What is protective styling and is it really necessary?

What is protective styling

Learn about the benefits of protective styling

So what is a protective style? The clue’s in the title! It is simply a style that protects your hair, specifically the ends from all the breakage causing dangers we face every day. The point of them is  to keep the moisture in your strands where it belongs by keeping the ends intact.

Believe it or not, if your hair is about shoulder length, this is the period that it is most vulnerable to breakage. When your locks are constantly brushing against your shoulders, friction will do it’s nasty work and the clothes you are wearing, particularly cotton will sap the moisture from your ends and make them more prone to breakage. Enter the protective style, the saviour that will help you through from shoulder length to arm pit length and beyond.

Protective styles like weave extensions are utilized by longer haired ladies too. It stands to reason that if your ends are hidden then they cannot break right? So the long and short of it is that protective styling helps you retain length by keeping your ends intact. For example, twists and braids even at shoulder length would be considered protective styles as the ends are intact hence less prone to breakage.

Let’s face it however, protective styles tend to be a bit boring. Who wants to wear tight grandma curls daily and a chignon is only elegant if worn once in a while!

Now the all important question; Is protective styling necessary? That’s a difficult one to answer as it really depends on the person. If you are starting with a solid foundation of good hair practices and a simple effective regimen then chances are you will already have protective styling in your styling arsenal.

If however you are more carefree, it might be wise to err on the side of caution and add a few protective styles to your regimen weekly. Who knows, you might find one that you actually like!


Whether your hair is shoulder length or longer, it’s wise to actually comprehend the purpose of protective styling. It is simply a means to keep your ends intact and not a way to wear your hair every day until the end of time. A bun worn daily may protect your ends but can play havoc with your hairline especially if worn tight. Ask yourself, what is the point of having long hair if you can’t enjoy it sometimes? Go on, show off your length and enjoy the fruits of your labour!

Originally posted 2010-03-05 03:40:32.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

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Chantal J. AthanaseJo AnnaHuvie JoeLadeana HortonElise Cromwell Recent comment authors
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Luvisha
Luvisha

Hi I have very short natural hair. I usually use extensions to braid my hair. what are some other protective styles that i can use since my hair cannot even braid naturally or be place in a pony tail with a bun.

Carmella McCoy

Its necessary for me!!!

Deanna Merritt Ross

I love it during the week!

Shayla Hicks

I have to either bun or do a twistout in order to keep my hair detangled. I have too much of it and it tangles very easily! But moisture is key to maintaining it!!

Elise Cromwell

Depends on the person, for me I get bored with my fro so I do it a majority of the time. It keeps the people guessing and keeps the split ends and single strand knots away.

Ladeana Horton

I have been doing protective styles all the time now im a little past shoulder length and am trying to make it to waist length, but im thinking I need to enjoy my hair while it is this length before it grows out .

Shameer Smith

Braids are better

Huvie Joe

For my sanity yes!!! Everytime,I feel like chopping all my hair out Braidssss is my go to style or marley twists😌😌

Chantal J. Athanase

It depends. I can’t leave any braids or such on my scalp. Why? Idk. My scalp doesn’t like it somehow. That’s why I don’t braid my hair and they thank me for it as they grew stronger and faster than in that type of duress! Just me, I guess!

Jo Anna

It is a way to avoid constant hair manipulation and save time. I love braids but faux locs are my new love. Something about access to my scalp and measurements.