This is probably overrated but natural hair is one of the most intriguing things ever. You get to style it in a thousand different ways and you’ll only have scratched the surface. Being able to do that can be quite amazing though no one ever talks about the amount of time that goes into it. The constant flat twists at night or rolling up your strands in rollers so you could achieve some amazing curls in the morning.
All these are fun to do but there are times you would need protective hairstyling. Some times, you need to take a break from constantly tugging and pulling at your hair and all the manipulation it suffers in your hands. You need a break and so does your hair. This is where protective hairstyles come in.
“Protective Hairstyles” refers to styles that basically hide and protect the ends of your hair to eliminate tangling and constant tugging. They have been known to increase hair growth and allows your hair to breathe much better.
While some people feel these protective styles are heaven sent, others are of the opinion that they are quite coarse and can damage the hair because of the pulling that your hair suffers when making some of these protective styles. Either way, there are some things you should know before choosing protective hairstyles.
Find the Right Style for You
When looking to use protective styles, you’d be better off if you found the right style for you. This means that you should know what style works best and get that done instead. You would need to consider your work and environment. If you’re athletic and have sports going on, you probably should not get wigs because they could fall off under so much stress so it would be easier to go with braids. Choose something with the easiest maintenance rate considering your environment.
Prep Your Hair Before Styling
No one ever tells you that before getting protective styles installed, you need to prep your hair carefully and effectively. Be sure to wash and condition your hair. Since a protective style may be on for 6 to 8 weeks, you should make sure your hair is clean and well moisturized. The amount of moisturizer you use is dependent on your hair type. So if you aren’t sure the salon would give you exactly what you want, you could then do it yourself. That way you could take time out to do it.
The Way You Style Your Hair Matters
Whatever style you are up to, you need to make sure that it is done right. Do you have a personal stylist? What style are you making? Does the stylist know anything about what you want to install? Be sure to ask these questions before you get anything installed. Oh and make sure it isn’t too close to your scalp or tight as this may cause migraine. You should also avoid your edges and use edge control instead.
Low Maintenance Styling
One thing that is sure is the fact that protective styles are meant to be low maintenance and easy to carry around. Don’t be deceived that once you’ve had a protective style installed, that ends all your problems. You would still need to maintain the style by keeping your hair moisturized. If you don’t, your hair will be dry and coarse and also tangle with the extension. When hair is dry, it could break easily and this is what you should try to avoid. Carry water or oils in a spray bottle that you can massage into your scalp regularly.
Don’t Wear Your Style for too Long
With protective styles, duration may be tricky because it’s easy to feel safe and unbothered once you have a “wake up and go” kind of style. You could get lazy but this is what you should avoid. You should have them installed for 6 to 8 weeks max. It could differ as some people would say 4 weeks. Keeping them in for so long can cause your hair to tangle or it could cause matting then it would be very hard to get it out.
Use Styles that Actually Protects Your Hair
Something to note here is that it isn’t every protective style you see that actually does the work of protecting your hair. Typically these styles should help tuck in your ends and reduce so much manipulation on your hair. It should also help your hair grow better. Problem is that the installation methods of some are quite tedious and it defeats the whole purpose. Try not to go too long or too tight or even too small as it might be very difficult to remove. You need to make sure that your protective style actually protects your hair.
Don’t Over Complicate Things
As much as possible, try to keep these styles very simple. You could stick with flat twists which are easy to install and not so much stress to maintain but keep it very simple. Avoid all the extra designs and things that maybe peculiar to the style. If it’s easy to install, it would be easy to remove.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
One of the keys to a healthy scalp is moisturizers. As much as possible, try to keep your scalp clean and well moisturized. Protective styles need a lot of moisture so don’t leave your hair unattended.
Consider Your Hair Type
Before you even get any style installed, you need to take into consideration your hair type. Going for hairstyles that are a direct contrast to your hair type might not protect your hair but may end up damaging it. You need to be very careful about this when looking to install any protective hairstyle.
Buy Products That Cater to Your Hair
As already mentioned, moisture is the way with protective hairstyles and you need to keep it that way. You should stock up your home with oils and moisturizers that could be sprayed on the hair or onto your scalp. There are moisturizers and oils for every hair type.
Getting protective styles could just be your way of keeping your sanity because all that styling can just do your head in. However, be sure to take note of all the above before diving in.