I hadn’t heard the term protective styling until I decided to do the big chop 2 ½ years ago. Even after I took that huge step I was still clueless as to what protective styling was or the purpose it served to growing my natural hair. I have worn a lot of protective styles while on my natural hair journey but not particularly for the sake of protecting my hair. Historically, it has more so been about achieving a particular style or look. If a style that I wanted to achieve happened to require twists or braids or another common protective tactic, I did it! Little did I know that in doing so I had been encouraging hair growth.
Well, as I’ve taken the step of committing to my 6 month growth challenge I am being reintroduced to protective styling but looking at it in a way that I never have before. Part of the parameters of my challenge includes wearing protective styles at least 3 times a week. In the past couple of weeks I had been finding myself a bit challenged trying to find something new to do with my hair but still adhere to the parameters within the growth challenge. So, to encourage myself so that I didn’t completely fall off the bandwagon, I researched the importance of protective styling so that I can continuously remind myself why it’s so important, especially during a growth challenge.
- Low Maintenance: Natural hair retains length better when it’s left alone. Styles that do not require a lot of manipulation like consistent combing, twisting etc. will allow hair to grow faster.
- Keeps Hair Soft: Protective styles tend to soak up the natural oils and moisture within your hair which allows it to remain soft. I do notice a major difference in my hair at night when I’ve worn it out vs. when I’ve worn it in a bun all day.
- Prevents Breakage: Hair that is often worn out has a tendency to break off because of loose ends that catch on to various fabrics from things like car seats and pillowcases. Wearing protective styles helps to prevent breakage so that hair will retain growth.
So, whenever I wake up in the morning and have that “Protective style for what!?” attitude I can quickly come back with these powerful reasons.