Do You Have To Protective Style ?

Do You Have To Protective Style? As I continue to make new discoveries about my hair, one of the battles or struggles I've always had is protective styling. The hype about keeping our hair tucked away and protected from the elements is one that everyone on this hair journey is very familiar with. image

The Eureka Moment
Recently, I read about 2 articles about protective styling with both concluding that it's more about less manipulation than keeping the hair hidden.
It got me thinking about non blacks. Do they protective style? I don't know - what I know is that they wear extensions for aesthetic purposes. Curly Nikki's article views low manipulation styles as a better option for reasons like being able to care for the hair more than when tucked away. It makes a lot of sense when you look at the fact that the essence of protective styling is actually to reduce manipulation! So, if there are other ways of reducing manipulation, why not do so?
The Alternative to protective styles
Low manipulation starts from your Prepoo to night routine. Thus, you can gain all the inches you crave from PS yet lose it as soon as you go back to your regular regimen due to over manipulation. If you don't detangle properly, seal in moisture, etc, then, your PS has achieved nothing!
Rather than look at protective styles as the way to grow your hair to the desired length, look at your whole regimen and how you can prevent over manipulation.
My Lessons
This falls in line with my goal of reexamining my regimen as as keeping styles in for 2 weeks at a time which is how long I can tolerate my hair being tucked away. This will play out better than trying to keep the hair away for long periods and set up myself for failure.
Any case in point is Jenelle of kinkycurlycoilyme who has grown out her hair without having to keep it hidden always. Her last attempt was a disaster and that's what I'm going to also do. Others include Naptural85 and Curly Nikki herself. For most part of our journey, the Obsession with PS has led us to ignore why God gave us this type of hair (That's the next topic I'll be examining). We want to grow my hair so long that we can flip and swing it but we don't need to depend on PS.
Coily Queen also looks at PS in the light of not using combs or brushes - essentially, anything that can rip the strands. Link this to what most 4C naturals do - exclusively finger detangling. A lot of them don't even part the hair with a comb; all is done with fingers. If fingers are used for what combs are meant for, then, which part of the regimen will have combs as a necessity? None! At the end of the day, it's all going to be a low manipulation routine if you make that effort.
This is also an interesting insight for me because most of the styles I do or wear are more for aesthetic reasons than PS. I do them because they look nice. Now that I've moved away from those styles to ones for convenience sake, I can also have some relieve when it comes too trying to keep an expensive style looking good all the time and instead do styles that allow me to still care for my own hair.

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