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By Jc of The Nat­ur­al Haven Bloom

Some hair can gain length with­out pro­tec­tive styling but some hair sim­ply can­not. If you are in this lat­ter cat­e­go­ry, you will have to try to spend more time in a pro­tec­tive style and hon­est­ly not every­one can do it effec­tive­ly espe­cial­ly with own hair braids and twists. If you have been slack­ing on pro­tec­tive styling because the style itself is an issue, here is my guide to match­ing your per­son­al­i­ty to your pro­tec­tive style:


1. You are not par­tic­u­lar­ly patient and you want fast results

If you are the per­son who wants long hair and you want it yes­ter­day, then the mes­sage of being patient and wait­ing sev­er­al years to gain length will quick­ly be pushed aside. You may be tempt­ed by prod­ucts that promise faster growth, be con­stant­ly on the search for the per­fect ‘holy grail’ prod­uct that would help you achieve your goal or you may indeed be dis­cour­aged by the fact that your hair may not gain an inch every month.
This does not mean that you can­not retain and grow your hair long. If your goal is long hair, then spend­ing some time with your hair in exten­sions (braids or weaves) or wigs may well serve to give you some sat­is­fac­tion of longer hair that you can imme­di­ate­ly play with for a while. You must of course make sure that your braids or weaves are installed well and that you care for your own hair dur­ing the time that it is in exten­sions or under a wig. Exten­sions and wigs can actu­al­ly help you increase your patience and keep a pro­tec­tive style in for longer. You should spend peri­ods of time though with­out exten­sions to make sure you are knowl­edge­able on how to han­dle your hair as it gains the length that you desire.

2. Hav­ing your hair look­ing cute is more impor­tant than keep­ing length

There are some among us who real­ly can­not live in 3 week old braids or twists. There are some nat­u­rals who hate twists and braids because they feel that they look scalpy. These are all valid argu­ments for choos­ing a non-pro­tec­tive style sim­ply because it is more aes­thet­i­cal­ly pleas­ing to those indi­vid­u­als. How­ev­er, if your hair requires pro­tec­tive styling to grow longer and that is your desire, you can still do it.
Your ide­al pro­tec­tive style is like­ly to be a bun. This is a quick way to tuck in those ends and main­tain a smooth non-fuzzy look (we all know the smooth hair trick — spray with water, tiny bit of oil, tie down a scarf for 15–30 min­utes). Buns, how­ev­er, do not work for all hair types as a pro­tec­tive style. If your hair prefers lit­tle to no han­dling, even the lit­tle bit of fin­ger detan­gling that you do to main­tain a bun as a dai­ly style may affect your hair length reten­tion. In this case, take a trip to Youtube and look up the beau­ti­ful pinned up twists and braids that could help you look cute and still retain length.

3. Your are patient with your hair, your sole goal is to get longer hair

If you are patient and able to spend longer peri­ods in pro­tec­tive styles nat­u­ral­ly, then you are built for the nat­ur­al sta­ple of own hair braids and/or twists. The more fre­quent­ly you wet the style (for mois­ture or for cleans­ing), the more of a fuzz halo — as I call it — you will have. This are the tiny bits of frizz or fuzz that form over time with braids or twists. Nat­u­ral­ly you can try the smooth hair trick men­tioned above but there is a point when it no longer works sub­stan­tial­ly. The one dan­ger that you must avoid is spend­ing too long in braids or twists. Lint and mat­ting can real­ly undo progress rapid­ly so it is essen­tial that you know the point when your hair is no longer ben­e­fit­ting from being in a pro­tec­tive style. This can be as short as 2 weeks or as long as 8 weeks depend­ing on your tex­ture, strand thick­ness and den­si­ty. You can grad­u­al­ly extend your time to see what is your per­son­al lim­it.

Ladies, are you more like #1, #2 or #3? What is your pro­tec­tive style of choice and how does it fit your per­son­al­i­ty?

