Protective styling is essential in retaining hair length. Optimal hair growth is achieved from a two-step process hair emergence from scalp and retention.
Many people are under the assumption that as long as the hair grows from the scalp that it is enough to have the long, full head of hair.
The missing component is retaining the length by less manipulation and abuse.
You can retain the length of your “new growth” but protecting the ends of your hair.
The ends of your hair are the oldest most fragile parts of your hair and need extra TLC.
As hair gets longer and begins to fall on shoulders the hair has the potential to split and dry out by the elements.
By keeping the ends up off the shoulders and low manipulation the hair will retain more length. Protective styling is not the only route to growing long natural hair but it is the most common.
If your hair is shorter than shoulder length your don’t necessarily have to protective style as of yet.
Natural Hair Protective Styles include:
- Buns ( the widely used method for protective styling)
- Marley Twists
- Crochet Braids
- Sew in weaves
- Flat twists
The author of The Science of Black Hair Audrey Sivasothy states there are two types of protective styling choices.
“Complete Protective Styles are styles that have the ends 100% protected. These types of styles include: all varieties of buns, chignons (French rolls), tucked styles, wigs, and sew-in type weaves.
Low-Manipulation Styles are styles that do expose the ends to some degree but are protective in that they drastically cut down on the manipulation (combing/handling) the hair experiences. These styles include: Rollersets, Braids, cornrows, some updo’s or pinned up styles, braidouts and twistouts.”
I personally like to switch between Low manipulation styles and complete protective styles.
My favorites includes
We've compiled over 20 pages of the best pictures and information on protective styles in one place so you don’t have to look all over the internet for it!
Bonus item: a resource page that details EVERYTHING seen in the book.