Is Protective Styling Necessary?
By Ebony Clark-Bomani
What is considered a protective style? It's a styling option that allows your hair, particularly the ends, to rest for an extended period of time. The most effective protective styles allow you to be able to apply moisture to your ends every other day, or so. Is it necessary to do protective styling? Although it gives your hair a nice break, it's not imperative for everyone!
Depending on your hair texture, goals, lifestyle, and climate, protective styling can really improve your length retention. Those with more curly textures hardly ever experience single strand knots, so wash and goes are generally their style of choice. Coily and kinky textures tend to experience more moisture loss and knotting than their curly counterparts, which can lead to thirsty, snapping hair.
If this is your issue, if you lead a busy lifestyle, and/or live in a dry climate, or it's been difficult for you to retain length, wearing protective styles may be for you! There are a plethora of options, but ones that allow you to have better access to your ends are braids, twists (individuals and flat), and buns. If your individual braids/twists are artificial, you can still reach your ends! Spray the length of the braids/twists with a liquid leave-in conditioner an squeeze it in, section by section, every other day, or so. If they're not artificial, mist lightly. Always be sure to keep your ends lubricated with light oils, so the strands gently glide past one another. Keep the ends trimmed periodically to help prevent damage and single strand knots. There are styling options to suit everyone! Feel free to explore and find what works best for you!
What's your take on protective styling? Do you wear them?