What Are Protective Hairstyles and Why Are They Important?

Written by Jessie Kimani

Just like the rest of your body, your hair needs a break from time to time. All the heat styling, styling products, and even the weather can take a toll on your hair’s health, especially if you have textured hair that you wear naturally. That’s where protective styles come in. Protective hairstyles are a great way to give your hair a break and keep it healthy, while also looking beautiful.

What Are Protective Hairstyles?

Protective hairstyles are techniques that tuck away and protect your natural hair from damage. They are one of the best ways to protect your natural hair from natural elements. There are many different types of protective hairstyles to choose from. No matter your hair type or texture, there is a protective method out there ideal for you. The best part about protective hairstyles is they can last for weeks or even months, so you can enjoy your new style without having to worry about it.

Importance of Protective Styling

Using protective styling can be beneficial to your natural hair in several ways. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why you need to style your hair this way:

  • Protection

If you live in a hot or cold climate, you know how much the temperature can affect your hair. And even if you live in a climate with four seasons, the change from summer to winter (and vice versa) can be tough on your hair. Protective hairstyles can keep your hair safe from all of these factors. They can shield your hair from the sun’s heat, the cold winter air, and even the wind. This helps to prevent hair breakage and other types of damage.

  • Promote Hair Growth

Protective hairstyles are a great way to promote hair growth. They reduce hair breakage and allow for new hair to grow and thrive. Adding length is one of the main reasons to consider incorporating a protective hairstyle into your natural hair routine. Additionally, these amazing styles protect your roots, help to reduce split ends, and fight frizz. All without compromising on style.

  • Maintains Moisture

Natural hair can lose moisture easily, especially in harsh weather conditions. Protective styles keep moisture from escaping. This helps improve curl pattern, smoothness, as well as overall hair health and vitality. When your hair is not in a protective style, it is more likely to become tangled, dry, and break, which can lead to further moisture loss. Protective hairstyles can help to eliminate these factors and lock in moisture. You can also use a leave-in conditioner to help maintain your protective style and keep your hair hydrated.

  • Low Maintenance

Who doesn’t love an easy-breezy hair routine? Protective hairstyles are easy to maintain and taking care of them is a breeze compared to the everyday hustle of natural hair. Most protective hairstyles can last for six to eight weeks, with some being able to go a full twelve weeks before you need a refresh This is a huge plus for busy people who don’t have a lot of time to spend on their hair every day.

  • Versatility and Style

Protective hairstyles are incredibly versatile. There are many different types of protective hairstyles to choose from, so you can find one that suits your style and personality. Many protective hairstyles can be styled in a variety of ways, so you can change your look without having to take down your style.

Protective Styles to Try

The variety in protective styles is endless. When trying to decide on a protective hairstyle to rock,  here are some nice options to try.

  • Box braids
  • Cornrows
  • Crochet hair
  • Faux locs
  • Wig  and sew-ins
  • Flat twist
  • Braided ponytail or bun

Tips for Protective Hairstyles

Protective hairstyles are a great way to switch from natural hair styling, but they also need care. Here are some tips to care for your protective hairstyle while keeping the hair underneath healthy:

  • Wrap your hair up at night. This is important to prevent flyaways and breakage. You can use a silk or satin scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase
  • Moisturize.  Don’t forget your hair still needs moisture. So, it is important to continue to moisturize your hair regularly to keep it healthy. Use a leave-in conditioner or oil to keep your hair hydrated
  • Avoid non-water-based products. Water-based products can penetrate your hair without caking, which is important when you have a protective style. Opt for products that won’t create flaking or buildup
  • Don’t leave your protective style in for too long. Most protective styles should be removed within 6-8 weeks. Leaving your style in for too long can put stress on your hair and scalp, and lead to breakage and hair loss

Protective hairstyles are a great way to protect your hair from damage and promote growth. They come in a variety of styles, and there is one that suits every hair type and personality. Protective hairstyles can also help to retain moisture, protect the scalp, reduce frizz, and help you experiment with different styles. With a little care and attention, protective hairstyles can help you achieve your hair goals and look your best.

About the author

Jessie Kimani

Jess is a dedicated natural hair enthusiast, stylist, and writer. From tips on how to style your curls to product recommendations, she is your go-to source for all things natural hair care. She is passionate about helping women embrace their natural beauty; a firm believer that every woman should feel confident and beautiful in their natural hair.

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