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FEATURES Aug 29 2012 8:09PM

Rock The Best Protective Styles

by Lianne Farbes, The Makeup Girl
Love them or hate them, protective styles are still the best way to make sure that your hair is taken care of. First off, what is a protective style?  Glad you asked!  A protective style is one that typically involves no heat styling.  The protective style shields the hair from things like hot and cold weather, stress and daily styling.  You can also go a certain number of days, weeks, or months without having to manipulate your hair in any way, resulting in less damage.
I can attest to the validity of protective styles.  I first learned about them from a popular web forum a few years back.  I gave myself a 90-day challenge and went all summer without putting any heat on my hair at all.  I got myself a few hair pieces and put away the hot tools.  I wore buns, ponytails and even curly styles all summer long.  When October rolled around, I had gained 3 inches of growth with virtually no split ends.
There are several kinds of protective styles that are good for a day (French twist) to a few months (braids or weaves).  Below are my favorites.
1.     Tucked/Twisted styles – These are beautiful ways to do a protective style for the day.  A french twist or a tucked, rolled style is a great way to do a quick look for evening or just to get your hair off your neck in the summer.
2.     Twist/Braid Out – These are both great options that you can do yourself AND they put very little stress on your hair.  Apply a nice thick styling cream to the twists and let dry, your hair will be super shiny when you take them out.
3.     Weaves – This is a longer term option.  I wore a weave most of last summer and got 4 inches of growth (May – September).  You must be careful with this option and make sure your MAINTAIN it properly.  Improper maintenance can lead to breakage and hair loss.
4.     Braids – I love the look of braids and when done properly can be a fantastic protective style.  AGAIN it’s essential that you properly maintain this style to avoid breakage and hair loss.
5.     Hair Pieces – One of the safest of them all...plus it’s fun!  You can always slap on a ponytail, bun or clip in a few tracks to keep your hair underwraps.
Above all, make sure that you keep your hair conditioned and put as little stress on it as possible.  You can use a protective style to gain growth or to make your hair healthier.




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