Here's What You Should Know Before Getting A Protective Hairstyle
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What You Should Know Before Getting A Protective Hairstyle

Protective Hairstyle: Here’s a reality about hair that is always important to keep in mind. Unless you’re someone who has some sort of health-related issue that makes it difficult for your hair to grow (like alopecia, for example) or your hair follicles have encountered some level of trauma that has resulted in them not being able to produce hair strands (such as overprocessing your hair with chemicals), your hair is always growing.

The reason why it might seem like some people’s hair is growing faster or longer than others boils down to two main things: genetics and hair texture. Overall, everyone’s hair grows about 1/2 inches a month and your hair texture (which basically determines the level of curl your hair strands have) influences how long your natural hair appears to be.

When it comes to Black women specifically, oftentimes they have a curlier texture which can make it appear as if their hair is shorter than it actually is (until they straighten it out). Plus, the natural sebum that we all produce in order to keep our hair healthy can have a hard time getting all the way down curly hair; as a result, hair can become dry and brittle.

So, what can be done if length retention for a Black woman is the ultimate hair goal? Protective styling. It’s one of the best ways for Black women to get and maintain the long and healthy hair they may be looking for.

What exactly is a protective hairstyle?

Black woman with micro cornrows
When you think of something being protected, what comes to your mind? Probably anything that guards a person or thing from being injured. Well, when it comes to protecting hair strands, that is exactly what a protective style is — it’s a literal hairstyle that specifically serves the purpose of protecting the shaft and ends of one’s hair (via Harper’s Bazaar).

The great thing about protective styles is, once one is in place, it will significantly reduce the amount of manipulation that hair tends to experience from styling tools like combs, brushes, blow dryers, and flat irons. And the less that hair is touched, the more freedom it has to flourish. That’s why it’s pretty common for women who have had their hair in a protective style for six to eight weeks to notice that their hair is both longer and healthier once they take the hairstyle down. Hands down, protective hairstyles are the answer to flourishing tresses. With the definition established, let’s get into some other important things that you should know. […]

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