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Protective Styles: Longer & Healthies

Audia Jones

How many times have we heard "Protective Styles are the key to growing natural hair?"  If you are like many of us you know that an overwhelming number of Curl-friends live, die, swear by (and are willing to bet their FIRST BORN) the Protective Style.

But when it comes down to the nitty gritty (for some reason, this term really makes me laugh) don't we really want to know WHETHER PROTECTIVE STYLES REALLY DO ALL THAT PEOPLE SAY THEY CAN DO--WORK TO GROW HEALTHY LONG NATURAL HAIR or is it all just smoke and mirrors?

The real answer is: IT DEPENDS, and here is why...

Protective styles can help grow healthier longer natural hair in a number of ways, including:
  • they protect the length of your hair from the harsh weather elements,​​
  • they require minimal manipulation, which decreases the possibility of manual breakage,
  • they are easy to maintain for longer periods of time, and
  • they protect your ends--which are the oldest parts of your hair--from exposure to extreme heat or cold and reduce split ends and shedding.

​However, there are times when those same Protective Styles can do more HARM than GOOD if they are installed improperly or if the state of your hair is in an unhealthy condition 

CAN WE EXPLAIN FURTHER?  Of course, we're glad you asked...

For example, lets say the hair has been under tremendous stress due to heat damage or recent color application.  You've noticed a significant amount of breakage and your hair feels extremely dry to the touch.  Applying a Protective Style-- such as braids or  sew in weave-- to hair in such an unhealthy condition can cause increased breakage, reduced length retention, and possible permanent root damage.  Hair that is in an unhealthy state needs some good old TLC before installing a Protective Style.  It needs a nurtured scalp with plenty of hydration, and moisture and nutrients.

Here are a few ways that Protective Styles can cause more harm than good:
  • if they are installed too tight (this can actually cause breakage, thinning edges, etc.)-- think this.  (As much as we love her, those Protective Styles were installed improperly and did WAY more harm than good.)​​
  • if they reduce they amount of moisture that can reach your natural hair-- causing dry brittle hair that is susceptible to breakage, and
  • if they weigh your natural hair down too much -- those protective styles can actually break hair from the roots causing permanent follicle damage and hair loss.

With that being said take the time to LOVE your natural hair and give her what she really needs.  
 
Here are a few steps to get maximum health and growth out of your Protective Style: 
  1. Determine the healthy of your hair -- Is it moisturized, resistant to breakage? Or do you experience large amounts of shedding and split ends?
  2. Determine the health of your scalp -- Is it soft, supple, and moisturized? Or is it dry and flaking?​
  3. Make sure your Protective Style isn't installed too tightly --- err on the side of caution and go for a looser fit that will allow your hair to breathe and reduce breakage from the root.
  4. Determine whether your Protective Style requires additional hair that is a lot bulkier than your natural hair.  If so, PROCEED WITH CAUTION --- Installing heavy Protective Styles can literally weigh your hair out from the roots, causing permanent follicle damage and hair loss.
  5. Determine whether you have high quality natural hair care products to maintain your Protective Style.  The type of products you use while wearing a Protective Style is key to retaining length and encouraging healthier longer hair growth. 
  • For coarse or thick hair, adding Truly You Super Soft Butter Blend to your scalp on a daily basis will provide the moisture and hydration your hair needs to grown stronger, shinier, and healthier. Oh! Did we mention no flaking or crunchiness.
  • For fine or wavy hair, adding Truly You Silky Smooth Scalp Treatment to your scalp on a daily basis will provide your scalp with a soft supple smooth, nutrient rich soil that your hair needs to grow longer and stronger--- while giving it a brilliant gloss.

Check out this helpful video for maintaining your Protective Style: [Video]​

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Happy Growing!​​ #Trulyyoucurls

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