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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Protective Styling Isn't For Everyone...


Since I've gone Natural, one of the most common hair practices discussed is Protective Styling.  In case this is not a familiar term to you, Protective Styling refers to styling in which the hair is tucked away or "protected" from the elements and everyday manipulation for extended periods of time so as to promote growth and minimal breakage.  Examples of Protective Styles are braids, weaves, wigs, twists and buns.  Around this time of the year there are "Protective Styling Challenges" left and right!!  I have been Natural for over two years now and have not once tried a Protective Style.  Just because the masses are doing it doesn't mean it's a NECESSITY in order to maintain your Natural hair.  And, just because I don't engage in Protective Styling doesn't mean I don't find other ways to protect my hair.

I will admit that one of the main reasons I've not done a Protective Style is fear of my hair breaking off.  The length of my hair is fairly short so my options for Protective Styling are pretty limited... Braids, Weaves, and Wigs are really my only options.  All of these Styles require a certain amount of tension on the scalp that even the most blessed hands can't avoid if the style is meant to last.  I've really been interested in getting braids but not so much as Protective Style because I know they wouldn't last for more than a month.  So, how do I "protect" my hair in the colder months?  I simply alter my routine and regimen to accommodate the weather conditions.  For starters, I reduce the amount of times I wash my hair to no more than once per week.  During the more humid months, I find myself doing a cowash two, sometimes three times a week for Wash and Go styling.  Once the weather begins to cool down, I can immediately notice the change in moisture that my hair is able to retain.  Reducing my wash days is just one part of the equation though.  Just as skincare products need to be switched out for different seasons, so does your hair products... especially if you are not fond of Protective Styling.  What this means for me is that I can no longer just use Leave-In Conditioner and Coconut Oil as my Styling Products from time to time like I can in the summer months.  I MUST follow the LOC Method (Leave-In, Oil, Cream Styler) in order to maintain the moisture in my hair for an extended period of time.  Also, Coconut Oil doesn't do as well in my hair during the Winter months and I think it has to do with the colder temperatures causing the Coconut Oil to harden.  My hair just doesn't feel the same as it does when I use it at other times throughout the year. So I make sure to switch out the oil to my favorite (but unfortunately expensive) MoroccanOil Treatment which is an extra treat for my hair that it can definitely use during these harsh months. Sometimes depending on what products I've been using all year, it may also be important to opt for heavier products.  This year I've been using heavier products anyways, so there was no need to switch products out.  If anything, I've begun using just a little bit more product when Styling to protect my hair from drying out before Wash Day.  Obviously, you want to make sure you follow your basic rules such as weekly Deep Conditioning, Monthly Protein Treatments, Sleeping in a Satin Bonnet or using a Satin Pillowcase, etc.  Those are non-negotiables and go without saying.
Most Common Summer Regimen
Most Common Cold Weather Regimen
                 

Following the Natural Community will sometimes have you thinking that you either aren't doing enough for your hair or you are doing too much, LOL.  The important thing to remember is that you need to pay attention to your OWN hair and do what you feel is best.  Sure there are times I've felt like my hair would be longer by now if I constantly kept it in Protective Styles year round but that just doesn't seem enjoyable to me and I want to enjoy my Natural Hair not feel enslaved to it.  When my hair grows longer, I may feel different about Protective Styling but as of right now, it isn't for me.  I choose to instead find ways to protect my hair from the inside (lots of water, vitamins and eating right) and cater to my hair's needs by using the right Products on the outside.  I'm sure there are plenty of you who don't Protective Style for your own reasons as well.  Comment below if you're a Natural who doesn't Protective Style and leave your reason why!  XOXO

2 comments:

  1. I had another comment but it disappeared :( No bueno.
    I am not anti-protective styles but I don't really think they fit my needs. Braids would be cute but I don't think I would want them in long enough to get my money's worth. My hair is too short for a real bun.
    Besides my favorite look is having my hair out and full. I have only been natural for about a year and a half so who knows what the future holds for me. For now I hope to make it through the cold months by modifying my wng routine. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also tried a protective style but shortly after a week.. my sewn in wasn't for me. Wash and go's just work for me

    ReplyDelete

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