Every hair type ranging across the span of texture and curl patterns, will experience damage at some point.

When you have curly hair there are many factors that can cause damage including heat, over-styling, over-treating, the elements, to name a few.

Every hair type and curl pattern can use some shelter now and then. Read on for some essential tips on maintaining your fall protective style.

What is a protective style?

Basically, any hairstyle that keeps your length and ends contained.

The goal is to keep hair from requiring daily handling so that your strands can be left alone. A true protective style saves time on your morning and nighttime refreshing routine, too.

Popular types of protective styles come in three main forms--braids, twists, and updos--with each category containing variations on each style. For example, there are Dutch braids for wavies with looser patterns and finer hair types, and box braids which are traditionally worn by naturals with curlier and kinkier textures.

Why it's important to maintain a protective style

A protective style is not about ignoring your hair and hoping for the best.

  • You should still cleanse your hair. Neglecting to do so can lead to buildup among other issues. Use the popular no-poo approach or a sulfate-free shampoo followed by a moisturizing conditioner.
  • Use a pre-poo to massage the scalp with the pads of your fingers for even distribution--and to avoid adding frizz to your protective style.
  • Keep your curls moisturized. We can’t stress this point enough. Refresh hair that is in between washes with a mist spray of your favorite conditioner diluted with water or a leave-in conditioner. Generally, medium to high porosity curls require more frequent moisturizing than low porosity hair.

4 Must-know tips for maintaining your protective style

1. Don’t braid too tightly.

The point of this style is to protect hair, not pull it into a tight braid or bun causing tugging and possible hair loss.

2. Sleep with hair in a wrap or scarf.

This will keep hair from looking frizzy in the morning. It will also help with friction, breakage, and even premature hair loss. At night, wear a silk scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase for added protective measure.

3. Dry hair before wrapping.

You want to avoid any issues with moisture. If hair is wrapped while it is still wet, you may end up with an unpleasant mildew scent. Dry with a microfiber towel to avoid friction caused by other towels.

4. Don’t be in a hurry when you take out your style.

The point of a protective style is to give hair a chance to heal from over-styling and over-treating. Don’t be in a rush to take down your style until you feel your hair needs to be cleansed. While some shedding is natural during the take-out phase, it should be done gently and slowly to eliminate losing excessive amounts of hair.

Are you rocking a protective style this fall?

Browse our community's protective styles photos on our StyleNook (and add your own).

Check out My Protective Style Twists Takedown: Before, During & After.

For more informative articles like this, sign up for our newsletter!