Hair Styling

8 Protective Styling Ideas for Length Retention

bun with twists

It’s no secret that protective styling helps with length retention. How you protective style however, can determine if you retain 20%, 50%, 80% or 90% more healthy length. Add the challenge of these cold, frigid temperatures to the mix and protective styling is pretty popular right now.

That’s because as the weather gets colder, we have to be more diligent about protecting our hair from damage. This is true for all but especially for those with fine hair. If you have fine hair, it’s even more susceptible to breakage if not protected adequately. That means adding hot oil treatments, increasing the amount of protein/moisture added to your hair and protective styling more often.

One of the fast and hard rules I follow when it comes to protective styling is the style I choose needs to be easy to do (the less manipulation the better) and it can last no longer than two weeks.  For this cause, I avoid hair extensions, weaves and long term protective styles. Since I have fine hair, the simpler the better. Yet, there’s still one goal in mind. Protect those ends.

If you manipulate your hair a lot to get your hair into a protective style, that could curtail your efforts for length retention. If you are protective styling with a new style, every day that could also hamper your efforts for length retention. Here are some protective styles that I do that require little manipulation, are easy to maintain and can last from 2-3 days if tied down at night:

 For longer lasting styles, a little more manipulation is required but you won’t have to do your hair as often. Here are some styles I have worn that protect the hair and last from 5-10 days (at least in my head lol):

 Protective styling is a very effective “tool” for length retention but sometimes you are at a loss for how to style your hair. Hopefully, some of the styles I have shared will help. At the very least, I hope you’ve been inspired 🙂

Do you have a go-to protective style that helps you retain length?


Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

6 Comment

    1. Hey, protective styling is mostly about just protecting your ends. Any style that accomplishes that is protective. For example, how do you normally wear your hair? Maybe you could just fold the ends and pin them under

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