Is Protective Styling for Everyone?

Roll and Tuck Protective Styles

One of my go-to resources for natural hair talk is the black girl long hair site.
Today the topic of discussion was whether or not PS-ing worked for everyone.

Protective styling; It’s a topic that comes up often in natural hair care discussion. And while it’s a proven way to retain length and improve the quality of natural hair, it’s far from a natural hair requirement and it definitely rubs some naturals the wrong way. Here are 5 signs that protective styling is just not the thing for you…
1. Your hair can retain length without protective styling
For me, this remains to be seen. I’ ve worn PSs 5/7 days routinely during my transition.
2. You value styling over length
I value healthy hair over long hair, so whatever my hair needs to maintain its’ health is what I do (it just so happens that PS-ing fits into my lifestyle)
3. Length is not a concern for you
This is pretty self explanatory. Growing natural hair out is a time commitment, and so is maintaining long natural hair.
Length is and isn’t a concern for me. Although I do want to see how long my hair can grow, I understand that the process will not be instantaneous and I feel I have realistic expectations for growth. I understand that it will take work to retain length and the longer the hair, the more work I will have to put in to maintain it. Long story short, I don’t pressure myself to have long hair, but healthy hair is a must!
4. Your hair is prone to locing.
This I have yet to know, as I have never worn braids or mini-twists.
5. You have a scalp condition.
Thankfully, I don’t have any scalp conditions.

The article also discusses alternatives to PS-ing:
Low Manipulation Styling: Styles that don’t require the manipulating the hair. I mostly wear low manip styles: variations of buns and lots of off the cuff up dos
Decrease Combing: I believe this practice has helped with length retention and lack of breakage. I only comb on wash day. I use a wide tooth comb to derange as I rinse the deep conditioner out.
Keep your Ends Stretched: I incorporate this practice by braiding my hair after it’s been washed and conditioned. Occasionally, I used perm rods to roll the ends. This did assist in stretching my ends and made my wash days easier because my hair remained fairly detangled
Regular Deep Treatments: This was a must for me! Before I began traveling so much, I deep conditioned weekly. I had to change my schedule since I began traveling on a two week basis. I didn’t want to bring my products with me and do my hair while on the road so I had to scale it back to every two weeks. Regular deep treatments helped tremendously in keeping my hair strong and moisturized.

Here was my response to the article:
Since I have been transitioning, I’ve worn protective styles religiously! They’ve helped me curb the urges to clip the relaxed ends, helped me to retain length and moisture, as well as helped me to keep my hair routines simple and easy. I BC on Saturday : D!
I am certain that after my BC since I will be exploring what my hair can and can’t do, I’ll be wearing it out; but I am sure to return to protective styling. I just don’t care to style my hair on a daily basis. I believe as long as your hair is moisturized properly, you can break length barriers…
When the hair is dry, not even low manipulation or protective styling will save it.

Have You Found Protective Styling was Necessary to Achieve your Hair Goals?

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5 thoughts on “Is Protective Styling for Everyone?”

    1. Oh maybe you’are talking about issues around edges. So protectives styles WITH extensions won’t be good in that case. But updos/rolltuckpin styles etc are a good alternative !

    2. The BGLH article addressed the issue of whether or not protective styling was for everyone and one of the reasons it listed for it not being for you was if you get scalp conditions easily. Those with scalp conditions may not be able to wear the same style for a prolonged period of time because they have to cleanse their scalp more, so as to not irritate it. Those without scalp issues, are more successful with protective styling for 4-5 days (or longer).

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