ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Protective Hairstyles for Growing Natural Hair Longer

Updated on January 25, 2016

Hair styling is very important when trying to grow hair long and strong. It can mean the difference of protecting your hair or damaging it. All hair styles are not created equal.

Heat Styling: Friend or Foe?

One of the biggest things you should stay away from if you are trying to grow your hair long is heat. Heat can be very damaging to the hair if not used properly or sparingly.

Heat appliances change the structure of the hair and break the hydrogen bonds that hold the curls together. This allows the hair to become straighten but the appliance. Once hydrogen is reintroduced to the hair via water the hair will revert back to its natural curl.

Thermal styling is temporary but if heat styling natural hair becomes too frequent the hair can become damaged beyond repair. Heat can damage the cuticles of the hair and when the cuticles are damaged the hair losses its strength and will begin to break off.

For curly hair, heat damage may prevent the hair from curling back to its original curl causing the hair to look frizzy.

Some styles may look good but they could actually hinder your growth.

Protective styling is the best way to style your natural hair if you are trying to grow your hair long. Protective styling is used for protect the ends of your hair and prevent them from rubbing against your clothing and being worn down by the outside elements.

Protective styles are for everyone!

A lot of people think that protective styles are boring and not stylish but they actually can be really cute.

Natural hair styles are never ending from braids to buns to twists and combinations of any of them.


One of my favorite protective hair style is a bun. There are so many things you can do with buns.

You can dress them up or down or make them as stylish as you want.

Buns can be messy or sleek; they can be accessorized or left plain. I love buns because they are easy to do and they last the whole week which is really great for low manipulation.

Protective styles are meant to last you a few days so that you don’t have to worry about you hair and so you can manipulate your hair as little as possible. The less you comb your hair or style your hair the better.

If your hair isn’t long enough to do a bun, puffs are a good alternative.


Another way that I like to protect my hair is with braids.

Braids are extremely diverse and can be as complex or as simple as you want. There are many different ways to style braids from French braids, to cornrows, to individual braids, plaits and braid outs.

If you are the type of person who likes to wear cornrows, there are endless possibilities when styling your hair. They look great and they are protecting your hair.

Just make sure that when you are cornrowing or doing any braid style in your hair that you don’t make them too tight. This can cause your hair to come out and even bald in some areas.

My hair type is fine and my edges are very fragile; I like to keep my edges cornrowed down so that they stay protected and grow as good as the rest of my hair.


For the rest of my hair, I like to do braid outs. I’ll plait my hair in about five braids and leave them in until they are completely dry and then I take them out for a wavy stretched out look.

I also like to braid my hair in to many small individual braids. This style will last me about two to three weeks; even longer if I use extensions. Depending on your hair texture, individual braids may last longer or shorter than mine.


If you get bored with buns and braids, the fun with protective styling natural hair doesn’t have to stop there. You can also do twists. Much like braids, twists are very diverse. Pretty much anything you can do with braids you can do with twist, twists will just change up the style a bit.

There is definitely not just one way to twist the hair. Sometimes I like to single strand twist, two strand twist and even three strand twist. Each of these twisting methods make the hair look different and help protect the hair.


Sometimes when my braid outs and twist outs get old I like to throw them up into an updo. Updos are quick and easy.

Tucking and rolling is my favorite way to achieve a quick updo style.

If your hair is shorter you may want to try using bobby pins and clips to achieve an updo style.

Clips and bobby pins were my best friend when I had my shorter hair.

If you are truly dedicated to growing your natural hair as long as possible, you should really consider protective styling your hair 90% of the time.

Save your down styles for special occasions or for the weekend.

Styling natural hair in protective styles does not have to be boring. Find some cool accessories to spice up your hair styles!

I have had so much fun over the years getting to know my hair. Through your hair journey try to enjoy yourself through every milestone. If you are starting off with short hair count yourself as lucky.

You will get the chance to really master your hair as it grows out because it will be much easier to handle.

Styling natural hair is not easy but practice make perfect. Once you get the hang of it you will enjoy your natural hair and all of its diversity!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • KySmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyndall Smith 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee

      Your welcome and thank you for commenting!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks , this really helped me .

      - Muahhh !

    • KySmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyndall Smith 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee

      Thank you so much for the support! I'm so glad you found my hub helpful. Nice to meet you also! =)

    • TheListLady profile image


      7 years ago from New York City

      Love the styles and I like the term and definition of protective styles - I had not thought about that. I suppose I should not give up so easily and spend a bit of time twisting my locs - and I see what you mean about getting some accessories - it would make such a difference and it would be fun. Well, Okay then.

      Meanwhile, thanks for all the reminders about how much damage we can do to our hair. All in the name of beauty? No, the beauty is there, it's the care we need to learn about.

      Rated up and nice to meet you by the way!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)