As much as we all love rocking our natural hair and trying out different styles, it is important that we atleast half of the time wear Protective styles or Low manipulation styles because too much manipulating of the hair can lead to breakage. Protective styles are simply styles we do that entail all of our hair tucked in to protect it e.g braids, weave-ons etc. Low manipulation styles are just styles that require very little manipulation of the hair e.g twist or braid outs, wash & go’s etc. They prevent unnecessary damage to the hair and help retain your hair’s length.
The Hair Growth Myth
Most people believe that Protective styling grows natural hair, because of this belief they tend to carry these styles for a very long period of time. This not only damages the hair, as the hair gets tangled due to being untouched for a long period of time, but people who wear Protective styles often forget that their hair ought to be cared for while it is protected.
No doubt that hair grows when in protective styles, this length can be retained if it is not carried on for too long a time to avoid dryness and tangling and the scalp is oiled, moisturized and massaged during the short period. Unlike Low manipulation styles, Protective styles prevent more breakage because the hair is hardly touched for combing or brushing during the short period but Low manipulation styles are easier to maintain and for those who usually get bored of same look, Low manipulation styles give you freedom to change this look as often as possible- you can have a twist out this week and a wash & go next instead of being stuck with the same braids!
1. Wigs- for low manipulation styles, you could buy a nice fitting wig for times when you don’t want to have either a twist out or a weave-on, you could put on a wig. This gives you space to maintain your hair while it is protected.
2. Oil- Whatever oil you choose, be it coconut, almond, castor, name it…don’t forget to get your scalp oiled during the period you carry your protective style and it is advisable that it shouldn’t be more than 4-5weeks.
3. Moisturizers- Don’t forget to moisturize!! to prevent dryness of the hair and scalp. You could buy a nice moisturizer or make yours (mix water, aloe vera and coconut oil).
4. Silk scarf or pillow case- to cover your hair when doing low manipulation styles silk scarf is advised because of its smoothness, that way your hair remains in tact when you wake & is still smooth and shiny.
5. Air- Don’t forget to air your braids!!! Let it all down sometimes, whip it if you can so air can pass through and hinder it from having a bad odour.
It all depends on you, all styles as we’ve seen have their advantages and disadvantages, none can truly guarantee a healthy hair, minimize the number of times you style your hair, eat nuts and healthy foods, learn the art of oiling and moisturizing, and try less brushing and combing, we believe you can achieve a healthy hair and retain hair length.
We would like to know what protective styles or low manipulation styles you’ve tried today and how you maintain them.
As always, here’s to wishing you all the best!!!
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