Okay, Okay. The new year is here, the fireworks are over, empty champagne bottles are still lying around, confetti is still stuck in your hair…because your hair is a mess. Or maybe your hair isn’t a mess, but either way, you’re wondering which protective styles you should rock in 2019. And if you have no idea what a protective style is, allow me to simultaneously judge you for living under a rock and to enlighten you because ignorance is so 2018.
A protective style is a hairstyle that requires little to minimal manipulation of your natural hair. Minimal manipulation, when done right, reduces breakage, thus you gain real inches. In essence, the goal of a protective style is to minimize breakage and retain as much length as possible.
The Right Way To Wear A Protective Style
- Make sure you still tend to your natural hair’s needs. Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize.
- Keep your scalp and hair clean. Don’t walk around with stinky braids and weaves, ladies. Wash. Deep condition. Apply a leave-in-conditioner. Seal it all in with oils.
- Avoid wearing protective styles that are too tight. Unless you want you edges to play abracadabra and disappear… You can always tell your hair dresser that you DON’T want your braids too tight. You can still achieve a neat-looking hairline by applying edge-control gel.
- Don’t keep your protective style for too long. I get it. You most likely pay a lot of money to get the style done and you try to keep it in for as long as you can. Fair point. But if you’re walking around and leaving a trail of loose braids… it’s time to Let It Goooo. If you really need to make the style last, at least get a ‘touch-up’ around your hairline. This works for box braids, twists and individual fair locs.
- Know which styles work best for your hair’s condition. For instance, if you have thinning hair, avoid heavy, jumbo braids. If your hairline is receding, avoid styles that pull on your hairline, for example, Lemonade braids and cornrow styles.
- Only let people who know what they’re doing style your hair. A licensed person is always a good bet (if you can afford them), otherwise get your hair done by someone with a reputable clientele.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but my last piece of advice is always use your best judgement when it come to your hair. Sometimes, hairstylist will do what’s best for their bank account and that doesn’t always coincide with what’s best for your hair.
Examples of Protective Styles
- Box braids
- Senegalese Twist
- Kinky Twists
- Marley/ Havana/ Jumbo twists
- Faux Locs
- Flat Twists
- Weave/ Quick weave
- Lemonade Braids
- Feed-in braids
- Crochet braids
- Braid out/ Twist out (This is debatable)
- Dreadlocks (also debatable)
- Bantu knots
- African Hair Threading
Why you should use protective styling
- reduce breakage
- decrease time spent styling your natural hair
- save money (if you can do it yourself of get it done for cheap)
- confidence boost (New hair, who dis?)
- encourage hair growth
May 2019 be the best year for you mane!