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View Full Version : Are protective styles required and what exactly are they?



queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 05:39 AM
Sorry in advance if this has already been posted, this forum is amazingly huge. I saw something vaguely about "protective styles" for everyday hairstyles and am a little confused and worried. When my hair gets to its goal length (waist) will I have to wear it up all the time? I really don't like wearing it up too much, in fact when it goes up it's usually to cool off or it is bothering me at the moment. It almost always comes back down within an hour. I just love the feeling of it down and moving around and would hate to have it up all the time. What do you guys do exactly for protective styles?

CurlMonster
July 26th, 2013, 06:02 AM
Protective styles are styles that tuck your ends away so they're not getting tangles, friction, sun damage, etc. However if your goal length is waist length I don't think it's a huge concern for you. Once you get to a length where your hair gets caught on more things and is just more fragile because of its age it becomes more important.

DarkCurls
July 26th, 2013, 06:02 AM
Nothing is required on here! Definitely not. :)

But some people prefer to wear their hair up to avoid damage caused by the hair brushing against their clothes, or it being caught in things (like car doors, the straps of a purse, people walking by). "Protective" styles are styles which keep the hair, especially the ends, up and out of the way. Buns, for example, are protective styles. After a certain length, your hair is more susceptible to getting caught in every. single. thing. But waist length is still quite manageable, unless in crowded places like the hallways of a high school.
My hair is at waist and I do wear it up most days since joining the LHC, but it was already brushing waist before I joined and back then I used to wear it down every day. I stopped because of the recommendations here; I hated wearing my hair up at the time. I joined the "Wear your hair up for X amount of time" challenge and got over it. I still enjoy wearing my hair down. I love the feel of it down my back, but I am very aware of it whenever it's down whereas when it's up, I can just forget about it. That's why I like updos. (Also, updos justify the hairtoys I buy.)

Anyway... Don't worry. You'll see when you get there. It depends on the person and the fragility of the hair, but I would definitely say that there is no set length at which you have to wear your hair up all the time; and if there was, then it wouldn't be waist.

queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 06:06 AM
Thank you both! It helped ease the silly anxiety that was building around the idea of my hair up all the time. I think my max length would be tailbone, so probably then I would need to be more wary of the ends?

Firefox7275
July 26th, 2013, 07:33 AM
If you are intending on keeping relaxing you will likely need to use protective styles regularly to get reasonably healthy waist length hair, older hair is more damaged anyway from normal 'weathering' (brushing, combing, washing, rubbing on clothes/ bed linen/ car headrests, sunlight etc), chemical processes accelerate than damage. 'Regularly' doesn't necessarily mean every day, you might wear your hair up during the workday/ at school and during higher risk activities and then down for evenings and at weekends. Often with longer hair you can get away with one damaging thing - wearing hair down a lot or colour treating or relaxing or blow frying - but not more than one.

jacqueline101
July 26th, 2013, 09:07 AM
Protective styles protect the ends and they're not required.

fungo
July 26th, 2013, 09:08 AM
Hi queen of heartz, I am new to pampering my hair. I have stopped using dyes with peroxide and just use colour deposit colour, no more drying with a hair dryer or using straighteners. I am trying to repair some damage I did when I over washed my hair which made it very dry. I keep my hair tyed up when I am at home, I am seeing if this keeps it cleaner and I also wear a hat when I got out because my hair doesn't like the sun. Happy experimenting :)

nobeltonya
July 26th, 2013, 10:28 AM
Sorry in advance if this has already been posted, this forum is amazingly huge. I saw something vaguely about "protective styles" for everyday hairstyles and am a little confused and worried. When my hair gets to its goal length (waist) will I have to wear it up all the time? I really don't like wearing it up too much, in fact when it goes up it's usually to cool off or it is bothering me at the moment. It almost always comes back down within an hour. I just love the feeling of it down and moving around and would hate to have it up all the time. What do you guys do exactly for protective styles?

