Yes I Wear a Weave, SO…It’s Called Protective Styling!

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!”

Author: Ava Blalark

Wife, mother, writer, lover of all things hair and beauty. I may not be young but I am coming into my own, learning to love me from the inside out. I am on a journey to become a better person…inside and out. Come along and enjoy the ride! I'm lovin' me and you love you.

Share This Post On


  1. no i’m pretty sure its just called weave.

    Post a Reply
  2. This is a great aritcle.

    I have read some of your others as well!
    What people realy want is a no fuss hairstyle but as you point out you cannot get a weave and think your hair will just magically grown on its own. Even though you elimate damage from over processing with heat or other styling methods you still need to moisturize and care for it while its tucked away!. I’m glad to read you address that here.

    Again great Post!

    Post a Reply
  3. I just got my first sew-in weave as a protective style and I am a bit concerned. Normally, I do not to much to my hair: no heat, co-wash once a week and detangle. The problem is that the braids are so tight they are causing bumps on my scalp. My stylist say this is because I’m tender-headed and not used to doing much to my hair. They’re not so unbearable that I had to take Tylenol or anything but the bumps the pulling caused do hurt.

    Post a Reply
    • Lori,

      Your hair, “tender Head” or not, shuold never have bumps. That means your stylist braided your hair too tight and the Roots are being pulled and stress. This can lead to damaged edges and hair loss.

      A stylist should always make sure they braids around the edges are braided firmly to hold the weave but not tight. They generally do this by asking you to hold the braid as they braid or they hold it themself. By doing this you won’t tug at the roots and your edges won’t have damage.

      You can also leave your edges out from the weave, but this can lead to heat damage if you flat iron alot.

      Hope this helps!

      Post a Reply
  4. Braids break my hair more than anything. Some protective styles may be more damaging than protective for some people. Wigs (without combs) & weaves are the only styles that protect my hair. However my hair out is the best protective style for me it seems.

    Post a Reply
  5. I am wearing my first weave and it is a sew in. I am a week in and my hair is itching like crazy. The stylist said that if I oiled my scalp then it would get on the weave not exactly sure what that ment but I did not inquire any further I took it as I should not oil my scalp. Two questions first when I shampoo my weave while in my hair do I do it just as I would do my natural hair. Last question how often should I oil my scalp. I do have another is it really necessary to sit under a dryer to dry your hair, I dont have one but I do have a blow dryer. Thanks for any advice you can offer

    Post a Reply
  6. Great post! Wigs and Weaves can be great for naturals. I LOVE wigs as a protective style. I prefer to wear inexpensive wigs that look like as close to my natural hair as possible. I blog about natural hair also- and always have updates on the most natural looking wigs on the market.

    Post a Reply
  7. I’m really liking this idea. I have worn my hair natural for more than 30 years (I’m 50). The only chemicals I use would be hair color to keep the grays away, and I love the feel of my natural hair, it’s a curly kinky texture. However, it’s a lot to deal with. I am about to start a new job in social work and from what I’ve read about about work I will doing, a weave would be a great answer for working those long days into evenings. And as the article states, it would be a “protective” hair style. The investment sounds right and I would go high end to keep it in (2 months on, 1 off, 2 months on, 1 off etc). I’m going to do my research and find a good “weave-ologist” and get busy for a great change!

    Post a Reply
  8. Its really nice to see that its a good thing to wear weaves, or wigs or whatever tickles your fantasy. I wore relaxers for 16years until one day my long mid-back hair, started to come out in patches leaving quarter size bald spots in my hair. I didn’t do a big chop, I simply just stop relaxing, but the products that worked on my relaxed hair didn’t work on my transitioning hair soooo began the long journey of products that would work. 2yrs later I ran into shea moisture and qhemet biologics, homemade shea butter and it was ON BABY!!! My fully natural hair started growing like crazy, but then I began to see breakage and shedding. Although its normal, it was more then I would like to see with hair that is suppose to be healthier. Since I wore Never a wigs or weave, I was extremely apprehensive and prejudice against such alternatives.I youtubed like a big dog looking for answers to protective styling. What I found was that, as a black woman with 4b type hair, I had to accept my natural hair as the fragile baby that it was, and my DAILY manipulation of it to be in styles that were socially acceptable to a society that can accept all other bizarre life styles but cannot except my natural hair, and criticizes some for the fact that they choose to wear wigs; was suffering. So I said “screw it” I found a wig I loved I worked on making it look natural. It is MY HAIR, and noone in this country can grow my hair but me. All the goo advice or products will not help if I am not proactive for my own hair care, so if wearing wigs will keep more hair on my head then that’s what I will do. It is an extraordinary feeling to not have to apologize for who you really am, but it also feels nice to choose to do what will benefit you. Today my natural hair is thick and beautiful. I wash it every 3weeks since it is so dry, deep con, and moisturize and seal, braid and tuck for my wig. I’m proud of this decision and my hair is too. Never has it looked this good and long!

