When your hair is in transition from being relaxed to being in its natural state, it needs protective styling to help retain new growth. But even after your hair has completed the process of transitioning, protective styles for natural hair should be worn to help prevent breakage and to generally help keep your hair and scalp healthy.
Taking It Easy
Many African-American women have the misunderstanding that their hair is thick and coarse, mainly because of how voluminous it appears. More often than not, however, naturally curly hair is quite fine. It’s the overall curl pattern, rather than the thickness of each individual strand of hair, that gives the hair so much volume.
What’s important to note is that fine hair requires very gentle care. If you’re frustrated, thinking your hair just doesn’t grow, it’s actually more likely that it’s breaking off at the ends and simply not retaining new growth. As long as you have a healthy scalp, eat a healthy diet, and otherwise enjoy good health, there’s no reason your hair won’t do what it does naturally – grow. Your job is simply to use gentle care to hold onto the growth.
Well-Known Protective Styles
Among the most popular protective styles for natural hair are braids, cornrows, flat twists, buns, and weaves. These hairstyles do all offer protection from the elements and secure the fragile ends of your hair so they aren’t exposed to manipulation and wear. They also keep your hair from getting caught up in purse straps, spaghetti straps, zippers, and buttons, and from rubbing against clothing which puts wear and tear on the hair.
Have You Considered?
Wigs are another protective style that many women unfortunately don’t immediately think of. Just as with other protective styles, wigs protect your hair and especially the ends from the elements and from being overly manipulated during styling. When human hair wigs undergo a process called ‘yaki’ which reproduces the look of various natural curl patterns, not only can they protect your hair, but it’s very possible that no one will even know you’re wearing a wig.
Wigs are also a protective style that can be changed and styled more quickly and easily than some other styles like weaves, braids, and twists. Good quality wigs such as full lace wigs may take a little time at first to learn how to put on and secure with confidence, but once you get the hang of it, you can easily wear one and take it off daily, or else wear it for several days at a time.
With proper care, a good quality wig can last from one year to 18 months. For some women, that’s enough time to grow their natural hair to their goal length. But even if your hair requires more time to reach the length you want, a good wig can see you through a significant amount of the growing-out process.
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