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Let's Talk Protective Styles!

The natural hair community is famous for its endless variations of protective style. But what exactly is a protective style & are they different from low manipulation hair styles

Now the definition:

A protective style is any style that keeps the ends of the hair tucked away and minimises manipulation.

Let's go over the importance of protective styles, their difference from low manipulation styles and what products provide the best results

Let's Get Started!

Why are protective styles important?

If growth is one of your top goals for your hair, then protective styles are essential to making that happen.

As we stated in our hair types lesson kinky hair is the thinnest hair texture.

The individual strands are thin and fragile, and with its tendency to snag due to the endless curves and turns, it becomes the the hair texture with the highest tendency to break.

Protective styles limit most of these issues and help with retaining length of hair.

When the hair is braids, faux locs, or in a wig there is very little disturbing the hair and the hair cuticle stays in tact, keeping the hair healthy.

Now that you understand the importance of protective styling lets go over the difference between that and low manipulation styles.

Low Manipulation vs Protective style

We already gave you the definition of a protective style but lets break it down a little bit more

A hair style is only considered a protective style if it tucks the ends of your hair away in order to prevent breakage

If the style does not do that like some braids and twists that leave the ends they are not actually protective they are low manipulation

Low Manipulation hair styles are less about the ends and more about creating a style that requires less touching overall.

Those can be pineapples, updo's, wash and gos, and many more.

But there is one big issue with both categories of hairstyles, they dry out!

What about the products?

One of the biggest issues with protective styles is that because the hair is tucked away it is often neglected when it comes to moisture.

So there are a few things that you can do to help your hair stay hydrated and happy

Deep conditioner

One of the most important steps before putting in a new protective style is to deep condition your hair because it is the #1 way we have to get moisture in our hair. Pair it with a steamer for even more hydration.


The main role of oil is to act as a protective barrier on the hair shaft and locking moisture in your hair. Oils increases the elasticity of hair, which means that it's less prone to breakage. That elasticity is essential when doing high manipulation hairstyles to prevent breakage.

Loved what you learned today? Share it with your friends and go buy some products made to keep your hair happy & healthy!

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