    Post a Reply
    • I really enjoyed reading your comment! Girl do you! Here’s to finding what works for you!

      Post a Reply
  9. Im transitioning from perm to natural and while im doing that I’ve been wearing weaves(protective style lol) .I haven’t had a perm since june and I actually didn’t perm my whole head only my pirimiter.Do you have any tips on how to care for your hair while wearing weaves.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Neisha! Thanks for commenting.
      I think using weaves to transition is awesome. If I decide to go natural I think weaves would be my choice because I think I’d be too scared to do the big chop. Anyway, I saw the most growth when I took care of my hair underneath the weave. I think someone here wrote an article about it. I washed my weave and my hair every 1-2 weeks. I conditioned and made sure I rinsed well. You can do all this with one of those dye bottles. It has the long skinny nozzle so that you can get in between your tracks. Also use watered down shampoo and conditioner. Then I sat under a hooded dryer to insure my hair was dry. I also rubbed coconut oil on my scalp once a week. Make sure to moisturize and seal your leave out as well. Hope that helps!

      Post a Reply
  10. It’s not protective when your addicted to it! Black women know yourself, your hair ain’t straight and dead stop hiding underneath the weave and flaunt your natural hair. Stop paying hundreds for brazilian, Remi and the rest it’s NOT a good look. When white women see you they think we do not like our hair and that we are trying to copy them… Prove them wrong

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Camrena,
      Thank you for your comment. Camrena I don’t think you can speak for all women. I’m not quite sure you know what all white women are thinking. I am Black and I cannot speak for all Black women. All I know is that when I wear I weave I use it as a protective style and it DOES look good on me. I’m not addicted to it but I am addicted to healthy hair and wearing a weave has helped my hair grow longer and healthier. So that when I wear my real hair out, Black, White, and Latino women alike go “Is that you’re real hair?!” I can proudly say “yes it is!”

      Post a Reply
    • How about you get off your soap box? That’s one of the wonderful things about being your own person… you do what YOU want to do with YOUR hair, I do what I want to do with MY hair. Different strokes for different folks. How boring would this world be if we all had the same mindset on everything? Because I straighten my hair, I’m emulating a white woman? I think not. How about her copying me when she goes to the tanning salon? Enough of this… People do whatever you want to make you happy. The End.

      Post a Reply
  11. Alexis the problem could be the relaxer but it may be other things too. For example, are you using a lot of heat on your hair? I’m not natural so I can’t tell you a moisturizer for natural hair. However there is a whole natural section in the talk cafe (forum). Protective styles work for everyone though because you are not manipulating your hair so it shouldnt be breaking which means you’ll be retaining your length. You also need to develop a good hair regimen. Are you using a good moisturizing shampoo? Are you deep conditioning? Are you moisturizing your hair? I really recommend you take a look at what your hair care practices are and do some good research right here on the forum. Hope that helps!

    Post a Reply
  12. This really helped me.! I have so many ideas on how to do my hair now.! I cut my hair last year and it feels like it’s not growing back.! My hair is breaking off but the more I trim it, it’s jus getting shorter and shorter.! Any ideas on how to grow my hair back out.! I’m goin NATURAL.!!! Need lots of help with this.! I’ve relaxed my hair for about 4 years and I think that’s the problem.! My hair is naturally curly and I love it but my hair is just to short to wear it out.! I want my hair to be about shoulder length. I don’t wanna do the “big chop” I’m just not comfortable with it.! One more thing what moistizer is the best for going natural.?

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Alexis I replied to your comment right below

      Post a Reply
  13. i really like the information you left me and i think its really helpful but i just had a couple questions. my hair was down my back when i was in fifth grade now that I’m in eight my hair seems to be growing but not really (my hair is mid neck now) why would this be, if you know? also since i want my hair to be at arm pits length like you had yours how long would i have to keep getting my hair in french braids to get it that long and my cousin braids hair pretty tight and that’s who braids my hair would that pull my hair out and make my hair not grow as effectively or not.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks for commenting Jordan! I wore braids for 4 months straight. It was pretty much all spring and summer. I got at least 2 inches of growth. You must be careful with braids though. Braids that are too tight will do more harm than good. I once had a girl braid my hair so tight that I was side bald when i took those braids out. And more importantly when you take your braids down you need to wash, and deep condition your hair. And while your hair is in braids you want to moisturize and seal. You can learn about all that stuff right here on the hair forum (talk cafe).

      Post a Reply


  1. WETTER READY HAIR - Frisuren Stil Haar - […] Thelma Okoro ist ließ sie Relaxed Gerade die Unterhaltung für sie in diesem Winter! Black Haar Medien …
  2. Remy Hair Finding the Best Remy Hair Weave for Black Women | Remy Hair - [...] [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>