Long-Term Protective Styles: These styles typically last 2 weeks to 2 months. Such styles include cornrows and braids extensions. These typically only require the application of moisture.
- Short Term Protective Styles: These are styles which last less than 2 weeks. They may require light manipulation such as moisturising, sealing and brushing or smoothing (as is the case with styles like buns and roll and tuck styles) but not detangling.
A short list of protective styles includes:
- Bantu knots
- Plaits and Twists – Don’t make these too small or keep them in for so long that they start to loc. That only causes more breakage on removal. Also, remember that you still need to keep your scalp and hair cleansed and moisturised.
- Cornrows – Avoid braiding tightly.
- Updos – These can require little manipulation and last at least a day or two.
- Buns – Not too tight on the hairline now
- Headwraps – Use silk/satin bases to avoid cotton blends from sucking the moisture out of your hair.
- Pinned up or short twists and plaits
- Braid extensions
- Wigs – Be sure to moisturise, deep condition and wash just as regularly as you would your loose hair and never go without a wig cap.
- Weaves – Avoid weaves that utilise glue. The glue usually takes your hair with it when it’s gone. Opt for sew-ins and if you leave out any in the front, do so only with hair that is similarly textured. You don’t want to damage your leave-out with regular heat applications.