Protective Styling for NaturalistasSaturday, December 07, 2013
As the name suggests, protective styling is a type of styling that most natural women would resort to so as to ‘protect’ their hair from pollutants such as the sun, harsh winds, swimming pool water and excessive heat styling.
Protective styling entails keeping hair in twists, braids and cornrows for periods of about 3-4 or 4-6 weeks depending on the durability of the hairstyle. Those who often resort to protective styling often have to be patient by nature. I say ‘patient’ because protective styles have to be installed knowledgeably and often take a while to install due to the intricacy of most styles, for example styled cornrows, Senegalese twists, box braids and so forth. You would also have to be patient because protective styles are generally long wearing hairstyles that require minimal daily maintenance.
Although the protective styling regimen demands for one to be patient, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to forget to maintain the styles. Often natural women give a bad reputation to protective styles by neglecting to wash their hair for the duration of the 4-6 week period. Some feel it is a free pass to forgo the moisturiser or brush up edges and keep unruly hair in check
What most natural ladies need to realise is that protective styles are quite beneficial to the overall look and health of their hair. Protective styles can reap a wealth of benefits such as helping your hair to retain length. Protective styles also help your hair and scalp to take a break from excessive manipulation and excessive daily use of shampoos.
Of course, protective styles are a great go to in moments where you need to focus on other things other than your daily hair regimen. This brings us to the question that may be swirling in your head. ’Is protective styling for me? ’ Well as you may know a lot of debates have arisen over the past few years as to who should resort to protective styling and who shouldn’t. There is no hard and fast rule there. In truth, protective styles are a lifesaver for those whose schedules do not allow for daily hair care regimens however, protective styles really can be expensive, when salon done. Not only is the expense a factor but should you choose to have someone style your hair when they do not really know your personality then it can turn out to be a miss rather than a hit. Because of the added expense and the length with which your style should stay in- it is quite important for your style to reflect your personality, and your preferences.
Now remember, when choosing a protective style, choose something you like, something you can afford and a style that will go with whatever occasion or event you will attend during the time you will wear that style. Before getting a protective style make sure you have washed, conditioned and thoroughly dried your hair- a damp poorly dried scalp is the perfect breeding ground for fungal infections.
Furthermore, never get protective styles installed so tightly that you get pimples around your hairline or that you cannot move any of your facial muscles or worse that you get a migraine for days after you get your protective style- all of the above are a sure way to get traction alopecia in the long run. Remember, as the name suggests the purpose is to protect your scalp and hair not harm them.
Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity