Protective Styles for Natural Hair
By nataleh wallace, junior writer
A protective style is a hairstyle that protects your hair from over-manipulation, chemical and environmental elements. Natural hair is fragile.
Wearing protective styles is one of the key elements to beautiful, healthy natural hair. When most Naturalistas hear "protective styling" they usually think: hair extensions, cornrows, box braids, sew-ins, etc. The protective styles that I named are not the only hairstyles that are considered “protective” and you certainly don’t need hair extensions in order to achieve a protective style, you can just use your own hair
The easiest protective style that anyone can achieve is “the bun”. This hairstyle consist of very little manipulation to your hair, it’s quick and easy, and it protects your ends. You can wear a messy bun or a very sleek bun, just make sure that your hair isn’t tied too tight because it can lead to hair loss, hair breakage, and can even give you a headaches. If you have shorter hair, you can add in hair extensions to create a bigger, voluminous bun.
If you want a protective style that requires very little daily upkeep, you can get box braids, cornrows, senegalese twists, marley twists, or havana twists. Any of these styles can be done professionally or you can install them yourself. There are many tutorials on YouTube, if you want to self-install one of the styles mentioned previously.
Another protective style that many women of various ages tend to wear is a sew-in or they wear a wig. Sew-ins are a hairstyle where you braid your natural hair and sew wefted hair onto your braids. You can leave some of your natural hair to cover the wefts or you can sew on a lace closure, silk closure, or frontal. If you want something a little easier and faster to do, you can wear a wig. A lot of people get scared when they hear the idea of wearing a wig, but you can make a wig look like it's growing out of your scalp if you apply it well.
Any style that protects your hair from harsh weather, chemicals, and/or over-manipulation, is considered a protective style. As stated before, you can incorporate hair extensions into your protective style but it's not mandatory.
Even though a protective style is a great way to protect your hair, it won't be any good for your hair if you're not taking care of your natural hair underneath your protective style. Below is a list of SOME protective styles and how to care for your natural hair underneath the protective style.
1. Braids or Twists (With extensions)- Wash, Condition and Moisturize your natural hair prior to installing the protective style. Refresh your edges at least once a week, Wash your braids at least once every two weeks and use a light oil such as coconut oil to keep your natural hair moisturized (every other day to avoid product build up).
2. Braids or Twists (Without extensions)- Wash, Condition and Moisturize your natural hair prior to installing the protective style. Refresh the braids or twists about every two weeks. Apply a light oil or moisturizer to your ends every other day.
3. Sew-ins- Wash, Condition and Moisturize your natural hair prior to installing the protective style. Choose a braid pattern that is best for the type of style you want to wear your hair in (Middle part, side part, side swept bangs, vixen, versatile, full sew-in, ect). Wash your natural hair every two weeks & moisturize your scalp with a light oil about twice a week.
4. Wigs(the easiest style that allows you to care for your natural hair while protecting it)- Wash, Condition and moisturize your natural hair prior to installing the protective style. Braid your hair so it lays flat. Wash and Condition or deep-condition your hair once a week.
NOTE: It is highly recommended to take down and re-install your hair after one or two months!
ALEXTER THOMPSON WILL MOOT COURT IN THE NETHERLANDS!