I am the same way in that I like to wear my hair down as much as possible. Even at this length (passing Classic) I wear it down most of the time. I only usually don a protective style (functional for the situation and out of the way) when I'm sleeping or doing a lot of bending and picking up things or it's TOO hot or cold.. styles include (but are not limited to): french twist with spin pins, braids, buns.. pony tail. :) :disco:

AmyBeth
July 26th, 2013, 10:45 AM
Protective styles both day and night have made all the difference to my hair. I was never able to get past waist length and the ends always looked pretty sad and wispy. I have extremely fine hair so my hair just couldn't take being down all the time. With the knowledge and techniques I've learned here, I intend to grow to terminal or classic, whichever comes first. If your hair is stronger and you are satisfied with waist, you can probably keep it down. Everyone's hair is different, so you will find what makes you happy and keeps your hair healthy.

spidermom
July 26th, 2013, 11:15 AM
I hated the idea of wearing my hair up or braided most of the time, too. However, when my hair length passed the bottom of my shoulder-blades, it became a hassle to wear it down. It seemed to always be in the way, it would get snatched up in the seatbelt mechanism of my car, caught under purse or backpack straps, plus shed hairs were much more noticeable and really icky to find stuck to things in the kitchen, especially food. Now I gladly wear it up most of the time. I really enjoy taking it down in the evenings and combing or brushing it out, though. And of course I wear it down occasionally when I have the time and inclination to watch out for it.

Panth
July 26th, 2013, 11:38 AM
One thing to know is that different people often mean different things by 'protective styles'. For some, plaits or even ponytails count. For others, it's buns and styles that keep the hair off the nape of the neck only. Also, some people exclude certain styles, e.g. half-pulled-through ponytail "bun", as they are quite damaging despite being off the nape of the neck. Some people also don't count buns that start with a ponytail band. It all really depends on the fragility of their hair.

As for are they required - no, but with exceptions. I would say they are often required if you want to grow classic+. They may also be required if your hair is particularly delicate or damage-prone, or if you do lots and lots of other damaging things (e.g. bleach, dye (not deposit-only), perm/relaxing, daily straightener use, daily hairdryer use, lots of mechanical damage when styling, etc.).

Personally, they are required for me. I gain length exceedingly slowly post-tailbone and cannot get past classic length while wearing my hair loose 4-5 days a week. With daily bunning I've reached knee and am still going, despite having fine hair.

ExpectoPatronum
July 26th, 2013, 11:45 AM
Protective styles aren't required.

Personally, I've had a huge problem with my ends becoming dry and damaged. I started wearing my hair up in buns whenever I would be moving around a lot or went to bed and I've already seen a dramatic decrease in damage in my ends...even with swimming four days a week!

If you feel your hair is in good shape down, leave it down. If you notice a lot of reoccurring damage at the end, experiment with putting it up.

curlytwirlykate
July 26th, 2013, 12:49 PM
I have a hard time navigating the balance between low-manipulation styles and protective styles. I need a TON of bobbypins/sticks/manipulation to get my hair off of the nape of the neck, and tend to damage my lower layers when I do a braid with an elastic at the bottom. I feel that all of these "protective" styles significantly protect my ends, but the stretching, twisting, and pinning causes damage and breakage higher up.

Wearing my hair down, however, is really low manipulation. I hope that if I take care of the ends properly, I can get away with low-manipulation styles during the day, and protective styling at night (when I need less tools because it doesn't have to look good!).

But then, my hair is only collarbone length. So what do I know? ;)

Sharysa
July 26th, 2013, 01:22 PM
Protective styles are styles that keep most of your hair contained. They're technically not required, but they certainly make haircare a lot easier.

For me protective styles are buns and braids, but not half-up styles unless your hair is short (bob-length to shoulder).

