4L challenge (6 Month Rollersetting) with grand prize winners and mini-challenges.  So let me get right into the official rules…

L4L Protective Styling Challenge 2013

January 7 – April 15

Grand Prize:  Pebco Hooded Dryer (your choice of standing or tabletop) –  Open to bloggers

I’ve talked and raved about this dryer enough…its about time I gave one away!

L4L protective styling challenge prize

Winner will have their choice!

Gift Prize:  Your choice of wig (full, half, lace) or two packs of hair from Vivica Fox Hair (open to non-bloggers)

Human hair, synthetic, protein blend – straight, wavy, curly…your choice!!!

Sew in it, put it on, make a u-part wig, its all up to you!

How to Enter:

In order to be eligible for the grand prize, you must (1) Post your starting photo for the challenge on your blog and link on the first post of the challenge (which will be titled sign-up). (2)  Have either the L4L Button (found at the bottom of this site) and/or the official Protective Styling Badge posted to your blog. (3) Update monthly on your blog and link up here on the official update posts. (4) Post a final length/progress comparison to your blog at the conclusion of the challenge and link up here on L4L within a week of the end of the challenge.

So basically, blogger friends – you can simply update on your respective blogs and link up monthly here on L4L, which means you don’t have to send your photos to me separately.  Easy, right?  The linky tool I am using allows viewers to vote on your posts, which means that you will not have to wait on ME to post the final results! #SCORE!  So, you will want to be sure to get your posts up in a timely manner to be able to link up right away when my ending post goes live.  Once posted, viewers can vote on each participant based on retention, improvement, or whatever other criteria they deem important!

For the gift prize, non-bloggers, the commenting system I use, Disqus, allows you to upload photos along with your comment.  You will simply need to upload your starting and ending photos on the appropriate posts AND comment on the check-in posts in order to be entered for the gift prize.  The gift prize will not be subject to voting, winner will be chosen at random using Random.org.


So, in a nutshell bloggers will link up each month and non-bloggers will comment and upload photos.  Got it?  Okay, good…next part!

Monthly Mini Challenges:

January:  Instagram BEST BUN Hairstyle.

protective styling challenge

In order to enter, you must post a photo of your best bun protective hairstyle to your Instagram account must follow me @EbonyCPrincess and include both the official Longing 4 Length hashtag #L4LHair AND #L4LPSC.  Using both hashtags is like a backup system to ensure that I see your photo, to go a step further you may tag me in the caption (@EbonyCPrincess) but that is not a requirement.  Be sure that I am either already following you or that your account is not set to private because I will not be able to see unfollowed private accounts.  The photo with the most ‘likes’ will win.  The bun may be a repost from a previous style BUT it must be posted between January 7 -31; Voting will close January 31.  Winner will receive a bundle of protective styling tools (2 EZ Combs, Goody Spin Pins, Premium Bobby Pins and 1 Flexi 8 Barette).


L4L protective styling ideas

One of the problems many ladies have with protective styling is that it can feel boring and homely.  Having your hair out and down may feel more fun, more glamorous, sexier, prettier…but that isn’t always true!  Some updos and buns can be just as beautiful and sexy as long flowing hair.  For a bit of fun and inspiration, create some dressy protective styles and tweet your pic!  Your tweet must include the official Longing 4 Length hashtag #L4LHair AND #L4LPSC and follow me @ECPrincess1.  Again, it may be a repost from a previous style if you would like but the tweet must be sent between February 1-29; The L4L team will help me to pick the winner on March 1.  You may mention me in the tweet to ensure I see it (@ECPrincess1) but again this is not a requirement.  Winner will receive a bundle of hair accessories (standard headbands, hair braided headband, flower pins, jeweled accessories, and hair sticks).

March:  Facebook TOTALLY TWISTED

L4L Protective Styling Challenge

Twists are a go-to protective style for a lot of natural women but I challenge EVERYONE to get creative with a twisted hair do for this challenge.  It can be one large twisted roll updo, mini-twists, two strand twists, coil twists, twisted updos, twisted buns a combination of twists and braids – any way you would like to incorporate twists into the challenge you may.  To enter you must “like’ the L4L Facebook Page and upload your photo to Facebook and tag the Longing 4 Length Facebook page in the caption.  Same rule applies – photo must be uploaded (even if it is a reposted picture) during the month of March.  The photo with the most ‘likes’ at the end of the month wins.  Winner will receive bundle of Kerapro for Dry to Very Dry Hair (shampoo, deep conditioning treatment and elixir).

You may enter the mini-challenges as often as you would like – you can submit just one photo for the month or one per day, it is totally up to you.  I chose to do the mini-challenges this way for a couple of reasons:  Using various social media allows more people to participate, using the designated hashtags allows all of us to search for styling inspiration, and it seeing each other create fabulous protective styles will help keep us all motivated.  Lastly everyone is eligible to enter the mini-challenges, even if you miss the official sign up or update throughout the month.  I realize that some may not be able to provide a starting photo by January 7 or may be unable to give an ending photo in April – for example maybe you just had a weave sewn in and don’t plan on taking it down until the end of January.  Well, in February jump right into the Twitter challenge!  I want us to all stay connected and motivated throughout the challenge so feel free to use the official #L4LHair hashtag even on non-challenge entrance photos so we can all search and find each other throughout.


  • A protective style for purposes of this challenge is defined as any style in which your ends are not exposed or touching your clothing.  Buns, updos, french braids, french rolls, etc all count.
  • You may only wear your hair down for 7 days throughout the entire three months total!  Whether you choose to do one week, a couple of weekends or not at all – you only have a 7 day allowance.
  • Only one direct heat pass but try not to use it at all!
  • Protective styles means your ends must be hidden, so half up/half down ‘dos don’t count!
  • Must deep condition your hair at least two times per month.
  • You are not excluding from using fake hair – wigs, weaves, extensions, crochet braids, etc.

