By Leah Fletcher
Summer is just around the corner and many of you are looking for easy, flexible and light summer hairstyles. And, if you’ve done any research, you’ve probably heard of “protective styles.” Protective hairstyles can make your hair healthier and help it grow longer by keeping your ends from getting damaged. During your exploration, once you discover the benefits of protective hairstyles, you might consider embracing it as an effective summer hairstyling technique.
Despite all the benefits and guidelines you find for growing hair longer and stronger, some women simply find the idea of protective styling boring—but it doesn’t have to be. The styles most commonly associated with being protective are buns, braids, weaves, twists and faux locs. They don’t have to be boring. With a little creativity you can transform any of these hairdos.
Wearing protective styles keeps your hair ends healthy by keeping your ends safe from sun, wind and friction. The styles also lock in moisture, prevent split ends and breakage, and put less stress on your hair from combing and brushing.
Following are a few protective styling benefits:
Offers low maintenance
With most black hair, less can sometimes be better. Black hair can rarely stand up to the type of manipulation so often depicted in commercials: the piling of the hair on top of the head to shampoo or the 100 brush strokes. Black hair tends to grow better when left alone. Protective styles offer the low-maintenance that so often benefits this hair type, especially if a longer length is the ultimate goal. Daily maintenance of a protective hairdo is stress-free, which is perfect for anyone with high-upkeep tresses.
Retains hair growth
Growing longer hair is one of the most-noted reasons for selecting protective styling. Some believe that black hair does not grow. That belief is more fiction than fact. The myth may emanate from the fact that black hair can break off at an alarming rate due to loose ends that catch on fabric, car seats, cotton pillowcases and more. When hair constantly breaks, it is difficult to see and measure growth. However, styling your locks in upswept or braided styles can protect them and also prevent a massive amount of breakage. With time, you will experience longer and stronger hair.
Maybe you don’t have unlimited time in the morning to style your hair. If that is the case, protective hairstyles may be the solution to the start of your busy day. If you opt for a bun, accented with braids, or twists and braids, you don’t have to do much to maintain them. The occasional touch-up, with a loose twist or a daily spritz with natural oils, will do. Just make certain that you secure your hair at bedtime and your morning styling routine will require only seconds.
Preserves hair’s softness
Wearing your hair up can preserve its softness. If you loosen a chignon or bun after a full day, you will usually find it soft and supple because it’s held in much of the natural oils that get soaked up by dry air and clothing. If your hair is well-moisturized, it is less likely to suffer breakage and dryness, which in turn leads to growth retention. Consider braids, which are a great protective style option.
Varying styles offer versatility
Unfortunately, many people believe protective styling is boring. In other words, there is only so much you can do with a bun, braids or locs. However, if you use some creativity, the hairstyling options are endless. For instance, individual braids can be worn loose, with a headband or scarf, pulled back with an attractive elastic or worn half-up in a bun and half-down. The same can be done with two-strand twists. Even the bun, which is sometimes considered outdated, can be adorned with hair accessories or decorative pins. Try adding to this mix a double bun instead of a single one or a braid and bun combination. Versatility, powered with imagination, will result in an array of stylish options.