Knowing The Difference Between Low Manipulation Styles Vs. Protective Styles
One of the key pieces of advice that stuck with me during my journey is the importance of incorporating protective styles and low manipulation styles to retain health and length. But knowing the difference is important.
Protective styling involves protecting your ends (the oldest part of your hair) from the elements i.e. weather, clothing, furniture etc. Keeping your ends tucked away shields them from unnecessary breakage caused by daily wear and tear.
Buns have always been my protective style of choice. It allows me to protect my ends, retain length and it doesn’t cause tension or stress to my hair. I’ve noticed that I retain the most length when my hair is up off my shoulders and in a bun! Other protective styles include braids, cornrows, wigs, weaves, and updos.
Low Manipulation Styles
Although your ends are exposed, low manipulation styles require less handling making them a healthy hairstyle option. These styles include braid-outs, twist-outs, bantu knots, pin curls, and flexi-rod sets. It’s a quick, simple, tension free and heat-free style for any occasion.
Avoiding hot tools (flat iron, blow dryer and curling wands) and excessive combing has also been a key factor in allowing me to retain length regardless of the style. Using these hot tools frequently is considered high manipulation and poses a threat to your hair's health.