Is protective styling necessary to grow natural hair?

Posted on 24 October 2017

A lot of naturals within the community preach protective styling as a ‘must-do’ if you want to grow long and healthy hair. Protective styling entails tucking or masking your hair ends away from the environment to protect them from damage. Thus, the premise is that you will be able to retain more length because your hair isn’t exposed to the atmosphere and elements; as well as there is little to no manipulation which can result in breakage.

Protective styles include wearing your hair in braids, twists, faux locs, buns and wigs. But truth be told, protective styling is not necessary to grow your natural hair. Protective styling can cause problems if you are doing it too frequent. Your hair can break because your hair is being over manipulated for the various styles and it can cause tangles because your hair is untouched for a long period of time without being detangled. As well as, your hair can become dry because it isn’t receiving moisture on a regular basis. Protective styling is only one of the many ways to grow your natural hair. Although many naturals have seen tremendous results towards their hair goals from protective styling every month, it isn’t a must for every natural.

There are other methods that you can use to grow your natural hair. You can adopt low manipulation hairstyles, doing daily scalp massages coupled with having a balanced diet.

Low manipulation hairstyles are simple hairstyles that you do to prevent yourself from manipulating your hair on a daily basis that will cause breakage. Therefore, you will be able to retain length because your hands aren’t in your hair. Examples of these styles are twist/braid outs, low/high bun or wash and gos. These styles are easy to install and maintain and allow you direct access to your hair to re-moisturise when your hair becomes dry.

Next, massaging your scalp nightly before bed has shown results in hair growth. Massaging your scalp stimulates blood flow to the hair follicles. The blood nourishes the hair follicle with all the nutrients needed for it to grow. Thus, resulting in growth. Hence, protective styling is not necessary for hair growth, but, it is one of the many factors of hair growth or length retention techniques.

Lastly, having a well balanced diet filled with colourful fruits and leafy green vegetables as well as drinking several litres of water daily will bring the body to its optimal state of homeostasis therefore it would be able to better serve the other needs of the body.

I hope you realised that protective styling is not the only way to grow your hair, but is one of many options you can do to grow your natural hair. Remember there is no one specific way to care for our natural hair, you just have to use what works for you. 

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