With the L4L Protective Styling Challenge upon us, it’s important that we understand the do’s and don’ts of protective styling. Protective styling alone is not the key to longer, stronger, healthier hair but when combined with other healthy hair habits you will see results. So when considering a protective style be sure to keep the do’s and don’ts of protective styling in mind.
Do protect your ends.
One of the main goals of protective styling is to protect your ends. Protecting your ends from the elements and friction/contact from your clothing helps you to retain length. And buns, twists/braids, weaves and extensions all give you the option to protect your ends. I would have to say that buns and pinned up mini twist (using my natural hair) are two of my favorite protective styles. So no matter what style you choose be sure you tuck those ends away.
Don’t neglect your natural hair.
Even though your hair is tucked away you don’t want to neglect it; besides the whole point to protective styling is the end up with healthier hair, right? Matting, drying and eventually breakage can all result from improper care of your natural hair while it is in a protective style. Avoid keeping styles, like twists/braids for too long, which lead to excessive tangling/matting and eventually breakage from detangling and combing. And don’t be afraid to moisturize your hair while it’s in a protective, use water or a moisturizing spray; your protective style may not last as long as desired but again the goal is healthy hair. Product build up can also be an issue, so make sure to wash your hair regularly or cleanse your scalp as needed. Like I said, the goal of protective styling is healthier hair!
Do change it up.
We all know that the same ‘ol protective style can get boring but it also can cause stress to your tresses and edges. You want to change it up! For instance, when I wear buns, I change the position (top knot, side bun, low or high) every few days to avoid excessive stress to the same areas; I do the same when I wear my mini twist pinned up.
Don’t ignore the warning signs.
I know we are talking about protective styles but we are all familiar with the headaches and tension associated with braids/twists, weaves and extensions. I’ve even experienced headaches/tension from bunning…I swear the older I get the less my edges can take, I’m always taking my hair down in the car. LOL But seriously, do not ignore the warning signs, if it feels tight or gives you a headache take it down! Excessive tension leads to breakage, damage to your hair follicles and possibly permanent hair loss. I can’t stress enough that the purpose of protective styling is healthier hair.
I’ve never really been a big fan of protective styling but I’m really excited about the L4LPSC, as I mentioned in a previous post I’m looking forward to incorporating more protective styles into my routine. It’s really important to take the do’s and don’ts of protective styling into consideration when choosing a style to ensure to reap the most benefits.