Protective Styles & Hair Growth

by Sumetra Reed

Protective Styles & Hair Growth

True or False. Protective styles make your hair grow.

Before we get to the answer, let's talk about what protective styling is. When wearing what is considered to be a protective style, it means your ends (and at times all of your hair) are tucked away or concealed. This can be achieved with your own hair or adding additional hair. It's really up to the individual and their preference. A few examples of protective styles include  box braids, marley twists, sew ins, wigs, buns, etc.

So the question is, does wearing a protective style make your hair grow? Answer, no. That statement is false. It's a common misconception that protective styling makes your hair grow.  The average hair growth is about 1/2 an inch per month. While wearing protective styles don't grow your hair, it can aid in retaining length.  This is due to less styling manipulation that could potentially cause breakage. 

Tips for wearing protective styles:

1. Prior to installing a protective style, do a deep conditioning treatment to add additional moisture to your hair.
2. Avoid pulling your hair to tightly. This can lead to Traction Alopecia (hair loss which can be permanent).
3. Don't keep protective styles in too long.  While these styles help to retain length, keeping them in too long can cause damage.
4. Take breaks in between styles. This allows you to wash, condition and give your hair an opportunity to breathe.
5. If possible, clean/wash your scalp while wearing your protective style to avoid product build up.

(Note: Images included are courtesy of Pinterest)

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