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Protective styles for curly hair: Yay or nay?

The natural hair community has been talking about protective styles for curly hair for a long time. But do they really protect as much as people say they do?

First, let's talk about what protective styles are. Protective styles are ways to wear your hair that keep it from getting damaged by things like breakage, split ends, and dryness. This is done by keeping the hair up and out of the way. This is good for curly hair because its delicate coils make it more likely to break.

Some protective hairstyles for curly hair include braids, twists, bantu knots, and updos. These hairstyles can be made with the hair's natural texture or with the help of extensions.

So, the big question is: Do protective styles for curly hair work as well as people say they do? It depends. That's the short answer. Curly hair can benefit a lot from protective styles, especially if they are done right. But if they aren't taken care of properly or done the right way, they can do more harm than good.

When it comes to protective styles for curly hair, here are some things to think about:

Make Sure the Style is Not too Tight

When protective styles for curly hair are too tight, they can cause hair and scalp problems.

One of the main risks of tight protective styles is that they can damage the hair. Tight hairstyles put a lot of stress on the hair strands, which can cause breakage, split ends, and dryness. This is especially relevant for curly hair, which is more likely to break because it is coiled.

Pain and discomfort can also be caused by tight protective styles. When hairstyles are too tight, they can pull on the scalp and irritate it, which can cause pain and even headaches. In the worst cases, tight hairstyles can cause traction alopecia, a type of hair loss that happens when the hair follicles are pulled on by the tight hairstyle. Have you ever seen someone that is always getting tight braids and noticed their braids are barely hanging on to their real hair? Well, this is why!

Another disadvantage of tight protective styles is the possibility of an unhealthy scalp. Tight hairstyles can stop blood from flowing to the scalp, which is important for hair growth. For healthy, strong hair, you need a healthy scalp, and tight protective styles can throw off this balance.

Comfort is essential for protective styles for curly hair. There shouldn't be any discomfort or pain from them. To prevent harming the hair and scalp, loosen or take down any protective styles that feel uncomfortable or are too tight.

Keep the Hair and Scalp Moisturized

No matter what your hairstyle is, it is essential to always keep your scalp moisturized for healthy hair. This is especially true when wearing a protective style.

You should keep the scalp hydrated while wearing a protective style to prevent it from getting dry and irritated. When the scalp gets dry and irritated, it can cause flaking, itching, and discomfort. It's also good to keep the scalp moisturized because that can help hair grow and keep it from breaking. The key to strong, healthy hair is a scalp that is healthy and well-hydrated.

Protective styles can sometimes make it hard to moisturize the scalp because some parts of the scalp are hard to reach. Even though you are wearing a protective style, there are a few ways to keep your scalp hydrated. Jojoba oil and coconut oil are two examples of oils that are particularly well-suited for use on the scalp. These oils can be put right on the scalp, giving the hair and scalp the moisture and nutrients they need.

You could also use a deep conditioning treatment or hot oil. These have been known to help soothe itchy, dry scalps.

So, do yourself a favor and keep your scalp hydrated while you wear a protective style if you want to keep your hair healthy!

Avoid Leaving the Style in for too Long

When protective styles are left in for too long, they can cause breakage, dryness, buildup, and even hair loss. Although protective hairstyles are designed to "protect" your curls from damage, wearing them for an excessive amount of time can harm your curls. Putting too much tension on the delicate curls for a long time can cause the hair to break and thin.

On top of the risk of dry ends, protective styles can also lead to a buildup of oils, sweat, and styling products on the scalp if not cleaned properly. This can be extremely damaging to your curls by clogging pores and causing irritation or even infections in some cases. Talk about a nightmare!

Overall, maintaining the hair underneath a protective style can be challenging, which can result in loss of length.

Use Quality Hair for Weaves and Extensions

Even though cute protective styles like box braids are tempting, the wrong type of hair can do a lot of damage to it.

We strongly advise against using synthetic hair because it is made from artificial materials that aren't as soft and smooth as natural hair and can be rough on your curls. In braids, it can damage your natural hair by cutting into the strands. Another reason why synthetic hair can be hard on curly hair is that it can't hold moisture like natural hair can, which can make curly hair dry.

When choosing hair extensions, it's important to keep these things in mind, especially if your hair is naturally curly. Even though synthetic hair might be cheaper, it can hurt your hair and scalp more in the long run. Curly hair is usually better off with natural hair extensions because they are softer, more moisturizing, and less likely to damage the hair.

So What's the Verdict?

It's clear that using a protective style on your curly hair is a wonderful way to keep it healthy and safe from the elements. Just make sure to take good care of your hair while it's in a protective style, and don't keep the style in for too long. With the right care, protective styles can be a great way to keep curls happy and healthy.

Now that you know our top tips for protective styles, you are well on your way to making sure that these styles protect your curls instead of hurting them.

We suggest that you take breaks from protective styles and take them out every two to three weeks to give your hair a chance to rest and be cared for properly.Be gentle when taking out the style. When removing a protective style, untangle the hair carefully without tugging or pulling on the individual strands.

Thank you for reading these curly hair tips! Let us know what you think about protective styles by commenting below!

If you enjoyed this information and want to learn more about how to care for your curls, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list. We regularly send out newsletters with the latest curly hair tips and trends!

In addition to our newsletters, we also host annual curly hair retreats where you can learn even more about how to care for your curls in a hands-on, immersive environment. Our retreats are led by influencers and experts who are passionate about helping others embrace their curls.

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