Yes, there is a name for everything and to everything a name. Growing long and healthy hair doesn’t have to be a bore. Did you know that when you wear weaves, wigs, phony ponies, buns, braids, etc. you are doing something known as protective styling? Again, this is another concept that is not difficult to understand. Protective styling is a style that protects your natural hair. I bet you never knew the reason why your hair grows when it’s in braids. Or, have you ever noticed someone that has been wearing a weave or wig for a long time when you finally see their hair it is noticeably longer. Well, that’s the benefit of protective styling. It’s not necessarily the style that is helping your hair grow. It is the fact that you are not combing, heat styling, or manipulating your hair so you are able to maintain your growth. [pullquote_right]Yes I wear a weave, SO…It’s Called Protective Styling![/pullquote_right]
Remember our lessons on African American hair and how usually it’s one of the driest hair types. Dryness is one of the main culprits that prevents our hair from reaching its full potential. Perms and heating tools exacerbates (yes, I said exacerbates) the problem. The ends of your hair rubbing against your clothes (especially wool clothes in the winter) can cause damage and breakage as well.
You remember your grandma, mama, or auntie telling you that the wool cap would ‘eat’ your hair. Usually protective styling protects your ends from damage because your ends are neatly tucked away. So go ahead girl and proudly sport that weave, wig, or pony tail knowing that you are doing some good to your hair! Since the winter is approaching now is the best time to style protectively because the harsh winter cold can be especially drying, not to mention the heavy wool coats, hats, and clothing worn during this time.
[box_tip]Now, a word of caution… just because you are wearing a protective style does not mean you should neglect your own hair. [/box_tip]
You should still moisturize and seal, wash on a regular basis, and deep condition. When you don’t take care of your own hair protective styling can do more harm than good. For example, constantly wearing a weave and never giving your hair a chance to breath will cause thinning. You’ll have long hair but it will be long and stringy and the first goal is healthy hair, right? And just balling your hair up under a wig every day, all day isn’t good either. Just as you’ve seen people who reap the benefits of protective styling I know you’ve seen someone and said [pullquote_left]“I see why she wears a weave, her hair is a mess!”[/pullquote_left] I know that protective styling works because for a long time I wore my hair in French braids. Yes, for months, I had my bff braid me up in all kind of cool styles. I would wear my braids for 1-2 weeks, wash, rinse, and repeat! My hair grew to its longest (arm pit length) and then I colored it, it broke off, and I’m starting over. Now, I’m too old to keep my hair French braided to the back but luckily there are so many different protective styles.
Protective hairstyles are styles that keep the ends of your hair tucked away and off your shoulders. Because you are not wearing your hair out you are also protecting it from your comb and brush, your heat tools, and any of the elements you can imagine. So it could be braids, weaves, wigs, phony pony tails, buns, and anything else you can think of. Don’t believe me…do a Google search you’ll find things like braid outs and twists and all kinds of cool stuff. So once again sport any ‘do’ you’d like and when people ask you why say “it’s called protective styling!”