Sunday, December 6, 2015

Low Maintenance vs. Protective Styling

Hey, beautiful people.  With winter fully here, I thought now is good time to talk about protective styling vs. low manipulation styling.  A style can be both protective and low manipulation, which is why the two terms are frequently confused, but they are not the same thing.

  • Low manipulation refers to styles that require minimum styling, and require little maintenance during the week.  Low maintenance styles tend to be "set it and forget it" styles.  This would include wash n gos, certain updos, and bunning.  Braid outs/twist outs are only low manipulation if you don't have to frequently re-braid/twist.

  • Protective styling refers to styles that hide your hair, particularly your ends, to protect it from the elements.  This would include updos, bunning, braids, twists.  It would also include wigs.

For some people, especially those with fine hair, like me, low manipulation styles may be better than protective styles because frequent manipulation of the hair can lead to breakage.  On the other hand, for some, protective styles are better because their ends are easily damaged.

Thus, far, I've found that my hair likes low manipulation styles.  However, in the winter time, it prefers styles that are both low manipulation and protective because my hair stays better moisturized that way.  I live in Michigan where the winters are very cold and dry.

As a word of caution, with both low manipulation and protective styles, you have to be careful about tangling.  If your hair is in a loose, low maintenance style, it may tangle.  For example, I typically get tangles with my wash n go if I am not careful in applying gel to the curlier sections.  Also, if my hair is left in a protective style for too long, like braids or twists, then it may tangle.  Obviously, with both types of styles, you have to continue to maintain moisture levels.

What types of styles does your hair prefer?
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