Lolaaa
July 26th, 2013, 01:22 PM
Thanks for this post. I was wondering the same thing!

meteor
July 26th, 2013, 01:32 PM
Protective styles are certainly not required, but beneficial for longer hair to prevent damage, especially if:
- you have tightly curled hair (for example, afro hair),
- easily damaged hair with very thin strands,
- tangle-prone hair that takes forever to detangle every time after wearing it down,
- you are out in very windy, harsh weather.


I have a hard time navigating the balance between low-manipulation styles and protective styles. I need a TON of bobbypins/sticks/manipulation to get my hair off of the nape of the neck, and tend to damage my lower layers when I do a braid with an elastic at the bottom. I feel that all of these "protective" styles significantly protect my ends, but the stretching, twisting, and pinning causes damage and breakage higher up.

Wearing my hair down, however, is really low manipulation. I hope that if I take care of the ends properly, I can get away with low-manipulation styles during the day, and protective styling at night (when I need less tools because it doesn't have to look good!).
That's such a great point, Curlytwirlykate! I noticed the same thing: I have major kinks and weird angles in my hair now that I'm bunning it all the time (and I use only 1 smooth hair-pin!). And wearing my hair down, half-ups, ponytails in the past still allowed me to have healthy tailbone-length hair without any of these bun-induced kinks. I often wonder which approach is truly more damaging for straight/wavy hair.
The only reason I bun my hair is because it tangles easily.

queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 02:05 PM
If you are intending on keeping relaxing you will likely need to use protective styles regularly to get reasonably healthy waist length hair, older hair is more damaged anyway from normal 'weathering' (brushing, combing, washing, rubbing on clothes/ bed linen/ car headrests, sunlight etc), chemical processes accelerate than damage. 'Regularly' doesn't necessarily mean every day, you might wear your hair up during the workday/ at school and during higher risk activities and then down for evenings and at weekends. Often with longer hair you can get away with one damaging thing - wearing hair down a lot or colour treating or relaxing or blow frying - but not more than one.

I do the relaxers every 12-14 weeks on the new-growth only,hardly blow dry but I am guilty of using my flat iron 1-3 times a weeks to straighten out the fluffiness and the to straighten out the ends if I forget to french braid at night which anymore is rarely. I've gone into the beauty school up here (they do haircuts and such for more appealing prices) and they always seem shocked that my hair is 1.) my own and 2.) relaxed . Apparently it's quite healthy! :D I do use a heat protectant each time I pull out the flat iron or blow dryer though, do those really help or are they just a marketing scam?

queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 02:08 PM
I am the same way in that I like to wear my hair down as much as possible. Even at this length (passing Classic) I wear it down most of the time. I only usually don a protective style (functional for the situation and out of the way) when I'm sleeping or doing a lot of bending and picking up things or it's TOO hot or cold.. styles include (but are not limited to): french twist with spin pins, braids, buns.. pony tail. :) :disco:

I simply adore braids, I'm learning the waterfall braid right now. I know it's quite simple its just getting all the body mechanics to line up properly (ie. doing it in a mirror and now reversing the motion, mastering the drop and lift aspect). I've done it successfully a few times but then stopped practicing it. I know, for shame!

queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 02:12 PM
I hated the idea of wearing my hair up or braided most of the time, too. However, when my hair length passed the bottom of my shoulder-blades, it became a hassle to wear it down. It seemed to always be in the way, it would get snatched up in the seatbelt mechanism of my car, caught under purse or backpack straps, plus shed hairs were much more noticeable and really icky to find stuck to things in the kitchen, especially food. Now I gladly wear it up most of the time. I really enjoy taking it down in the evenings and combing or brushing it out, though. And of course I wear it down occasionally when I have the time and inclination to watch out for it.

