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

- Psalms 27 : 1

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Questions We Ask : Where Is The Line Between Protective and Non-Protective Styles?


I've been thinking about this question for weeks now. When I first started my natural hair journey, everything that was not twists, braids, flat twists, weaves and wigs was not a protective style now two years down the lane, I disagree. 
One thing a newly natural always has to fight with are misconceptions. There are always misconceptions but it's up to you to verify whatever is being said according to the knowledge you have gained then you can check what is being said yourself. 
I believe one misconception a newly natural or even any natural can have is this : only twists, braids, flat twists, weaves and wigs are protective styles, the others will definitely break my hair and I will not gain any length.

Now, looking back to my experiences, I stand to differ.I have worn these traditional  "protective styles" and also worn the non traditional ones and I have had protective effects and destructive effects with both categories. Generally, a protective style is supposed to minimize damage to near zero, help retain moisture to the maximum and thus help retain the most length as possible. 

But let me say that you do not need to wear twists 100% of the time to have any one of this. You can wear updos, pin ups and buns and get the same effects with traditional protective styles and on the other hand, you can also damage your hair while wearing these protective styles. I've lived through both experience : I got dry hair and knots from wearing updos and also got knots from wearing small twists on the other hand, I have also been able to keep my hair healthy with both types of protective styles.
At the end of the day, all I can say is that, it's not really the style alone that is protective, but also how you manipulate your hair and maintain it. It's also true that the traditional protective styles are easier to manage and it's easier to avoid damage with them. 

Quite frankly, I think the line between protective and non-protective styles is not definite or the law. It is up to you to try each style and see how protective they are on your hair and practice how to take care of your hair as much as possible while wearing which ever style you choose.

What are your staple protective styles?



  1. I agree, I think protective styling is anything that protects your hair from damage or constant manipulation. Mini twists leave my hair dry as well, and causes excess breakage so it's all in what works for you and what keeps your hands out of it but also allows you to continue pampering and moisturizing your hair while in the protective style.

  2. I think protective styles are not necessarily all of those styles (twists, braids, etc.) but only the ones that work for an individual. For example, mini twists are a protective style for me, but not for my mom. She gets horrible tangles if she leaves them in for too long! Great post!

  3. Like you said protective styles for each individual differs. How your hair is handled matters a lot. I have gone back and forth with twists. I love them. I don't like wearing my hair out because it gets dry quicker that way and most definitely breaks off. It is fine and needs constant protection. I get it protected more with styles like twists, flat twists and such. I just have to be mindful of how I maintain my hair
    Great Post though!

  4. @ Kiki Rocks Kinks : You are right sis!! Whatever can prevent damage and give room for care is a protective style to me.

    @ Precious : You are right, there is a notion of individuality when it comes to protective styles. Thank you!! :D

    @ Coilybella : Yes, rightly stated sis!! Thank you! :D


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