Protective Styling - What, Why, When, How?
What is protective styling?
This is something many of us may have been hearing about for some time now but might not fully grasp the concept. Truth is this notion varies from person to person, however I believe that protective styling can be simply defined as any style that helps protect one’s hair from breakage. This said breakage could be brought on by many factors whether chemical (coloring, heat styling), physical (tight styling, daily combing and tugging, forceful detangling, friction from clothing) and/or environmental (the elements including extreme weather conditions, loss of moisture) and so on.
Reality is some of these turbulence's are unavoidable while others we can evade completely or minimize to try to keep our hair as healthy as possible. So ideally you want to choose styles to help keep the hair protected from the mentioned above. Personally, my daughters have different hair types/textures so sometimes their styles vary according their particular needs.
Why I recommend protective styling?
Besides my daughters’ ‘manes’, I have been caring and styling children’s hair for over 15 years and occasionally the hair needs a break from all the braids, beads, twisting, bending, tugging and sometimes overly tight styles which can lead to over manipulation. Over handling is never good especially to those ever so old and fragile ends which are easily broken and damaged without the proper treatment. As I like say “Handle those ends with love and tender care”, this honestly brings longevity which in turn contributes to length retention.
Being a mother of three girls who happens to be transitioning her hair back to natural, I try to put my girls’ hairs in protective styles regularly. This allows their hair to flourish without the constant interference and also puts my younger daughter at ease as she is extremely tender headed. Also this saves that much needed extra time in the morning and at night, weekends are a breeze and my family actually can spend time doing additional activities rather than me repetitively in their heads every weekend.
Last of all, I promote protective styling because occasionally we need to hide our heads of hair from the weather, may it be the frigid winter, boiling heat (occasionally in the UK) or pollution around. Yes, that’s right the elements can hinder the growth of our hair as well.
When are the best times to do protective styling?
Protective styling was a life saver for me during my third pregnancy as I was dealing with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and constantly in the hospital or bed ridden at home. Doing these types of styles allowed me to manage my hair as well as my daughters. So I would say anytime you think the hair needs a break or you just don’t have the time to manage styling on a daily basis just go right ahead and give protective styling a try. Some perfect examples would be if you have noticed no growth or length retention. Holidays and travel are another good time to rest your hair. Extreme changes in the weather especially during the winter months or changes to your body and family life such as pregnancy and post-partum.
How to create protective styles?
To create a protective style for yourself or your children, you can try adding extensions or merely using the natural hair. They are many styles to choose from such as different types of twists, braids, corn-rows, flat twists, classic buns and so much more.
Protective Styles We Rock
So I wanted to share some of the protective styles that work tremendously well for my family. When my girls are rocking these styles, I try as much as possible to avoid the use of rubber bands unless I have added extensions just to the ends of their natural hair before securing any beads as an accessory. Generally, I try to use simple and easy to remove accessories like flowers or bows and my current favourite Mixed Chicks spring bands that come in a variety of colours.
Guidelines for Protective Styling
Most importantly let me leave you with a few tips and guidelines to accomplishing a meaningful protective style journey.
Blessings Tammi xxx