The objective of protective styling is to limit the frequency with which you manipulate your hair. By manipulating our hair I am referring to when we pull, stretch, tug, roll etc our hair and when our hair is subject to frequent snagging from our clothes or jewelry. The more we manipulate our hair the more likely we are to damage our hair and loose the hair length and hair health we have built up over time. So less manipulation is better for hair health and growth.
How much manipulation is too much manipulation? That is a tough question because I cannot say the ideal is to manipulate once a week or twice a week. I have talked to a lot of women who have healthy hair and I noticed that they manipulate on average weekly or every two weeks. So they wash, condition and style weekly or every two weeks. This is not a rule. The principle is to reduce how often you subject your hair to "stresses" and "tension". Intro Protective Styling. When protective styling is used, the wearer is then restircted from excessive "touching" of the hair. And that is the idea! No touching. Not touching. No touching for a period of time so your hair can rest.
|Corn rows with braids in front|
|Twist and pinned twists|
In my opinion, the common protective technique natural haired women use is twists. However, there are many other techniques like: braids, corn rows, African threading, flat twists, coils, bantu knots, bunning etc. You also have weaves, yarn braids, kinky braids and other styles done with extensions. And of course you can also use a wig. I usually recommend that you keep in extensions for four to six weeks maximum. I heard the loud laughter! It is my recommendation ;D
|Braids with extensions|
And people get creative with these protective techniques and that's where "styling" meets "protective". I have mixed corn rows and twists, corn rows and African threading, twists and bantu knots to get some interesting styles. The point is: be creative. Yes, you want to keep your hair healthy but it doesn't mean it should be boring all the time!
|Corn rows and African threading|
So what is your favourite protective technique and how do you style your hair with it?
Keep it natural!