Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday: Protective Styling

Urban Twists courtesy of the Damn Salon.
     Protective Styling is pretty self explanatory: they are styles that protect your hair. Let's face it, our hair gets tired of us twisting it, stretching it, combing it, just as we get tired of dealing with it. Protective styling provides a win-win situation for both parties; you and your hair gets a break from constant manipulation. Protective styling is hair relationship therapy 101 and you betta believe it honey!
      Some of my favorite protective styles are Senegalese twists, Box braids, Havanna Marley twists, Kinky twists, and the list goes on. Quite simply, these styles put your hair away by braiding them or twisting them while adding extensions. They are great for switching up your look and creating versatile styles, especially when your Afro is on the shorter side. I experimented with Senegalese twists and a variation of Kinky twists this past year.

Senegalese twists for the summer.

     The Urban Twists done by the ladies at The Damn Salon are by far my favorite protective style, mostly because they look the most like your natural curl pattern. Not to mention the salon experience was amazing. You get an awesome consultation and a gourmet lunch. How do you say no to champagne in the salon? The only downside is that they are a little pricey, but they offer great specials throughout the year, AND they will style your hair for free on follow up visits. Seriously, you owe it to yourself to check them out.
After about 5 months of protective styling. Look at how big my hair is!
     Now for a word on Senegalese twists. Honestly, I liked this style but I didn't love it. If I had to do it all over again I would get them way bigger, which is what I initially asked for in the salon, but I guess they didn't hear me. Getting these twists was a totally impulsive decision, but I don't altogether regret it because they did in fact protect my hair and I didn't have to style it for about 2 months. The best advice I can give when it comes to protective styling is that you shouldn't leave any one style in for too long. You should switch up styles after about 3 months max. Personally, I wear protective styles for about 3-4 months of the year, usually during the summer or winter. Also, do not neglect your natural hair completely! It still needs to be washed and don't forget to apply a light oil or a leave in conditioner, or both! The point is to protect your hair, not neglect your hair!
     The only true con I can think of when it comes to these styles is the take-down process, especially if you have to do it yourself, it can be a bit overwhelming. Although, you could always recruit some friends to help you! The benefits of protective styling far outweigh the negatives. Just make sure that you are still nourishing your hair so that you promote the growth of your hair. When it is all said and done and the extensions are removed, you will be amazed at how much your hair has grown! So when you're sick and tired of twisting/braiding your hair every night, protective styling could be the difference between cutting your hair off or even worse, going back to the creamy crack! Just say no people!

Keep it nappy ya'll!


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