What is protective styling and is it really necessary?

Protective hairstyles are styles which keep the ends of your hair tucked away and off the shoulders in an effort to retain moisture thus promoting hair growth while shielding the hair from a variety of  harmful elements. Protective styles prevent the friction that gets created when your hair rubs against your shoulders or clothes that are made from materials that rob your hair of moisture and hasten the splitting or breaking of our hair ends. These styles can be installed for days, weeks or a month at a time in order to give the hair a break from daily manipulation.

Are protective styles really necessary?

The answer to this question is very debatable. Some people argue that good hair regimen  alone is enough to retain length and promote hair growth. Others argue that protective styling is responsible for length retention.

The necessity of protective styling is dependent on the individual. Remember, no two heads of hair are the same. There are varying factors such as your hair type, your regimen, your diet, genes, etc., that will cause results to vary.

If your current hair care regimen doesn’t seem to be yielding you the results that you want, try switching it up by doing some protective styles and assess the results.


So what do I think?

I’m a fan of protective styles simply because they keep my hair from tangling and knotting at the ends. This prevents me from having to clip my hair to rid the knots. I have definitely seen and enjoyed the benefits of protective styling. I used to wear a lot of wash and go’s and my hair growth was stunted simply because I wasn’t able to retain length at the ends of my hair. Remember that the ends of the hair are the oldest and weakest and need to be protected from time to time.

But let’s face it, nobody wants granny twist and buns in their hair all the time and two strand twist outs and braid outs become boring and old at some point in time. This is where we need to get creative with our styles.

Protective styles even though helpful, are not a must. However, moisture is! They are also not the only option for length retention but for some it is the preferred method. Handle your hair gently,  deep condition regularly, moisturize and seal often, and use protein as needed and you will also reap the reward of healthy, long hair.

My advice is this: if you’re looking for a solid hair regimen, protect the hair at least a few days during the week. On other days, be carefree and let your hair down. By switching it up you won’t become bored with your hair.

Examples of Protective Styles (the list is not exhausted):

  • Buns
  • Two Strand Twists
  • Braids
  • Flat twists
  • Pin ups
  • Wigs
  • Weaves

For other great protective style ideas you can check out the following youtube channels


6 thoughts on “What is protective styling and is it really necessary?

  1. Another helpful post. Totally love your blog. I have started using braids as a protective style and the results have been really encouraging so far. Will definitely try some of the other styles you suggested to switch things up a bit.

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