Depending on a person’s lifestyle, hair can be exposed to various products, elements, and other environmental substances. Aside from these, the hair is also subjected to manipulation, movement, and styling. These factors affect hair health and appearance and make it susceptible to damage.
You’ve probably heard of protective styling if you’re a woman with natural hair. But what exactly is it? Well, it includes any hairstyle that doesn’t require heat. This way, you’re protecting your hair from being constantly exposed to heat damage.
Many women use protective hairstyles to minimize contact and friction to shield the hair from elements and breakage. These hairstyles secure the hair strands and edges, creating a presentable and fashionable look that can be worn on various occasions and would go well with many outfits. Moreover, protective hairstyles make it easier and more convenient to dress up since the hair is already fixed and ready to go.
If you’re curious about protective hairstyles for natural hair, see some examples you can consider below:
- Two Strand Twist
The two-strand twist is one of the most popular protective styles used in various hair types. This style is easy to create, with each twist formed by taking two equal parts of hair and twisting them together, securing the end with soft elastic. Since two-strand twists are generally loose and light, they don’t cause damage to the hair and can help it retain moisture. This style is popular among those with natural Afro-textured hair since it gives the hair enough protection while keeping it neat-looking, smooth, and tangle-free.
Afro-textured hair greatly benefits from protective styling since it’s prone to dryness and brittleness. Because of its unique health requirements, many protective hairstyles featured at Afrolovely are designed to match this hair type.
- Low Bun
Another easy way to protectively style your hair is by putting it in a low bun. This style is ideal for those with limited time for complex styling before they start their day, as it only takes a few minutes to create a fashionable hair bun. Low buns also work well for short and long hair since it’s a flexible style that people can transform in many ways to match one’s hair length.
To create this style, you can apply any moisturizing product on dry hair, twist it into a bun, and secure it in place with elastic and flower bobby pins, if needed. However, it’s best to undo your bun once it’s time to rest to minimize the pressure it creates on the lower portion of your head. You’ll also need to let your hair loose to lie down to sleep comfortably.
Cornrows may be the ideal style if you have dry, frizzy hair. Cornrows keep hair neatly in place, which minimizes or eliminates frizz. This tighter styling also helps the hair retain more moisture while protecting it from friction and movement that cause damage. You can also take advantage of this style if you want to cut your prep time in the morning, as putting your hair in cornrows minimizes the need for frequent washes.
You can keep your hair in cornrows for several weeks, depending on the advice of your hairstylist. Some cornrows can be worn for up to 30 days without causing damage or discomfort. After which, letting the hair and scalp take a break for one to two weeks is ideal before putting the hair in another protective hairstyle.
- Faux Locks
Faux or fake locks refer to the low-maintenance hairstyle that uses hair extensions to create the Bohemian-inspired dreadlocks look. This style is protective as the faux hair completely shields the natural hair from outside elements while allowing it to retain moisture. The natural hair and the synthetic extension will be twisted into box braids and secured at the end to create a faux lock. The result is a volumized hairstyle, which can also be colorful and stylish depending on the hair extensions used.
Wearing faux locks is ideal for those who want the look of dreadlocks without permanently damaging their hair. Moreover, putting your hair in faux locks can help you dress up more quickly each day since you can keep the style up to four weeks before letting your hair take a break from styling.
When using protective styling for your hair, it’s essential to control the tightness of the braid, buns, or ties to ensure comfort and minimize friction. It’s also ideal for keeping the style short, making it more manageable.
Preparing your hair before styling it is vital to its health and appearance. Hence, you’ll need to use a mild shampoo, a deep conditioner, and a leave-in moisturizing product. This way, you can maintain your hair health and boost growth.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.