5 BS Lies about Protective Styling People Think Are True

protective style

Protective styling is in fact a great way to help you retain length. There’s many protective styles you can do with your hair but not all of them are beneficial for fine hair. Of course that’s a subject for another time but what I do want to share with you are the BS lies about protective styling that some people think are true.

Now, don’t bite my head off because I am calling them BS lies. Maybe I should call them “silly lies” because really that is what they are. Do I have your attention though? Good!

I don’t want you to fall prey to any disappointments when styling your hair for the purpose of length retention. Here are 5 things that are just not true when it comes to using protective styles for retaining length. Don’t fall for any of them:

  1. Protective styling will make my hair grow

    This is probably the biggest lie that some ladies believe. Your hair grows from your scalp. Growth can be stimulated to slightly increase its rate but for the most part, the growth of your hair is genetic. Other factors such as taking medication, injury to the hair follicles, skin conditions and illness can also affect how much or how little your hair grows. Protective styling has no affect on your hair growth. All it does is protect the hair that you do grow.

  2. I don’t have to wash my hair as often

    The idea of styling your hair in a protective style is not to set it and forget it. Some ladies will put in a weave or braids for a couple months but neglect to wash it, thinking their has been put away so it doesn’t need tending to. Not only will this wreak havoc on your scalp, your hair will be dirty and more than likely dry out. This makes it prone to breakage, defeating the purpose of protective styling in the first place.

  3. I only have to moisturize when I take my protective style down

    While some protective styles may cover the majority of your hair, it’s still important to get some moisture to your strands so that they do not become brittle and dry. If you are engaging in short term protective styling (ex: bunning for two weeks), it’s best to take the style down nightly and moisturize it without manipulating your hair too much. For longer term styles, spraying your hair with a combination of water/oil/conditioner will keep it from drying out and ultimately healthier.

  4. I won’t have to trim if I protective style 100% of the time

    First of all, I don’t know why anybody would want to protective style all day every day! What’s the point of having beautiful hair if you never get to enjoy wearing it out? I guess it’s personal preference but I digress. Even if you keep your hair up and away from the world all of the time, trimming is still necessary. It just may not be required as often. Plus, you can’t keep your protective style in forever without redoing it while giving your hair a break. You still have to wash and condition. Then, with your ends being the oldest part of your hair, it is naturally prone to breakage due to aging (hey nothing lives forever). It’s a healthy hair practice to trim your hair at some regular interval to keep your ends neat and healthy. How often you trim should be determined by how your hair looks and feels after you take your protective style down.

  5. I will maintain all of my length when I protective style

    Well wouldn’t that be just special? (in my 1990s church lady voice when Saturday Night Live was actually funny)…umm no. when you take you’re protective style out, you’ll have to manipulate your hair. Manipulation causes a slight amount of damage even when you are extra careful. It’s part of the natural wear and tear process.

protective styling with a bun

Protective styling is definitely a great way to retain length so that you can enjoy longer hair. Just don’t be deceived by any of the lies I’ve shared when doing it. The truth about protective styling is you need to do what you can to keep your hair growing at a healthy rate while also washing, conditioning, moisturizing, trimming and refreshing your hair regularly.

[tweetthis]Following healthy hair practices when in a protective style ensures you have the best experience.[/tweetthis]

Has protective styling helped you with retaining length?


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Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Christian natural hair enthusiast. She's been natural for 20+ years and shares natural hair care tips and easy hairstyles for those with low density or thin fine natural hair. It's her joy to inspire you to live by faith in God while caring for your "crown."

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Aisha

    Hi Michelle. Great post as always. I have a question though; are medium sized cornrows without any extensions count as a good protective style for fine, medium density natural hair? Thanks. 😊

    1. Michelle Smith

      Hi, Aisha. Thank you. Yes, I think that’s fine. Just be careful with the tightness

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