By Sofia Saungweme

Protective styling refers to any styling that will protect your hair from manipulation and the environment.  We tend to touch our hair regularly, that is to style and style and style it again. This leads to unnecessary damage to the hair leading to breakage. 

Types of protective styling 

  1. Low manipulation: my new regimen involved mini twists as my low manipulation style. This means that once I wash my hair I put it in twists and don’t touch it until the next wash.  This also refers to not adding extensions or using very light extensions. This type of styling/braiding does not cause tension to the hairline. All protective styling should be low manipulative in nature.  These can be short term.  

Examples: bun , mini twists,  pin,tuck&roll, flat twist, mabhanzi. 

  1. Long term: I’m currently in long term styling and I usually do it in winter. For personal reasons I’m incapable of focusing on both my work and hair needs simultaneously in winter.  I’d rather forget about it. I use light extensions and keep my hair moisturized.  

At the start of 2018 I started the long term PS journey and I in 2019 I only did it in winter.  I realized that I was manipulating my hair excessively and my growth rate reduced a bit. Don’t get me wrong,  protective styling does not grow your hair, but it does help with keeping your hands out 🤣 . And that’s my weakness.  So this year I decided to keep my hair in PS all year round.  

In the hot months I’ll keep it in mini twists and winter; my faux locs. Why you may ask 

  1. I’m too lazy to do anything.  I had enough fun last year.  
  2. Length retention. The last 2 years has been a limbo between growth – recovery- growth. I just started my journey to bra strap length and I want to try my best.  
  3. Volume retention.  The less I touch my hair and the more I feed it the better for us all. 
  4. Every year brings a different perspective to my hair,  2020 is no different.  

Another thing is the less extensions you use , the better.  Let your hair flourish on it’s own terms. 

What are your protective styling goals? Does it work for you? Is it damaging your hairline? 

To see how I installed my current PS please follow this link these particular faux locs are some sort of addiction. We’ll talk about that soon. I keep these in for 60- 90 days! I know, so many red flags. Look out for my next post on faux locs and how they have benefited my hair growth.