A  protective style (PS) is any hairstyle that protects your hair from damage and the effects of manipulation. The entire aim of installing a protective style is to prevent your hair from damage. However, many of us don’t really see the benefits of protective styling because we don’t do it right (Remember that large chunk of hair that came out the last time you removed those braids?)

Having a protective style in is not an excuse to neglect your hair. That can end up doing more harm than good. You still need to care for your hair while it’s in a PS. You still need to cleanse your scalp, condition and moisturize your hair. Does it seem like work? Well, no one ever said having great hair was easy <3.

Image credit: Google

Why are protective styles important?

Constant combing and even styling can cause your hair to break off and this is very bad for you if you want to grow long hair. A protective style simply “puts your hair away” for a little while.

Image credit: Google

What is the difference between a low maintenance hairstyle and a protective style?

A low maintenance hairstyle e.g two strand twists are done on your own hair. Protective styles usually involve the use of extensions, although this is not always so.

However, low maintenance hairstyles provide less protection for your hair than a protective style with extensions would.

Flat twists on natural hair. Image credit: Google

Can I wash and condition my hair when it’s in a protective style?

This depends on the hairstyle done. Kinky braids, faux locks, etc allow you to wet wash (with shampoo). However, you might not want to shampoo your hair when you have a weave installed. That would be so messy!

See also: How to Care for Your Hair in a protective style

Faux locks. Image credit: Google

Should I moisturize my hair in a protective style?

Yes, you MUST moisturize your hair. Natural hair cannot survive without moisture. That is why it’s so important to choose a protective style that allows you to moisturize your hair adequately. If you want to avoid water, our Shea and Aloe Leave In Conditioning Cream will be perfect for you.

How do I moisturize my hair in a protective style?

Just the same way you would moisturize your natural hair. If you’re using extensions, you only need to apply the moisturizer up to the length of your hair. Watch this video to see how I do it: click here

Must a protective style involve extensions? 

No, not at all. Although extensions are great,  there are some low manipulation hairstyles that still protect the ends of your hair. For example, updos.

Cornrows. Image credit: Google


Natural hair updo. Image credit: Google


How long should I leave my protective style in?

I advise you not to carry a protective hairstyle for more than 6 weeks. When your hair is in a PS, you won’t be able to give your hair absolute tender love and care. It’s best not to keep the PS in for too long so it doesn’t become a DESTRUCTIVE style!

Thank you for reading. Did you enjoy reading this article or did you learn something new? Please leave a comment or question in the comments box below :). All hair products are available on www.naturalnimi.com

Published by Natural Nimi

I am a medical student residing in Lagos, Nigeria. I have worn my hair natural(unpermed) since 2013, and here I share my experiences. I'm not perfect, but I believe that natural is a journey on which we are constantly learning. 

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