Pursuit of Natural

life, levity, & the pursuit of natural

The Lull of Protective Styling



Setting and Forgetting

We’ve all fallen for the lull of protective styling. We put our hair away and sometimes put it out of mind altogether. Our easy, breezy routines turn to neglect, and dryness and buildup settle in for the duration. Then when it’s time to take down that style, we’re shocked to find excess matting, shedding, and breakage.

Protective styling is not a set it and forget it sort of thing, but laziness gets the best of all of us at one time or another. Here’s how to keep your hair in good condition while still enjoying a less demanding hair care routine.

Adopt Quick Moisturizing Techniques

Use the baggy method. Moisturize, seal, throw on a shower cap, and go about the rest of your morning routine. It can take as few as five minutes to revive your parched protective style. If you’re wearing a loose protective style, like twists, you can even throw your hair up in a bun and baggy just your ends.

Incorporate scalp massages. As well as stimulating blood flow, massaging your scalp can loosen your roots which can get stiff and matted when they stay in a fixed position for too long. If you are wearing a secured style, such as cornrows, it helps distribute product underneath where it can dry out from inaccessibility.

Stay on Target

Mind your edges. You’ll miss them when they are gone. They are quick to break off, so be sure to target special attention to them (and any other fragile areas on your head.) Avoid styles that put stress on your edges. Mist, oil, and massage them especially. If your edges are anything like mine, they are prone to tangling when they are dry–and I am prone to absentmindedly uncurling them with my fingers, which leads to the dreaded snapping.

Most importantly, don’t wear a protective style for too long. I never go longer than a month, though some people can. Either way, the longer you stretch the style, the more shed hair gets trapped, the more tangles you’ll find, the more time and pain it takes to detangle that mess. Rather than putting it off, set a limit and prepare to stick to it.


Did you take a holiday from your hair as well this season? Are you putting off the take down? Do you need more tips and advice on protective styling? Comment below. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. You can also follow me on my other platforms via the sidebar.


Author: pursuitofnatural

I'm a natural black chick in the USA who loves to laugh, write, and help others. So, I created The Pursuit of Natural, a blog on the hijinks, lowjinks, and lessons learned from going natural

8 thoughts on “The Lull of Protective Styling

  1. Great tips! I’ve had box braids for about a month now and I’m not sure if I should take them out soon or try to stick it out for another month and just try to keep up a good maintenance routine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our hair will usually let us know when its had enough of a style. Patience and a good take down method after exteneded wear will help–such as preepooing with coconut oil beforehand to loosen up matting, deep conditioning, etc. I’m in cornrows I was supposed to take out last week but I didn’t have time. Now I’m out of coconut oil, so we’ll see how this take down goes!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips, very straight forward and useful. Was a fun read, love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Girl, I’ve been setting and forgetting for over a year. I don’t even want to tell you how long I’ve gone with the same twisted flat twists pinned in the back. I’m so lazy when it comes to my hair. Without coconut oil I’d be a matted, broken mess. I did take my hair down, wash, condition, and detangle for NYE. Here’s to hoping I do it again before Valentine’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve started wearing braids with synthetic hair again and it’s really hard to get out of the habit of leaving them in for months at a time but I know my hair will flourish if they come out every 4-6 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

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