#L4LHair #L4LPSC

Follow the entire L4L Team  for updates and photo inspiration throughout the challenge!

Ebony (@EbonyCPrincess), Monet (@CurlsandMo), Roni (@ChicRoni), Kelly (@KellyMonroe_01)

The official sign up post will go up on January 1 giving you SEVEN WHOLE DAYS to link and sign up!

The L4L 2013 Protective Styling Challenge, you have one month to prepare – Who’s with me?!

Ebony C. Princess About Ebony C. Princess

A self proclaimed hair enthusiast and healthy hair advocate, Ebony C, Princess is the chief editor of Longing 4 Length. She shares her personal journey towards growing long, healthy hair while providing hair care tips and information.

  • Jonella Gordon

    I am sooo with you!!!

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

      *throws glitter and twirls!*

  • ghanaianemprezz

    I’m actually scared because I don’t keep to challenges.lol The challenge will help me adjust to my working life without having to deal with the hair for a while. I pray God grants me the ability to stay in this challenge till the end.

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

      You can DO IT! To answer your questions – the mini-challenges are within the main challenge but are not MANDATORY. You can choose to enter all, one, or none and still be eligible for the grand prize.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stepbystep831 McKenzie Stephanie

    I love this!! Can’t wait : )

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess


  • Robyn Kleinhans

    I’m so in!!! Was planning to weave or braid it up for at least the first 6 weeks and then to perfect my pin-ups and buns. And I sooooooo wanna try a Katniss braid for the twitter challenge! With regard to linking up, would it be sufficient to post one’s blog url when signing up? I’m IT stupid, smh, thus the clarification needed.

  • http://twitter.com/fancyflairlady Kim

    You already know I’m down. I’m excited!

  • Bebe H.

    I’m ready for this! Can’t wait anymore :)

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess


  • http://twitter.com/jnicole078 jnicole078

    I am ready, however I am a little bit worried about staying focused.

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

      You can do it!!! I have lots of “staying plugged in” things planned!

  • http://mbblife.com/ Britton

    I’m all OVER ths! ;-)

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess


  • sharaj

    Can ppl fr the Caribbean be eligible for prizes? an to enter?

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

      Everyone is eligible, however those who do not live in the US will be responsible for their own freight (to be explained further in tomorrow’s post).

  • JJ

    Here is the link to my official entry.

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

      :-) thank you so much, this will have to go on the entry post, but I should remember!

  • Me

    I’m confused, readers who do not blog do not have an opportunity to win the grand prize?

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

      Unfortunately not. In the last challenge keeping track of non-blogger photo entries was a very tedious and difficult task for me and it really wasn’t fair for me to take so long to get the posts up. However, readers who don’t blog have the opportunity to win other prizes and each mini-prize. Thanks for reading!

      • Me

        Not complaining, because I have a dryer; but this seems like a good opportunity to increase traffic to your site, but you only open it to your competitors, not general readers. Doesn’t make good business sense to me. If it were me, I’d create a page on the site where everyone can upload their photos for all to see and have people vote. Drive traffic to and select a winner at once. Win win. Maybe next time you can look into a plugin or programming for that. I guess the other bloggers carrying your button gets more views too, but people would spend a lot of time looking at all those progress pics. Good luck.

        • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

          Thank you for your input, I will definitely consider it for the future. However, I must make one thing clear – this challenge isn’t all about “business” for me nor do I view blogger friends as competition. I am all about community building and supporting each other so I had to choose the avenue that made it feasible for me to host a challenge without creating additional work for myself. Creating a page like you described would take me a lot of time to configure the HTML/CSS coding or I would have to pay someone so this was the best option. I appreciate your input but I wanted to be clear that the dryer isn’t a sponsored prize, I am purchasing it out of my pocket to give back to L4L supporters – its not a “business” move although there are plenty of things I do here that are.

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  • A.G.

    Can you still participate if you wear u-part wigs & have a small section of hair exposed?

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess


  • Robyn Kleinhans


    Here’s my link to my official entry! I’m gonna head into this 150%!!

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

      yay!!! I have to get the official post up this week! Thanks for being the first Robyn!

  • http://profiles.google.com/davisbr88 Brittney Davis

    Good luck to all the challengers!
    I was planning to join the challenge by bunning but with needing to rinse my scalp 3x a week now with my workout plan, I had to choose health over hair this time since wet bunning was causing me mid-shaft splits :( .
    C’est la vie!
    I will still be following along! :)


    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

      Thanks for your support and I need to be following your workout plan!

  • Shaniqua
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  • Sharaj

    Here is my entry for the Protective Style challenge. This is my first ever so I’m here to learn…and to win.:) Here is my blog, feel free to comment and enjoy


  • Neisha Jo

    Here’s my entry to the challenge. I think this is a great idea. Looking forward to style ideas ladies. Good luck!


  • Delreese

    Here’s my entry for the Challenge. Been having some difficulty posting it for some reason. Sorry. Best of luck everyone!! http://byahair.blogspot.com/2013/01/longing-4-length-protective-hairstyle.html

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  • Sharaj

    Hi, i signed up but I don’t see any comment on my official entry. I put up my starting photo now so….?


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  • Kyra

    Hi Ebony! Question: The challenge for February is to post to Twitter. While I don’t have a twitter and need to know are there other options to post the pic for February?

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  • Victoriously Virtuous

    I am loving this blog. I recently decided going natural just isn’t for me. While I do appreciate women whether they choose to process or go natural, I felt like I was doing something wrong for relaxing. This blog is full of great tips and helps me feel great about my personal decision! Thank you!

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