As much as we love wearing our beautiful afros, there comes a time when you need to get your natural hair into a protective style. Protective styling is quick, low maintenance hairstyles that help to retain length and to protect each strand in your head.

Who doesn’t love to be versatile? Who doesn’t love hairstyles that save time and keep your hair soft?

Some protective hairstyles are rod sets, twist outs, braid outs, flat twists, buns and braids. Protective styling can work for you if you do it correctly. Take a peek at our do’s and don’ts for protective hairstyles:


Choose a style that will reduce breakage and tangling. Protective Styles tend to fall into two categories: low manipulation and no manipulation.

Low manipulation refers to a hairstyle that requires some daily handling such as braid outs and twist outs that need to be re-braided or re-twisted at night. Other low manipulation styles are buns and French rolls that keep the hair free, but tucked away off the shoulders.

No manipulation styles require no daily handling such as twists, braids, cornrows and flat twists. These hairstyles seem to be the most effective when trying to eliminate breakage, and knotting. Low manipulation styles can result in some breakage if you do not perform detangling properly.

Keep the right style in for long enough in order retain length. With protective styles, you have to keep them in for an amount of time to be effective. You should change your protective hairstyle every two weeks.

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  • Thanks for this. I’m 8+ years natural and I don’t have an adequate amount of health/length to show for it (I went natural at the age of 12). I take care of my hair, but I’m ready to take better care of it and hopefully by this time next year it’ll be longer and stronger. :)

    • niki

      Check out Kimmaytube on Youtube. I’ve been 10+ years natural but mostly locs. I just cut them 2 weeks and have an afro. There is a few others on there, you just have to look but she’s one to start off with. Hopefully it helps. Also the site Black Girl Long Hair(www.bglhonline.com) has some awesome stuff too.

  • Morgan

    My hair currently isn’t long enough to do protective styles because I did a second big chop and am in the process of growing my hair back out..my TWA is short&&really curly but when I wake up in the mornings my curls are all smushed which causes me to have to manipulate my hair alot..I was wondering if you had any tips that could help besides wearing a satin bonnet&&using a satin pillow case to protect my hair..