The Beginner's Guide To Protective Styling : Get It Right From The Start!!

Hey! 

We made it to the weekend! Eeeek! All I want to do is laze in bed all day and watch House of Cards! (I'm hooked!). But, I have a thesis to write..so the library calls instead! :-/

Anyhow, I also have protective styling on my mind. If you've been reading my posts for a while now, you know that I am a self-confessed serial protective styler. 

What is protective styling?

Protective styling refers to a variety of hairstyling practices that are meant to minimize damage to your hair strands. These usually entail reducing exposure to the elements (sun, wind, cold), to heat or to excessive combing. Protective styling is absolutely critical if we are to maintain healthy strands! Being that the natural hair community is incredibly creative, there's 10000000k styles that you can use to protect your strands. I like to think of them as occupying three different levels.

Level 1: Basic Protective Styling. 

This category includes simple styles that keep the ends of your hair tucked away. These could be roll and tuck styles or buns. These styles protect your fragile ends, but may not keep all your strands covered.

Pros: You can showcase lots of creativity with these styles; they are not time consuming to pull off.

Cons: They might still be high manipulation styles that need frequent/daily touch ups. This might lead to breakage from excessive hand-in-hair syndrome.

Level 2: Intermediate Protective Styling. 

This category of styles keeps a majority of your hair tucked away, but some sections of your hair are still left unprotected. Examples of such hairstyles are half-wigs or weaves with a lot of leave-out.

Pro: Majority of your hair is protected.

Cons: The sections that are left out might be exposed to excessive manipulation. This results in some sections of your hair being healthy, while the exposed sections might be weak and breaking. Patchy hair isn't all that flattering! :-/

Level 3: Intense Protective Styling.

This is the category that I am most notorious for! These styles include mainly glue-less wigs and full weaves. Having your hair tucked away for long periods of time minimizes (even eliminates) damage. These styles help you maintain and retain length if done properly. 

Pros: Very healthy strands (if hair is maintained underneath); low/no manipulation leads to little breakage hence fuller hair.

Con: Take a lot of discipline to maintain - who doesn't want to be trying out the 1000000k styles that there are out there!?

For today, I decided to illustrate a Level 1 Protective Style.  

Well hello there gorgeous! :)

Well hello there gorgeous! :)

You want to start by sectioning off the hair at the crown of your head. 

My I-am-being-serious face! No games oh! We're all about healthy hair around here! Hhaha!

My I-am-being-serious face! No games oh! We're all about healthy hair around here! Hhaha!

Pull your hair towards the center of your kisogo. :-) (English word? back/center of your head)

And then... 

Side view...

Side view...

The main point here is to make sure you have your ends (the oldest parts of your hair) tucked away from sight! I'd recommend switching between the different levels of protective styling to ensure that you enjoy your hair as it grows, but also maintain as much length as possible. 

I love this style because it is chic and easy to do. It's great for a fun night out with friends, for school, for an office event or even simply for those days on which you are feeling a little girly!

Love and love to you and yours!

Tabitha.