by Ebony Clark-Bomani
It's getting cooler outside and that means it's time to become even more protective of our hair. Between arctic temperatures, hat material and static electricity, our hair takes a beating in the cooler months. Protective styling helps you to be more strategic when it comes to caring for your tresses. Highly textured hair is very fragile, and we must be delicate and intentional to achieve the healthiest hair possible.
Protective styling reduces the friction our hair may see on a daily basis. Friction may be caused by the way we handle our hair, or when it rubs back and forth against our shoulders. Depending on what we're wearing, that can be brutal! Wearing highly textured hair in loose states can also cause single-strand knots. Those pesky knots are formed when under hydrated, coily hairs coil back around themselves and/or become entwined other strands. Minimizing manipulation by wearing bound (protective) styles that are off the shoulders, such as buns, two strand twists, individual braids, corn rows or flat twists help to reduce single-strand knots. Allowing our wet hair to dry in a stretched/elongated state can help, as well. Try banding, braids, twists, or bantu knots.
If total protective styling isn't your thing, opt for low manipulation styling. Styles that don't require much manipulation are styles that are still considered loose styles (i.e. twist outs), but you just may not handle your hair as much. You might do a little fluffing in the morning, if that, and pineapple at night or sleep in a satin bonnet. You'd still be able to moisturize and seal your ends, if needed.
Consider protective styling to achieve your hair care goals. Protective styles help to preserve the hair by minimizing the need for daily combing, manipulating with hot tools, and reduce immediate exposure to the elements. Along with a healthier head of hair you'll also gain more free time, since you'll be spending less time fussing over it! What do you think about protective/low manipulation styling?