Now I'm sure you've heard a thousand times about the benefits of protective styling. Sometimes you just want your hair to be free!
Yes, protective styles are definitely effective, but you can maintain hair length with a low manipulation system as well.
Below you will find 10 steps to build a low manipulation of hair routine.
I'm a big fan of styles with lots of volume and height, so for the most part I'm actually not so fond of protective styles in my hair because they feel too flat.
Another important concern is that braids in particular can cause thinner hairs if you do not apply the right amount of tension carefully.
They: Do's and Don's # of Protective Styling with Braids
That's why I go for a simple bun when I protect my hair, and if I have time on two strands. The truth is that you will most likely retain more hair if you protect your hair often because the hair is not subjected to so much manipulation and your ends are not exposed to as much damage.
But if you prefer twist outs, braided outs, bantu knots or other sets or protective styles more, you can still maintain a good amount of hair length.
10 ways to build a low manipulation system:
Choose styles that don't require much combing or brushing to maintain. Go with a style that just requires you to add some moisture, reinforce and walk.
Detangle hair that is moist (not wet) to avoid breakage. For those who prefer to dry detangle, make sure you apply a product that gives you a good slip to get through your hair. (You can check out this list of 10 inexpensive conditioners. They are perfect for dry tangling.) You may also want to try implementing Finger Combing or Finger Detangling for a more gentle setting.
Wash your hair in sections to cut down on tangles. (This is one of the tips I swear by for growing longer natural hair.)
Even if you choose to co-wash, make sure your hair is often deep-conditioned. This helps improve the manageability of your hair, making detangling and styling easier. Here are our best Deep Conditioner Picks.
If you find that it's time for a trim to get rid of split ends, go for it and don't delay! Split ends tend to make the hair lighter. The longer you wait, the more hair you have to cut. More signs that it's time for a trim.
When you condition and moisturize, you apply the product to a purpose. The ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair that needs the most attention, especially if you do not protect your hair often.
Your hair can get jammed in your clothes, so if you wear your hair out, be sure to keep your hair in contact with wool or cotton.
If you have hair that easily entangles you, you may want to choose more stretched or blown styles to avoid breakage. Here you will find tips on how to heat stretch your hair without damage.
Use a protein treatment for stronger hair with more elasticity to withstand more manipulation. 5 protein deep conditioners you should know
Moisten even more. Since your hair is worn out, it may not hold moisture for as long as it would in a protective style. The L.O.C method is the best way to moisturize during and after the washing process. But if it doesn't work for you in that order, you can try L.C.O or any other order.
SEE ALSO: 8 Things to Avoid When Protective Styling