Low Manipulation Vs Protective Styles – What Is The Difference And Which Is Better?

Woman with a natural kinky twist hairstyleThey both help reduce split ends and damaged ends

You may not realize this but every time you manipulate your hair be it from combing, braiding or any other handling, you cause a little bit of breakage. This is known as mechanical damage.

Every mechanically broken hair, has an end that is frayed and frankly just not in the best condition. These frayed ends then become more likely to create a split end.

Low manipulation and protective styling limits the so called Hand In Hair Syndrome. And by limiting the amount of time you handle your hair, you are in effect also limiting the split ends.

In either case the whole point is to reduce wear and tear on your hair. In terms of low manipulation styles like twist outs, braids outs or even wash and go’s which are generally more exposed to the elements and brush against your shoulders, they still give you a chance to enjoy your curls and hair without touching the strands too much causing damage.

Even if you decide never to protective style your hair in the long term, for black hair low manipulation styling remains absolutely necessary for the health of your hair.

Where Low Manipulation Styles And Protective Styles Differ


Really the main difference is the amount of time you would wear the style. If you have a weave or braids, chances are you will not touch your hair for a good four weeks or more if you can take it.

Maintenance of your hair in a protective style does not involve much handling of your own hair so there is little chance for breakage. Essentially what you are doing is maintenance of your own hair in the form of adding moisture to avoid dryness and breakage.

Low manipulation styles will generally need a little work at the end of each day. If you are rocking a twist out all week and your hair is not accepting of the pineapple method of saving curls, chances are that you have a night time routine involving re-braiding/twisting that will keep your hair set and together for the next day.

Originally posted 2013-07-21 15:00:17.

About Petra


Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra


Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

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T-anne FalSoraya MillerSaprila McleanAshley BlueAudria Recent comment authors
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Audria
Audria

So Ive decided to wear two strand twists as my protective styling for 2015. However, I usually group my twists and re twist and put it in a chiney bum (bantu knot) to achieve curls without pulling out the twists. Is that considered too much manipulation?

Ashley Blue

Protective styles don’t protect your hair from anything. It’s just a style that allows u to wake up and go.

Saprila Mclean

Low manip from now on

Soraya Miller

Protective styles doesn’t mean don’t tend to your hair because its tucked. You still need to moisturize and massage your scalp and keep the scalp clean.

T-anne Fal

Ive tried all but fail massively….so i dont even bother to style i jus wash n go. I try not to comb my hair but wash, protein treatments n deep conditioning and thats all i do now. Just waiting to see if its makes any difference in couple of months.