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An Introduction To Protective Hairstyles

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Many African American women use what is known as a protective hairstyle to protective their natural hair from being damaged or to help reverse damage. Protective styling is basically the process of tucking the ends of the hair up and away to protect it from the elements. Protective styling can also help your hair retain its moisturize by keeping the ends from rubbing against your clothing, which dries it out quicker. It prevents breakage and tangles and can help you retain the length of your hair as well. Additionally, protective styling can be used on short or long hair.

Generally, people keep protective hairstyles in for two to four weeks or until they experience new growth. You should take care not to leave your protective hairstyles in too long, though, because then your hair could begin to lock or mat up. There are a variety of types of protective styles that you can use, some of which are discussed below.

Lace Front Wigs
Using lace wigs as a protective style provides women with an easy way to change up their hair-do from time to time. One day they want to sport a long straight colorful soft yaki style and the next day they may want a type 4C kinky curl. Such wigs are usually applied with adhesives or wig glue, but you can purchase ones that have bangs and bypass the adhesives entirely. Just cut the lace, throw them on, bump the bang hair with your favorite styling tool, and you're all brand new. Your natural hair is tucked away and never has to experience the damage of heat or chemical elements.

However, if you do use adhesives with your lace wigs you should consult a professional to apply it so you do not get any of the adhesive on your natural hair as this could result in pulling the hair around your hairline out. This of course would contribute to hair loss and defeat the purpose of your protective hairstyle.

Hair Buns
Hair buns are also effective protective styles if you leave them alone. Once you place your hair in a bun, it is important that you leave it in place. Un-tucking the hair occasionally to apply more moisture to it is okay, but if you keep taking it down and messing with it, then it can’t really be considered a protective style. Also be sure to use styling aids that won't create damage when creating a bun or up-do; for instance, hair-pins that are missing the protective plastic end or hair bands that will pull at your hair causing it to break.

Two-strand Twists
Two-strand twists are popular protective styles. These types of twists can be fashioned in numerous ways. For instance, you can create them with wet or dry hair and adjust the twists to any size that you like. Rat Tail combs are ideal for combing out sections of hair to twist and can help you create nice, even parts. Alternatively, you can finger comb sections as well. Then, you simply twist the two strands of hair all the way to the ends. When you reach the ends, you can dab a bit of oil on them to seal the hair.

Braids are another great protective style. They are relatively easy to create as well and can be done in a variety of sizes and styles. Braids can be done in large sections or in small cornrows. Braiding is ideal for when you plan on placing a wig or weave atop your hair as a protective style.

Protective styles can help your hair retain moisture which can lead to healthy, longer hair. Additionally, such styles make it so that you don’t have to mess with styling your hair every day. With wigs, though, you can protect your hair and have the styling versatility that you want at the same time. 

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