I'll let you know now that I don't care for protective styling. If you are interested in length retention, apparently protective styling is the way to go. I'm not completely convinced on that, but if you choose to protective style, below are some information that may help you do it effectively.
What constitutes as protective styling?
I only have two requirements for protective styling. If a style does not satisfy the following requirements, I don't consider it a protective style.
- Protect your individual hair strands from damage
- Allow you to maintain your hair's health
Is every style a protective style?
Based on how I define protective styling, most styles are not protective.There are many styles that protect your individual hair strands (like updos which keep your individual hairs from rubbing against your collar), but fail to allow much access to give your hair what it needs( like regular washing and moisturizing) and vice versa.
How long should I keep a protective style?
It depends on the style and your preference, but I think that your protective style should be able to be taken down on a nightly(or at most a weekly) basis so you can moisturize and seal. The way I look at it is that is does no good to keep your hair tied up if it prevents essential care. Even the best protective style has a peak and there comes a point when it must be redone.