Confessions of a non-protective styler

Healthy Hair
Image by woolyman

"I have a confession to make."
"I'm on a long hair journey and I don't like protective styling."

Sure, I wear buns from time to time but I do it for the wrong reasons. I bun not to experience the benefits of healthier ends. I bun only when the condition of my hair does not allow me to wear it like I would prefer.

If it were up to me, I allow my hair to hang freely every day of my existence. I love feeling my hair between my fingers in times of boredom or just because. The reason I choose to extend my lengths is so I can display it proudly so..... why must I wait?

Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the immense benefits of hiding my ends. In fact, it is because of great hair heroes such as Wanakee and others who first introduced me to the hair lengthening method of protective styling. Without their sound advice my hair probably would not be what it is today. But yet a small still voice within me screams, "let your hair down!"

So now I'm faced with a decision, should I go against everything that is within me and attempt the seemingly impossible mission of growing long without the aid of protective styling? Am I headed into a direction which will certainly become a dead end? Will my desire to proudly display my hair as a peacock displays his feathers be my hair's downfall?

Though the odds are set against me, I opt to do what's best for both my hair and my spirit. My hair wants to be protected from dryness and subsequent damage. I am aware of this and fully respect it. I am prepared to take on this uphill battle of retaining length without consistent protective styling. If I am lucky enough to come out the victor, my hair will be amazing because of it. If I can develop routines and healthy hair habits that allow my hair to grow in length and thickness despite the odds,then I can do anything.

So literally, all of my thoughts and intentions have been focused on creating the healthiest hair possible without or without the aid of constant protective styling. I know that this may mean waiting a little longer before reaching my hair goals. But I figure that if I can create moisturized strong hair as the result of my experiments, I'll have fun trying.......


  1. Wow, Its as if you took the thoughts right out of my mind. I really don't like protective styling at all. What I'm doing now is wearing a freetress half wig which allows me to protect my hair and still have the "look" I want. BUT...I much rather have my real APL hair flowing through the wind. The thing is, before I started this hair journey I grew my hair to BSL with NO protective styling, but now it seems "harder"...or maybe I've just been brainwashed lol. Anyway, I think I want to join you on this challenge. We can do it. My hair inspiration Sylver2 and she did it! Luv her. Peace.

  2. It took me awhile to come around to protective styling, like you I want to display the hair that I work so hard to maintain, but I think back to what got me on a hhj in the first place. I compromise now, I wear my hair straight for a week or few days and the rest of the month I wear protective styling, but that doesn't mean bunning for me.

    Plus, my hairoes don't even care for protective styling. I guess it's preference and finding out what works for your hair though I am most certain keeping it moisturized and protected will bring greater length retention. I do the half wig thing too. I have been wearing them like crazy and I keep my hair cornrowed and moisturized underneath.

    Sylver 2, mp1979 are my hairoes as well. It can be done, but you have to be low manipulation all the way.

  3. During this past year, I have grown my hair from neck length to APL and all without protective styling. What has worked for me is using mild relaxers and relaxing sparingly, using heat once a week, and combing my hair only once a day. I used to follow all the "rules" but eventually I had to find out what works for me. My hair is so healthy now and everyone always asks if it is a wig. I know that you can do it!

  4. Since I've started my hair care journey I read so much about protective styling but I just can't bring myself to wear my hair in a bun for weeks at a time! My hair is currently APL but it's been longer and I only wear protective styles maybe once a week before wash day. Like Beautifulonabudget I only use heat once a week and comb once a day. My hair inspiration is also Sylver2, she doesn't wear protective styles and her hair is bangin'!

    Thanks for this post I'm glad to see I'm not alone!

  5. I constantly wear protective styles (buns), however, lately (like today) I've been wearing my hair down and I love it. I do it simply because I feel so free doing so and because I'm 1 week post there's no new growth in site. As I reach closer to my goal, I will begin to wear it down more often.

  6. This is sooo me! I actually don't like buns because its not a flattering look on me if I don't do it well and my hair sheds when I take it out. I was able to grow bsl without protective styling or being on a hhj. However, now that I'm trying to be serious, I've decided that I will bun my hair like crazy during the winter months. This past winter was especially brutal on my hair. I wore a wool coat, wool hat, wool scarf and wool TURTLE neck combo on the regular. In previous winters I wore a "bubble" type coat with a cotton/wool blend hat and scarf. Needless to say my hair had serious damage... leading me to the hhj. So this winter, my hair will not feel the likes of wool. I'll just have to get many pretty headbands!


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