Protective styles are no doubt an easy and effective way to grow long natural hair, but do you have to wear them 24/7 ? Is it okay to let loose?
Well of course it is! Any good natural hair care regimen has balance and too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Not only do you want to have balance in your regimen for the health of your hair, but your psyche as well. Sometimes, we find ourselves bored of the same old thing and we want to change it up which is perfectly fine.
Overall black hair loves low manipulation environments; which basically means the less you do to your hair the better.
Especially, for women who have hair that is prone to breakage from even the slightest bit of grooming protective styling will work to your advantage. Protective hairstyles eliminate the need for you to style your hair daily and your ends are protected from harsh weather conditions. This reduces the chances for breakage to occur allowing you to hold on to more length.
How often you decide to protective style will depend on a few factors:
- Consider your hair’s fragility. Does it take minimal strain to stress your strands? Frequently wearing protective hairstyles may be the best option.
- Little to no growth in a years time is a sign that your hair is breaking off from the ends and you should consider wearing more protective hairstyles.
- Are you always busy with little time for your hair? Protective hairstyles are easy to maintain and are perfect for a busy lifestyle.
If you fit one or more categories above you may want to aim for protective styling 80% of the time and the other 20% you have plenty of room to experiment with new loose styles.
Protective hairstyles are not the only way that you can grow your hair.
You have the option of utilizing a low manipulation styling approach in combination with some protective styling. Like protective styles, low manipulation styles do not require daily styling, but they have one major difference; the ends of your hair are exposed.
Styles like twist outs, roller sets, or a puff would be considered low manipulation while buns, twisted styles, or cornrows would be regarded as protective styles because the ends of your hair are tucked away. You are more likely to retain more hair with a regimen that is mostly consists of protective styles, but some women do a pretty good job of retaining length using mostly low manipulation styles.
I will leave you with this final piece advice: stick with styles that will reduce the amount of times you will have to comb, brush, or touch your hair. If you can do this you are in good shape!