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30 Comments on "Finding the Protective Style that Fits Your Personality"

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[…] Find­ing the Pro­tec­tive Style that Fits Your Per­son­al­i­ty | Black Girl … […]

Autumn

I am def­i­nite­ly a type 2! My hair should actu­al­ly be much longer than it is now, but with the stress of my dai­ly sched­ule I don’t have the time. I’m not retain­ing length because I can’t prop­er­ly take care of it. And the fact that braids cost to much and I can­not do any pro­tec­tive styling to save my life. Any one have sug­ges­tions for 4a-4b hair that are low maitainence and easy?

Daphyne

I am a #3. I have tons of patience but my styles are high buns when I’m at work or ms.ceily plats hid­den under a bonnet/beret. When I wear the hats I MUST MUST MUST wear make up, cute ear­rings, and oth­er acces­sories to make my face the cen­ter of atten­tion and away from the fact that my hair is not vis­i­ble.

Olivia Lane
This is a fun arti­cle. I love that you includ­ed wigs! I move in a cycle: chunky post-wash braids under an Afro wig (1–2 days)> braid out (1–3 days) > two strand twist (stays neat 3–5 days) > fuzzy twists under Afro wig (1- 2 days) > and, final­ly, my favorite: twist out (3–5 days). After almost 2 weeks, I wash it again and repeat. A lot of peo­ple think that’s not often enough to wash, but I don’t use a lot of prod­uct in my hair. Just aloe, water, some essen­tial oils, and coconut or olive oil. I did go through… Read more »
Kelly
I’d like to add that if you do a work­out pro­gram that involves some type of car­dio or if you swim, it would be good if the pro­tec­tive style is firm and holds up. A pro­tec­tive style that is too loose and del­i­cate is going to keep droop­ing down while you’re hop­ping around or while you’re in the water. I have found that the more del­i­cate pro­tec­tive puffi­er or big­ger pro­tec­tive styles are fine for when I’m not work­ing out. Last­ly, I think many nat­u­rals have per­fect­ed pro­tec­tive styling so well that the pro­tec­tive style often looks just as good or… Read more »
denise

i am for sure #2. my hair is so fine. it’s grow­ing at the pace it wants to, but i don’t know how well oth­er pro­tec­tive styles would look on me oth­er than hav­ing braids in fine hair. it’s been a while since i’ve had them, but not sure if i’d go back to them :)

Jordan

WELL it’s offi­cial… I’m with the #3s I’ve learned patience && My hair is def­i­nite­ly grow­ing. Don’t get me wrong tho… my hair has got to be cute too!!! But every­body is sooo dras­ti­cal­ly dif­fer­ent some days I’m all over this..other days I’m so in love with this.

Umah Luar

I would love to see a post on: ‘Find­ing a pro-style that fitts your FACE SHAPE’
Fr myself i mim­ic Phyli­cia Rashad because we have the same face shape, plus i like her style and sophis­ti­ca­tion.

Mel

http://thatssobunny.tumblr.com/ <—dif­fer­ent pro­tec­tive styles!

Godiva

I am num­ber #2 and #3. I per­son­al­ly love pro­tec­tive styles and don’t see them as a bad thing or a pain. How­ev­er, I HATE my hair to look fuzzy. I do medi­um-sized twists on my hair once a week. I get to wash and con­di­tion my hair, change it up, and retain length. Can’t get bet­ter than that!

honeybrown1976

I’m #1 and 3. I can’t stand to keep braids/twists in my hair too long and I will get bored eas­i­ly. A wig for me is a great way to switch up with­out much invest­ment. How­ev­er, when I don’t want the wig, a bun is my best friend.

hyspin

I am #1 but I am not big on mir­a­cle prod­ucts, or I just good mul­ti-tasker not loy­al on a par­tic­u­lar brand nor am I a prod­uct Junkie. I real­ize that exten­sions are the way to go for me, but fun­ny thing is I haven’t worn exten­sions (of any kind) in almost 5 years

Ashley

I’m num­ber 2, but I still keep the health and length of my hair in mind.

Michelle

I’m num­ber 3! I used to be like num­ber 2 but now I’m def­i­nite­ly a 3!!!

