Protective Styling and Length Retention

Protective Styling and Length Retention

Some naturals find Retaining length very complicated. But what many don’t understand is that protective styling and low manipulation styling goes hand in hand with length retention.

The purpose of protective styling is to give your hair a break from the daily combing, tugging, puffing and twisting. It gives your hair a chance to grow without breakage and damage. Your protective style can last anywhere from a week to 3 months (depending on your head of hair).


You can spritz an oil, water and conditioner mix onto your scalp and seal with an oil, you can use sprays meant for braided hair, tea tree oil, etc. It all depends on what your preference is. But you have to make sure that your hair is not DRY. It will break and fall out when you decide to remove your protective style.


So when you take out your protective style expect to see a lot of shedding. As long as the hairs don’t appear broken off and have a cuticle attached you are in the clear. Shedding doesn’t always mean breakage.

Types of Protective styles

There are some popular protective styles that many naturals install themselves or they seek “professional” help. Youtube has many tutorials.

  • Senegalese twist
  • braids
  • Havana twist or Marley Braids
  • weaves
  • twist or box braids with your own hair
  • cornrows
  • Crochet Braids

Types of low manipulation styles

Low manipulation styles can be done on your own hair, that gives you a chance to let your hair breath for a while without having to touch or comb it.

  • buns
  • twist (for a few days and take them out for a twist out)
  • braids (to braidouts)
  • flexi rods
  • roller sets,
  • marley buns

The possibilities are truly endless.

Tips on retaining Length

  • Keep your hair moisturized and sealed
  • Deep condition every week
  • try to protein treat your hair every other week or monthly
  • use suave or v05 conditioner on DRY hair to detangle before washing
  • Do not comb or detangle DRY hair
  • Pay attention to your hair, what works for some may not work for you.


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