What is a Protective Style & Why Should You Be Wearing One

What is a Protective Style & Why Should You Be Wearing One

If you Google ‘protective styles’ you’re likely to find numerous definitions, all with a slight variation, but you only need to remember two things: (1) A protective style is a way to help lower the stress your hair goes through with environmental changes and it does so by keeping the ends of your hair protected from the elements. (2) An effective protective hairstyle should prevent your hair from being pulled, tugged or manipulated in a way that can damage it. Let’s take a deeper dive into protective styles and learn more about why you might want to try wearing them.


How Do You Know Which Style is Right for Your Hair?


Not every style is going to be beneficial for every hair type and texture. There are a few things you’ll want to ask yourself first before you put your hair into a protective style. What is my hair type, density, strand width? What is the state of health of my hair? What style are you most comfortable wearing both to bed and out in public? Do you want to install your own protective style or would you prefer someone else to install it for you? Going to a specialist who can diagnose your hair type and texture will be able to help you choose.


Types of Protective Styles


You’ve likely seen plenty of protective styles, but you may not have known which they were. As we mentioned above, the protective style you wear will be determined by a number of factors and seeing a professional stylist will help you choose a style that works for you. For kinky, coily hair, braids are a very popular option. You may have seen some of these styles before and others you may have to look-up, but here are few of the most popular and beloved braided protective hairstyles:

  • Cornrows
  • Fishtail
  • Micro braids
  • Box braids
  • Dutch braids
  • Bubble braids
  • Milkmaid braids
  • French braids
  • Ghana Braids
  • Knotless braids
  • Waterfall braids


Another popular protective style is twists. If you’re sensitive to braids and the pulling effect they can have on your scalp, twists are a beautiful alternative. Like braids, you have just as much versatility and flexibility with twists.  You can wear them down or pin them up into sophisticated up-do’s. Here are a few twist options to consider:


  • Two-strand twists
  • Three-strand twists
  • Marley twists
  • Senegalese twists
  • Flat twists
  • Kinky twists
  • Mini twists
  • Havana twists
  • Spring Twists
  • Passion Twists


If you feel your hair needs a full break from any sort of manipulation, be it braiding or twisting, why not consider switching up your look with a few wig options? Wigs are a fantastic way of protecting your hair from external environmental factors. Wigs give your scalp some much needed rest, and you can remove them at the end of the day.


When is it Time to Take Out Your Protective Style


All good things must come to an end, including protective styles. If left in too long, they can actually start to become counterproductive and damage your hair. So how do you know when it’s time to take out your protective style? New hair growth, a welcome benefit of protective styles, will let you know when it’s time. Your hair will start to loosen the braid or twist at the root, making your scalp look very fuzzy. It’s time to take out your style, give your scalp a deep massage with natural oils and give your hair and roots a deep conditioning treatment. A protective style should never be left in for more than two months and one month may be the happy medium for you, although it can be uninstalled sooner.


Protective hairstyles have various benefits including hair growth, a decrease in split ends and in the hair shaft itself, and less brittleness. And don’t forget to protect your style every night before you go to bed with a satin bonnet. Nothing wrong with an added layer of tender, love and care – your beautiful curls, coils and kinks deserve it. Take a look at the Extra Long GLO Bonnet that measures 27 inches long of double layered satin to keep your protective styles looking fresh for weeks.