Ashley
When I was still tran­si­tion­ing from heat dam­age, I used to wear my curls in a wash-and-go every.single.day. It lit­er­al­ly hurt my feel­ings to wear it up in a bun or any oth­er kind of pro­tec­tive style (just being hon­est). Now that I’ve final­ly chopped off the last of the loos­ened ends, I am still team #washand­go all the way, but not because I hate wear­ing my hair up. I actu­al­ly like buns now. I’ve just real­ized how lazy I am when it comes to styling my hair. I will spend hours deep con­di­tion­ing, doing hot oil treat­ments, cre­at­ing ayurvedic… Read more »
Olivia Lane

I love wash and go’s too. They aren’t pro­tec­tive but I love show­ing off my super­tight coils! I can’t wear my hair like that in the win­ter though. It’s too cold here in the north­east and I get hat head!

Alwina

I’m a #3. I rather do mini twists for rough­ly two weeks, which can cause that fuzz halo. But I work with it. *shrugs*

Bre

can any­one tell me how to do the pro­tec­tive style in the pic­ture??? It’s gor­geous!! I’m a two , my hair loves pro­tec­tive sin­gle braids, but I cant stand it.

@divinelystamped

3. Patienc is def­i­nite­ly a virtue espe­cial­ly with my hair that grows ultra slow.

mangomadness

I iden­ti­fy with #2 –I like my hair to look cute at all times. I like buns because they’re quick, cute, easy and pro­tec­tive.

With that said, I am very patient with my hair. I gen­er­al­ly treat my hair gen­tly — from fin­ger-detan­gling, deep con­di­tion­ing, cleans­ing, mois­tur­iz­ing to styling. This has helped me retain length over the years.

Lauralei

I am def­i­nite­ly a type three. I am deter­mined to achieve length and strength.

Sophie

I’m 2/3. I’d like to look nice, but I always try to han­dle my hair with good care. I also like that this piece states that buns don’t work for every­one! I’ve heard a lot about bun­ning to pro­tect late­ly, and i tried it but it was a fail! My hair is about 11 inch­es at the longest part, but it is so coily that buns put a lot of ten­sion on my edges.

binks

I am a com­bi­na­tion of 2 and 3. I want my hair to look cute while grow­ing but SAVES TIME as well. So if I can get a cute pro­tec­tive style that I don’t have to active­ly wor­ry about or keep a strict reg­i­men with then I’ am good…lol

African Naturalista

I am so num­ber 3.

Tia

I am a def­i­nite num­ber 2. Pro­tec­tives styles that take an eter­ni­tiy to do and to take down are not for me. I also hate to wear the same style too long. So that’s why I rely on updos and big chunky twist­ed updos

neochasez
#2 over here. I like to wear my hair out as often as I can and, while I’m con­cerned with health, length is my #1 pri­or­i­ty (ranks after health and style). After being nat­ur­al for a grand total of ten years (with a texlax about 7 years in — and then going back to being a nat­ur­al), I found that the longer my hair got, the more I ogled at fierce, short-medi­um hair so, this time around, I’m just doing what makes me hap­py. I just remem­ber that it’s only hair and that I should have fun with it this… Read more »
Natalie

I’m 2/3 when I am a 2 I like to do a afro puff or flat twist out when I’m 3 it’s a nice pro­tec­tive bun style every day of the week or for two weeks.
Water is my best friend.

atlas

def­i­nite­ly a #2. lol even when I was a kid, I’d take out the braids a week into doing them. lucky my hair was long then, i think my mum would’ve killed me oth­er­wise. My hair grew quite a bit with braid outs though and since I had it braid­ed in a way that still looked styl­ish, i could just leave it in when i was being lazy or for finals/days i’m not going out

Dee

I am more like 3 but only because I am lazy. I don’t like the halo , but I’m com­ing to accept it. *shrug*

3rdXstheCharm

I’m a #2. One of the rea­sons I stopped relax­ing is because I couldn’t stand my hair look­ing shod­dy with all the break­age. I want to enjoy my hair and if it breaks, I’ll cut it and start again!

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