Have you been eager to try a new hairstyle, but concerned about committing to the cut? Maybe you're growing out your natural hair and are hesitant to add any treatments such as colors or new styles that may stall the growth process. Or perhaps your hair is simply recovering from the long winter dryness and could use a little added protection to retain moisture and nutrients. If these scenarios sound like your curly hair challenges, protective styles may be the inspiration you've been searching for!
Protective hairstyles for natural hair are exactly what you'd expect; a way to protect your lovely locks without pausing your style game. These styles can also be a game-changer for type 4c coily hair and every texture in between. Protective styles allow you to add color, length, and design to your hair without the commitment.
Does this sound like a style trend you'd like to try? Learn more about the benefits of protective styles and how you can grow out natural hair without the awkward, in-between phase.
Protective Hairstyles: The Simple Style Summary
Protective hairstyles are an excellent option for all curly hair types but are especially popular with Type 3 and Type 4 hair. The benefits of protective styles are numerous in keeping your natural curls fresh, vibrant, and glowing. We've compiled a quick list of reasons why you might want to consider installing a protective hairstyle for your hair's health and wellness.
Protective hairstyles are:
Low MaintenanceA low-maintenance care routine is at the top of everyone's list when it comes to the benefits of protective styles. They're easy to maintain and the daily care routine for a protective style is often less intense than natural hair on its own. Most protective styles have a lifespan between 6 to 8 weeks, with some styles being able to go a full 12 weeks before requiring a refresh. They often save time during your day and are a great option for an active lifestyle.
CreativeYour natural hair care routine should be playful, not a chore. Protective styles empower us to be bold and daring. They take the stress out of trying new looks and the damage out of your curls. Also, if you find you don't quite connect with a certain style, no problem! Switch it out next month and try something new. You are the artist and your hair is your masterpiece.
Seasonally on TrendProtective styles maintain your hair year-round, despite different seasonal needs. Whether you're facing high heat and humidity during the summer or cold, dry winters, a protective hairstyle can always help. There is less pressure to cater to your curls' shifting needs when you have an added layer of protection between your hair and the elements.
Great for Any ActivityProtective styles can take on any activity! Running? Swimming? Hiking a mountain? Your hair is ready to roll with minimal prep. Additionally, resilience is one of the key benefits of installing a protective hairstyle. Many love getting them installed just before a vacation for low maintenance, effortless style on the go. After all, who wants to worry about their hair while catching some waves or exploring a new town? Protective styles can make every day feel as low maintenance as a holiday.
Hydration ShieldsProtective hairstyles keep moisture from escaping. This improves curl pattern, smoothness, and overall hair health and vitality. You'll also notice less tangling and breakage as your hair begins to retain more hydration. High porosity 4c hair will find protective styles especially helpful in locking in moisture. Add a dab of leave-in conditioner for optimal results while nurturing your natural hair in a protective style.
Hair Growth HelpersProtective styles reduce breakage and allow for new hair growth to thrive. Adding length is a key reason to consider incorporating a protective style into your natural hair routine. Additionally, these fabulous styles protect your roots, reduce split ends, and help you fight frizz without compromising on style.
ProtectiveIf your hair is used to heat treatments, chemical processing, frequent coloring, and environmental factors, it's time to give your natural locks a break. You can enjoy the versatility of different colors and styles without damaging your hair. Moreover, faux locks provide creative freedom for your curls without the stress of damage. They keep nutrients and products in while blocking out common pollutants.
So what kind of protective styles are available for your hair type? We recommend drawing inspiration based on your personal style and hair goals. A few of the most popular protective hairstyles for natural hair include:
- Box braids
- Crochet hair
- Braided crown and low bun
- Flat twist
- Two strand twist
- Pineapple/puff updo
- Braided ponytail or bun
- Lemonade braids
- Faux locs
Understanding your hair's type, texture, and porosity can help you determine which style will suit your needs best. Do you need a little help determining which look is best for you? Find inspiration and connect with our hair care experts for more natural hair insights.
The Benefits of Protective Hairstyles and How to Boost Natural Hair Growth
Let's untangle the truth; no one likes the awkward, in-between stage of hair growth. Keeping up with your ends while growing out natural hair is enough to make anyone want to chop off their curls. When new hair growth hits a plateau, it can be even more tedious to encourage length. This is where protective styles come in to save the day.
Protective hairstyles keep your hair healthy while your curls are busy growing. They allow you to capture the look you want without waiting for your natural locks to catch up. Enjoy long, luxurious braids or a cute, short summer style. No matter your preference, your natural hair goals won't be limited by your style choices. The most important factor to prioritize during hair growth is moisture control. This can be especially challenging for 4c coily hair and other hair textures that are high porosity. With protective styling, you can shield your hair and lock in hydration. This reduces the time spent caring for your curls and allows your hair to grow uninhibited.
Likewise, if your hair is on the thinner, delicate side, a lightweight protective style can be used to add volume. Type 2 and type 3 hair is beautifully enhanced by layering in extensions or by using your natural hair texture as a base to create a stunning new look. Your stylist can match your natural shade to suit your faux locks or -- if you're feeling adventurous -- recommend a new color or highlight to give depth and create the illusion of more voluminous waves.
Low-tension protective hairstyles are great for a healthy scalp!
Many with type 4c hair and more densely textured curl patterns choose protective hairstyles for better scalp health. Rocking a protective style means shielding your scalp from harsh elements like UV rays, wind, and rain. This allows you to better retain hydration and supports healthy scalp oils, which in turn fuel cuticle growth. If you've hit a hair growth plateau, it may be because your hair follicles are stuck in a pause. Prioritizing scalp wellness can activate the follicles again by improving circulation to generate new hair growth.
If growing out natural hair is your goal, avoid protective styles that carry too much weight on the scalp. Box braids, passion twists, and locs are generally too heavy to be the most beneficial in new hair growth. Opt for low-tension protective styles instead like knotless braids, halo twists, a twisted chignon, or the ever-popular pineapple protective style. Clip-in hair extensions rather than beaded wefts are another scalp-friendly option for protective hairstyles.
In addition, prepping your hair for a protective style is the best way to maximize hair growth. If you've been searching for a good technique for stretching hair without damage, our low-heat styling device is the perfect companion for protective hairstyle prep. The RevAir can be used to stretch and add length while you gently dry your curls. Find out more about how to prep with your RevAir to get your natural hair ready for a protective style.
The Final Verdict
Protective hairstyles are a stunning option for those looking to inspire their hair care routine. The benefits of protective styles for natural hair are numerous and range from enhancing volume and adding length to locking in shine and protecting your hair's nutrient profile. If you're just beginning to explore the world of protective styles, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that your natural curls can often grow stronger and more vibrant. Best of all, protective styles allow you to have full control of your creativity. Do you want purple and blue braids? Done. What about a blend of boho chic and knotless braids to complete your summer vibe? You can do anything with a little curly hair magic and a lot of natural hair love.
Let us know what your go-to protective style is and reach out to the team at RevAir for all of your natural hair care needs.