Protective styles are meant to be just that - protective. The technical definition of a protective style is tucking your hair ends away, which helps deter pulling, tugging and manipulation. Popular examples of protective styles include cornrows, box braids, faux locs (such as our bestselling Crochet Faux Locs Line), bantu knots, amongst many others. It’s common for people to ask “Is X protective style good for natural hair?” is. The answer to this is protective styling should feature in every natural hair wearer's style rotation - but it’s important to not abandon your natural hair when doing so.
To start with, it is very important to go for styles that bring less stress to your hair. Opting for styles that put little tension on your hair is optimal for your scalp. A lot of tension puts pressure on your scalp which can result in hair loss. If using hair extensions, you will want to make sure to choose extensions that are lightweight - again so as to not add unnecessary tension to your natural hair.
A solid foundation is important, so before you put your hair in a protective style your hair should be properly cleansed and moisturised. A common mistake people make is thinking this is where it ends - but you should also be carrying on this routine while the protective style is in. Our limited edition Loc & Grow Kit is great for doing just this - the Grow-it-Long scalp serum is designed to maintain a healthy scalp environment, and the Honey Rain Juice is for effective hydration - without buildup! By keeping your natural hair moisturised while in a protective style, it significantly reduces breakage and encourages hair growth via length retention.
Protecting your hair at night not only helps to preserve the protective style, but it also helps prevent the loss of moisture. We recommend using satin/silk pillowcases, headscarves or bonnets. Wrapping your hair also protects your edges from friction.
The final tip is to be to be careful with the take down of the style. We know (depending on the style) this is the part you dread and so you want to get it over with, but your hair needs extra TLC at this stage! The Honey Rain Juice from the Loc & Grow Kit is a great detangler to help reduce the amount of hair lost at this stage.
Maintaining the health of your natural hair can be challenging, but following these tips will help you get the best of both worlds - a protective style that looks good but also allows your natural hair to flourish!