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Protective Styling 101


Well-Known Member
To help the new, old, and interested, I made this post to try to cover as much on protective styling as I could. Definitions, tips, and hairstyles are researched and gathered from search engines (http://google.com), The LHCF, and friends.

What are protective styles?
Well, a protective style is usually defined as a hairstyle that allows your ends to be safely tucked away unexposing it to wind, UV Rays, or other environmental harm. TO ME Protective Styles can fall into different categories!

No Contact: Because most of our clothing (especially tops) are made of cotton (which absorbs moisture) and can sometimes cause breakage from repetitive rubbing throughout the day, a no contact style (e.i updo) makes NO CONTACT with your clothing.

Now (Pronounced No) Maintenance: The Now (Low or No) Maintenance hairstyles are just that. A hairstyle (usually a no contact) that require little or no manipulation throughout the day. Thus preventing breakage and promoting growth.

and then of course, there's the
Ends Protecting: The ends of your hair are tucked away unexposing it to wind or harmful elements in our environment.


To make protective styles effective here are some tips that allow better results for your hair while wearing ps (protective styles).

Tip 1: Consider the tools and products you are using. Avoid using hair accessories that snag and break the hair. Instead use accessories coated with silk or satin as shown here. You can even soak your hair holders and scrunchies in non staining essential/carrier oil mixes for fragrance and to prevent dryness. When detangling use seamless combs like the Bone Comb and when brushing (especially on the edges) use a 100% Boar Bristle Brush. For general preferences on combs and brushes click here. Try using natural or more healthy alternatives when using styling gels. Most make your hair hard and brittle causing breakage and excess shedding. Browse here for natural hair recipes on gels and pomades.

Tip 2: Retain moisture! The no contact and ends protective categories are mainly to prevent much needed moisture from being absorbed from the hair. You can use the End Sealing Technique (scroll to bottom) which is basically taking foil and covering the ends of your damp hair. Then place a flat iron on the foil and let the evenly distributed heat seal in the moisture on your hair. Or you can look into the Vaseline Challenge for retaining moisture! In general, you can read about The Key To Optimal Moisture.

What kind of protective styles are there?
Well, TO ME, there aren't any set ps. There are, of course, common ones, but with a little creativity, you can always do your own thing. As long as there's no rubbing or snagging, little or no manipulation, and retains enough moisture you're good to go. Some common ones are:

*=don't include a How To
Buns (2) (3) (4 for shorter hair)
French Twist
Straw Set
Braiding Tips (some are NOT protective, but'll give you ideas)
Various (buns, french twist, etc)
Baggie Technique (aid in ps)
Pin Curls
Twist Out
Bantu Knots
Braid Outs
Flat Twist
*Braid Out Ponytail
Wigs very informative

Jazzing Up Protective Styles
A lot of the ladies here sometimes complain about ps being boring. So, here's a few tips on how to jazz your protective styles up!

Hair Accessories: They make or break a boring bun! You can purchase a rat from A Discount Beauty to add to your buns (example here (just beautiful!
). You can wear hair flowers to spice up an updo (read more about hair flowers here)

Combination: You can add cornrows or flat twist at the front of your head to help your braid out or other crinkly/curly styles. You can add spiral curls on the sides and back of your hair to give your bun an elegant look.

Fashion: Jewlry can bring out a boring hairstyle, too. When your hair is up, a cute feminem illusion necklace can do the trick. If you have a shorter style (or for my naturals, those of you with tight coils and MADD SHRINKAGE) nice hoop, square, or triangular earrings can bring out your face and hairstyle.

Credit: motowngirl.com and The How To Thread. Please refer to these two links for even more information!

Feel free to contribute to any category. I really HTH someone


New Member
Girl you are the LHCF dictionary for real. That was really nice of you to do that

Moderators add this to the sticky list PRONTO!!!!


Well-Known Member
I just re-read it. It took like an hr to make this and I read through it in 3 seconds lol I'm glad it helped. I saw some REALLY CUTE earrings of diff shapes (squares and triangles) on this site. I'm tryna find it. I'll add the links when I do.


With this protective styling what would you recommend for taming that back kitchen in order not to have to add heat (press) it.

Do you sleep in your buns and ponytails or redo them everyday?


Well-Known Member
Actually, I'm transitioning (temporarily, I think, using styles with extensions (braids, twist, sew-ins, etc), so I don't have A LOT of experience with these. This is funny, because I made a post about taming that kitchen and edges a while ago. First off, I recommend growing these sections out! If your hair is broke off at the back or edges you'll have really short coils aka beedeebees. If you can get these spots to add length, they stretch and look much better and are more manageable. There's a lot that contributes to hair growth, but briefly, you can eliminate stress and tugging on these spots because that can cause breakage.

I recommend giving your self a scalp message to stimulate the scalp with rosemary and lavendar essential oil (diluted) focusing on these spots.

If you add gel and pomades to tame your kitchen you wanna make sure to keep your hair clean so products won't clog up your pores and prevent your scalp from breathing.

Watch what tools you use. If you're not sure about a brush, just run the brush across your skin. If it makes bad scratch marks and hurts, you can imagine what it's doing to your scalp. Try sticking with 100% Boar Bristle Brushes.

Moisture Moistue Moisture!!! Keep the spots moisturized!

Whew, I'm long winded
Sorry about that. To answer your question, though, try using a gel that won't break your hair and apply it to the napp of your neck (kitchen). Run water over your brush, shake the brush a little, and brush your edges. Then tie a silk or satin scarf on your head for about 10-15 mins before you leave and it should lie down pretty good. For me this worked only for a short time because the napp of my neck and edges were broken off. They would just coil back up a short time after. The key is to grow those spots out if they're broken. Here
a post about edges that might help.


Well-Known Member
Oh yea! I'm not sure about sleeping in buns but I'm sure you can put your hair in a ponytail and in the morning just wrap the hair sticking out the ponytail into a bun in the morning. Of course sleep with a satin silk or scarf to keep your ponytail in place.


I appreciate this advice. I have been wearing my hair down for the past 5 years and now I'm going to try and do protective styles 3 out of 4 weeks. I'm thinking a bun one week, a french roll another week, and I high spiral ponytail the third week and for the final week either down or another french roll. I'm going to try and jazz up the bun, b/c I'll feel better about wearing it.

I appreciate the advice.

I'm coming to realize that no hair salon cares more about my hair and growth than me, so I'd better try something different if I want to get better results. I'm ready to try and take this hair to the NEXT LEVEL!!!!

And I'm going to try protective styling.



New Member
Innocent Kiss...

You have to be some kind of librarian or something. You ROCK! This is fantastic - this AND that directory!

Thanks for taking the time to do this.
I'll be adding it to my faves as well.


Innocent Kiss ... this was a wonderful post you put together. It'll be especially helpful for newbie's.


New Member
Thank you for putting this together for all of us.
I'm new to protective styling and this helps me find looks that are pretty and functional!