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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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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!

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.

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 :)

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 »
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 »
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.

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?

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