Protective styles are any hairdo that keeps your ends safely tucked away.
There are so many ways to define protective styling and just as many methods.
These hairdos generally require very little daily upkeep, its overall goal is to help promote and maintain the health of your hair, by protecting it against splits and retaining length.
In practicing this styling method you will ultimately protect your hair from external factors that result in damage and breakage.
When choosing protective hairstyles, I generally want something that will actually last a long time and give me the liberty and versatility, while causing minimal damage and moisturizing or rehydrating the hair at the same time.
Whether you have natural or processed hair, here are a few of my go- to protective styles.
Micro Senegalese Twists
Using Havana or Linda Kanekalon hair extensions, these twists are formed with two strands. To achieve micro twists, it is best to use less hair extensions and pull them tighter. For bigger and fuller twists, apply minimal tension.
Micro Senegalese Twists are my all-time favorite because they are so easy to wear, and very light which means less tension on my edges.
You will have to bear in mind that they are more expensive and time consuming (about a day and a half to get them installed) than other twist-styles.
An traditional African hairstyle as the name suggests, Ghanaian braids are long-lasting braids, that allows you to have fabulous hair when time is just not on your side.
These ones have simply been braided back and left loose at the nape of the neck which allows you to easily bun them up or wear them in a ponytail.
Box braids never goes out of style they are often achieved with synthetic hair additions. The name is derived in part from the "box" or square-shaped partings for each braid.
In most cases, extra hair is added for an overall uniform look in length and thickness.
I love this hair style because it offers a wide variety of style options. You twist them over to one side, wear them loose, throw them back in a ponytail or weave them into a bun… There is nothing you cannot do with the right box braids.
Hair accessories are a very big thing right now, so you can bling up you braids with hair cuffs or with my signature silver cowry just like me!
Crochet Box Braids
Crochet hairstyles are created with a cornrowed base and a wide variety of extensions options such as; faux locks, box braids, Senegalese twists, loose straight hair or kinky hair… In the crochet method a latch hook is used to attach the hair extensions to the cornrow base.
It is a great protective style option for all hair textures and lengths. I love this style since it gives me a break from my hair as it grows and is so easy to install. It is also an relatively cheap styling option because it requires less time to install and fewer packs of hair than regular box braids.
When crochet braids unravel, they look beautifully and as long as you keep them well hydrated and maintained, frizziness will be at a low, ensuring you can wear your look for longer.
Short Box Braids
Achieving short box braids hairstyles involves the same process as doing it for longer styles, except the ends are trimmed and sealed at a shorter length, usually around chin-length or shoulder length for a “short bob” look.
The braiding process however remains the same down the lengths and ends. When synthetic hair is added, the ends are often briefly burned to seal them.
I just love short box braids it give you the best of both worlds, especially in spring and summer. It is definitely a frizz-proof and low maintenance in a trendy 90’s vibes Hairstyle.
Cornrows are always a classic look when looking at the best protective styles, and one of the best things about them are that you can twist and turn them into a range of different looks.
There are literally so many ways you can customize this look, you will never run out of ideas, all while protecting your hair at the same time too.
Simple Cornrows Without Extension
Just because you can have length does not mean you need to have length. The weight of all that hair causes stress and tension on your scalp and can damage the follicles so from time to time, go a little shorter than you usually would.
It is generally my go to protective style when I plan on rocking custom wigs. Because it allows me a direct access to my scalp for moisturizing and hair treatment purposes.
These short braids are awesome and can give you a beautiful braided look!
Of course, you could just all-out cheat and opt for a custom wig to perfect your look.
Using wigs saves you the trouble of experimenting with your hair. You do not have to dye your original hair and destroy them with the hair coloring chemicals. Also, if you possess kinky afro hair, you don’t have to trouble your hair to create a sleek bone straight or even textured curls.
You do not have to cut your hair short or wait for them to grow. If you possess short hair and do not want to change that or have trouble with hair growth, you can easily buy yourself a custom wig of the desired length.
I just love this one, a cute and curly style with the right amount of caramel blond highlights running through, very Diana Ross cira mid- 1970's, early 1980's vibes, the perfect custom wig to unleash your inner Diva!
Reminder: It is recommended to keep your protective style in for about 4 to 6 weeks for effective results, lenght retention and minimum breakage.
What do you think? Would you be brave enough to rock big and bold looks like these? What are your go-to protective styles? I want to see your versions of it!