Put that way it does make sense. I just love how it feels down and about :-) I can imagine the issue with it getting caught in things, I've gotten trapped/attached to cars already. Mainly because the wind hits just right as I'm either rolling up the window or getting out of the car. I thought my hair had to be longer to worry bout that, apparently not! Fortunately its only been a handful of times.

queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 02:16 PM
Hi queen of heartz, I am new to pampering my hair. I have stopped using dyes with peroxide and just use colour deposit colour, no more drying with a hair dryer or using straighteners. I am trying to repair some damage I did when I over washed my hair which made it very dry. I keep my hair tyed up when I am at home, I am seeing if this keeps it cleaner and I also wear a hat when I got out because my hair doesn't like the sun. Happy experimenting :)

I'm looking into doing henna for coloring, I had it done once when I was 14 or so and can't remember the results or really anything about the process. It seems to be the way to go for coloring on here.

queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 02:19 PM
One thing to know is that different people often mean different things by 'protective styles'. For some, plaits or even ponytails count. For others, it's buns and styles that keep the hair off the nape of the neck only. Also, some people exclude certain styles, e.g. half-pulled-through ponytail "bun", as they are quite damaging despite being off the nape of the neck. Some people also don't count buns that start with a ponytail band. It all really depends on the fragility of their hair.

As for are they required - no, but with exceptions. I would say they are often required if you want to grow classic+. They may also be required if your hair is particularly delicate or damage-prone, or if you do lots and lots of other damaging things (e.g. bleach, dye (not deposit-only), perm/relaxing, daily straightener use, daily hairdryer use, lots of mechanical damage when styling, etc.).

Personally, they are required for me. I gain length exceedingly slowly post-tailbone and cannot get past classic length while wearing my hair loose 4-5 days a week. With daily bunning I've reached knee and am still going, despite having fine hair.

I would have no problem with the braids, I love the things so much and there are so many to chose from! I've seen some of the buns as well that I may end up doing, but braids would be my first choice.

queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 02:22 PM
I have a hard time navigating the balance between low-manipulation styles and protective styles. I need a TON of bobbypins/sticks/manipulation to get my hair off of the nape of the neck, and tend to damage my lower layers when I do a braid with an elastic at the bottom. I feel that all of these "protective" styles significantly protect my ends, but the stretching, twisting, and pinning causes damage and breakage higher up.

Wearing my hair down, however, is really low manipulation. I hope that if I take care of the ends properly, I can get away with low-manipulation styles during the day, and protective styling at night (when I need less tools because it doesn't have to look good!).

But then, my hair is only collarbone length. So what do I know? ;)

Makes sense. I usually french braid at night, mainly because sweaty neck makes it difficult to sleep and it's alway so fluffy there in the morning I hit it with the flat iron to smooth it back out. Braiding seems to prevent the need to flat iron each morning so that's a win I guess.

queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 02:23 PM
Thanks for this post. I was wondering the same thing!

No problem! I looked around and then gave up (read: my brain went kaput from search overload). Glad this helps.

queenofheartz44
July 26th, 2013, 02:25 PM
Haha! I understand the windy aspect. My hair doesn't taste nearly as good as it smells!

biogirl87
July 26th, 2013, 04:26 PM
I have a hard time navigating the balance between low-manipulation styles and protective styles. I need a TON of bobbypins/sticks/manipulation to get my hair off of the nape of the neck, and tend to damage my lower layers when I do a braid with an elastic at the bottom. I feel that all of these "protective" styles significantly protect my ends, but the stretching, twisting, and pinning causes damage and breakage higher up.

Wearing my hair down, however, is really low manipulation. I hope that if I take care of the ends properly, I can get away with low-manipulation styles during the day, and protective styling at night (when I need less tools because it doesn't have to look good!).

But then, my hair is only collarbone length. So what do I know? ;)curlytwirlykate, when my hair was collarbone length I could wear it down during every day until it started becoming clear it was getting greasy, at which point it was put in a ponytail or half ponytail (with my thickness of 3.5+ inches I couldn't start doing buns until I got to APL and that was before I found LHC so I didn't know about Gibson tuck at the time). At the time I wore my hair loose to bed as well. So, I think that during the day at least, while you're at collarbone length or until you get to APL you'll be fine wearing your hair down. If it gets greasy, you may be able to do a French twist.