Protective styles, especially braids, are one of the most popular hairstyles to exist. Braids are traced back 5000 years in African culture. They were not just a style, they were a form of art back then. Through the years, the style evolved and more ways to add to it were invented, giving a large variety of different and artistic crafts for women all over the world to enjoy. Some of these protective styles include Marley Twists, Knotless Braids, Cornrows, Faux Locs, Fulani Braids, etc. We mostly get these styles done on our hair for different reasons like switching our styles, making our hair easier to control over different seasons in the year, or making it suitable for various events like vacations or weddings. Protective styles are important for our natural hair in various ways, and here are a few benefits from having them on:
1. Protecting your hair
Different climates have different effects on our hair. Very hot temperature changes the shape of your hair’s Keratin strands, which eventually leads to weaker hair that loses its elasticity and gets prone to more damage. Cold climates make your hair dry and dull, leaving your hair brittle and lacking moisture. Having a protective style helps prolong moisture in your natural hair during the colder climate season and protects the hair from excess head in higher climate seasons helping reduce changes in the shape of your hair’s Keratin strands.
2. Helps with growth of natural hair
Hair growth is mostly genetic, so we do not have too much control over that naturally. One of the myths mentioned in our previous blog on myths about natural hair is that protective hair helps your natural hair to grow. Protective styles are beneficial in that they help retain the length of your hair, preventing breakage, hence enforcing normal healthy hair growth. That is not to get confused with it actually causing hair growth.
3. Low maintenance
Protective styles are a great way to give your hair some much-needed rest from manipulation caused by your hands, heating tools, and too many products and treatments. Too much manipulation can easily cause breakage, split ends and thinning of the hair strands out of them weakening over time.
4. Reduces the chances of tangles
Tangles especially for our curly queens are a common problem if not handled often. No matter how much we may love our kinks, coils, and curls, it can get frustrating how many times we need to comb them out at times. Though combing your hair is an essential part of the hair care process, doing it too much can cause more harm than good. Using a protective style stretches your hair enough that it won’t tangle or shrink.
5. Keeping your ends healthy
Having natural hair may bring the struggle of maintaining hair ends. It is a little more stressful because the ends are the oldest and most vulnerable part of your hair. The ends are also the make or break of your natural hairstyles. An afro looks much better when the coily ends are well-coiled and defined. A puffy bun also looks perfect when the ends of the puff are well and moderately distributed. Protective hairstyles give the hair the boost it needs by tucking your hair away and keeping it from the elements that can damage it. This however does not mean trimming your hair will no longer be an essential part of ensuring your hair is healthy.
6.Prepares your hair for open hairstyles.
Certain protective styles like cornrows can really make your hair texture pop and look gorgeously healthy. The texture is usually more manageable after braiding compared to other times. If you're lucky enough, you can rock an ‘unbraid n go’ perfectly and enjoy your curls without anyone actually knowing you just took out your braids. Who is to tell you, you can't rock your mane however you want?
An extra benefit of having protective styles is that they are the perfect excuse to enjoy a cute Try This An That shower cap in the shower stress-free.