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Curly Nikki

Which Protective Style?- Natural Hair Styles

By January 27th, 202122 Comments

JAnne (not pictured) writes:

I’ve been experimenting with protective styles lately. I’m usually a wash and go type girl but I notice that I’m not keeping as much length as I should. I’m wondering what the most effective protective styles are? Which ones keep your hair the most moisturized and help you achieve the greatest lengths? I’m really trying to get past shoulder length.

CN says:
I’ve somehow become a protective styler… not by choice, but by necessity. I’ve done the bun thing (wet and dry) and more recently I’m rocking two strand twists. While many may argue that twists are not a protective style, I would counter that they are… although my ends are not hidden away, manipulation is very, very low. I find that my hair stays much more moisturized in twists (compared to buns) if for no other reason that I keep up a regular moisture/oil routine. When my hair is bunned and hidden away, I leave it up there and forget about it. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s rare when I take it down, moisturize the ends and seal. I also find that a week old bun is hell to detangle which can lead to set backs. It’s easy to keep my hair lubricated in the twists and by virtue of the style, it stays nearly tangle free. Twists for me… updos and buns less so.

What about you?

Which protective style do you recommend for moisture and length retention?


  • CurleyKai says:

    Braid and curl, then in morning, take unbraid the bangs and twist the rest of the braids around each other and pin up. Take down at night, rebraid the bangs moisturizing the braids too. Then when I want to rock the braid out on the weekend, great waves/curls and stretch. Works best w smaller braids, (maybe 20)

  • Jo Somebody says:

    Box braids for me. The only downside to these is that I think they have to be small to look nice (I have a TWA) and thus, they take ages!

    Right now I have in yarn braids though, which have the same problem with time, but last longer.

  • Anonymous says:

    While i rock a variety of buns, I typically twist my hair weekly and then pin the twist up in a bun with a few bobby pins. This allows me to nightly take out the bobby pins and moisutrize. Then in the morning I repin

  • Anonymous says:

    Two strand twists. Now that I've added henna to my regimen I don't see as many ssk's as I used to. I wear twists 3-4 days then take them down for a twist out (re-twisting st night) 1-2 days then re-wash and twist up again.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have VERY COILY, 4b 4c penspring curls. My hair is about 4-5 inches long. The SSKs were driving me to distraction! I couldn't keep length!

    I am SOOO tired of having to cut my hair! Snip-snip here and a snip-snip there…Good grief!

    I gave up on having my hair in twistouts, and went back to using KCCC and KCKT.

    This is how I apply KCCC and KCKT to my 4c coils:

    1. After shampooing with KC Come Clean, I apply KCKT to my hair and detangle. I place the detangled sections in hairclips and lightly rinse my clipped hair under the shower. I do not remove the clips while rinsing.

    2. After stepping from the shower (and getting dressed, LOL!) I apply KCCC to each clipped section, smooth with the denman, twist and re-clip.

    3. Once all clipped sections are gelled with KCCC, I return to the nape and begin finger coiling. If the lock of hair does not coil, I retry with a smaller section until I get a coil.

    4. I keep a small misting bottle to re-wet as necessary. I get the BEST coiling when the lock is very wet. Water helps KCCC coil better.

    5. Let dry. At night I sleep in a bonnet or mesh scarf. In the morning, I mist with my spray bottle to release the matted coils.

    6. I GET 7 DAY HAIR


    8. This is my "protective hairstyle" for the time being.

    Hope this helps!

    XOXO ~Thetruthisoutthere

  • Anonymous says:


    I love 2 strand twists and buns. Do you remember when the tube top was placed against the head and the hair rolled over it and pinned…I LOVE this style. I 2 strand twist my hair and then put them in buns, or roll them and pin them up but without the tube top because I don't need it. I am experimenting with bantu knot outs now.

  • Onedayatatime says:

    I love braids,i co-wash and then airdry with my braids and add rollers to them to the night before i release them to rock a Braid n curl at the weekend!
    If i want to wear braids for longer i do more of them and keep it for three weeks.(i do wash them after the first week and take care of them by spritzing with water and sealing the ends)
    My hair is so moisturized and tends to frizz less.Braids work for me and my hair.

  • Coilybella says:

    Cornrows and flattwists. The ends are protected and moisture is retained longer

  • Tiffany says:

    2 strand twists are my best friend.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,

  • Anonymous says:

    I can't remember to tuck my ends either. Plus, I like the look of wearing them out.

  • Tracey says:

    twist and cornrow. I may have my hair in cornrows about 8-10 times a year. The rest of the time it's in two strand twist. Not very good with remembering to tuck my ends

  • Anonymous says:

    I consider two-strand twists to be "semi-protective" styles. At least for me. They are my main protective style and I have experienced much growth with them. I don't always tuck my ends, I like my twists to hang 🙂


  • Anonymous says:

    Twists all day!

  • Smallfro says:

    2 stand twist for me. Will try buns when I get enough hair

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    Buns work for me!!!

  • mangomadness says:

    I love buns (sock and cinnabuns) and roll-and-tuck updos as protective styles for my tightly coiled hair. I like them because they are quick, easy (to put in and take down), low manipulation and allow for quicker detangling sessions (because they keep my hair very stretched). The aformention is all compared with my experience with two-strand twists as a protective style.

  • Dee W says:

    Twists are my main protective style as well. I twist my hair at least every week and a half. It's help me to retain the most length, and even when I go to take them out, usually after 5 days, 10 max, my hair is still very moisturized.

  • Anonymous says:

    twists work best for me because i can get them wet. they work with my hectic schedule and are easy to detangle on wash day. i do get bored though and switch to braids or buns.

  • hairscapades says:

    BTW, love the style in the pic! Can we get a tutorial on that?!?!

  • hairscapades says:

    I'm a fan of a variety of low manipulation, protective styles, but variations on buns tend to be my favorite. But, I do take it down every couple of days to re-set and then, depending on how it feels, re-moisturize. So, that's why they work for me. I like twists too, but they tend to unravel and take more time and more manipulation. So, I only wear them sometimes. However, right now, I'm in box braids. So, it all depends on what I'm feeling like. I think generally, I just get bored and like to switch it up. But ultimately, I try to keep my daily/weekly protective styling pretty low manipulation, quick and easy and go with a more time consuming, higher manipulation protective style (like twists or cornrows) once every month or two.


  • Chocolate Mom aka Blupoetres says:

    I completely agree with you. I love my two strand twists and tend to care more for them than even my Bantu knots. I try to remember to take the knots down remoisturize and then re-knot, but like you I just end up forgetting about them. Another protective style for me is the very simple 2 cornrows either parted in the middle or to the side. This works great as well.

  • Anonymous says:

    i don't know what to do. im so confused about how to retain length and which protective style is working for me. I love being natural, but I just can't figure it out.

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