"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Questions We Ask : Protective Styles To Gain Any Length?


A lot of natural divas ponder on whether or not protective styling is essential, necessary and if so, how much of it? This question is especially asked by natural divas who have a certain goal when it comes to length retention.

Personally, I started out on this journey to attain healthy hair and whatever came with it, so for me, length was secondary. Nevertheless, I can speak out of experience when it comes to protective styling and length retention :

When I did protective styles, especially flat twists without any extensions, for weeks at a time, I noticed I retained better length. In fact, if you have been reading my blog long enough, you will know that to me protective styling is a way of life and my comfort zone. I have even often testified that protective styling is IT!

Here are a few things that make protective styles a great way to retain maximum length :

Low manipulation : while wearing a protective style, low to no manipulation is needed. Low manipulation means less chances of experiencing breakage while styling. This assures maximum length retention.

● Moisture retention : in a protective style, I have noticed the hair retains moisture better. Moisturized hair is hair that is not prone to breakage and thus length is retained. 

No tangling : tangling can be avoided with protective styles. Tangles and knots are the fastest way to loose length but while the hair is in a protective style tangles and knots are avoided.

Now there are few things that are to be observed to truly retain length with a protective style :

Preparation : prepare your hair before protective styling especially if you are thinking of leaving the style in for more than one week. Preparation before a protective style includes cleansing and deep conditioning for much needed moisture. This prepares your hair for the style you are going to do and avoids unnecessary breakage.

● Care : it is important to take care of your hair whilst in the protective style, particularly if the protective style has to do with extensions. Moisturize with a spritz as needed, oil your scalp from time to time if necessary and wash your scalp if you are leaving the protective style on for a long time. If you do not take care of your hair while wearing the protective style, you might experience dryness or clogged pores and these lead to breakage and poor hair growth.

● Be careful : yes, please do. Your hair might be in a protective style but it is important to still treat it with utter care when handling it. Utter most care should be taken when you are undoing the protective style. This is where tangles, knots and tears can happen and thus the loose of the length gained. 

To conclude, protective styling is a great way to retain maximum length that is, there is a correlation between good protective styling and length retention but the reverse is not necessarily true because length can be gained otherwise without regular protective styles by just treating your hair regularly, taking extra care when styling and protecting your scalp and ends. I know naturals who do not really do protective styles but yet they retain great length. It just depends on your hair and how you take care of it.

Do you protective style? If so how often? Which protective styles do you do?
What do you think about protective styling and length retention?



  1. I agree. There is a correlation between the two. I just wish I could find a protective style that I was comfortable wearing for longer than two days.

  2. @ Tinuke : thanks sis!!

    @ Tamara : lol, I can totally relate. At the beginning of my natural hair journey, in fact, even months later, I still could not find a style I could wear comfortably. Now, flat twists and single strand twists (as a bang) have become a staple! Thanks for stopping by sis!

  3. I rarely PS. When I do, it's a bun. I retain length well regardless of style--via low manipulation and gentle handing.

  4. Yes you are right, low manipulation and gentle handling is enough to retain maximum length!

  5. Hiya!I enjoyed this post :).I have just discovered the blessing of protective style/low manuplation.I do box braids on my own hair and i love it.I keep it bunned 95% of the time.It really is a way of life for me.

  6. @ Jo : Hey! Thank you for dropping by! I am very curious about your box braids. do you use extensions? :)


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