How Long Should a Protective Hairstyle Last

How Long Should a Protective Hairstyle Last?

One of the most boring activities is having to redo your hair every couple of days because it just wouldn’t last very long. When it comes to protective hairstyles, especially, you have to ensure that you’re undoing and redoing them frequently to keep the distinctive shine. However, how long should a protective hairstyle last before you should consider taking it down?

You can wear a protective hairstyle for as long as you want, as long as it still looks presentable. The general duration before it starts to look unpresentable could range from two to eight weeks, but it could even be shorter if you like obsessing over the look of your hair.

However, you may be fearing that your obsession for hair that looks new is pushing you to take your hairstyles down a bit too often. This article will show you how to determine when to redo your hair depending on what kind of hair you have.

What is a Protective Hairstyle?

As the name implies, a protective hairstyle is any style that keeps the hair from manipulation by tucking the ends away. It’s typically worn by ladies with Afro-textured hair since it’s far more prone to damage from external elements than other kinds of hair.

Over the years, protective hairstyles are making a more frequent appearance in the hairstyling routine of a wider range of ladies, including those without Afro-textured hair. The reason for the growing popularity isn’t unrelated to the protection it offers your hair, regardless of what kind of texture you have.

There are several types of protective hairstyles out there, with twists and braids being two of the most common ones. However, those two aren’t the only protective hairstyles, but this section won’t provide a list. If you’re here to see protective hairstyles, there’s a list of some that are known for lasting very long.

When it comes to how long protective hairstyles should last, it depends on what type of style you’re wearing and what kind of hair you have. You don’t have to worry about that, however, since the bulk of this article will focus on discussing how long these styles last, and how to make them last longer.

Before then, it’s crucial to discuss if wearing protective styles will help quicken the growth of your hair. The following section will discuss this aspect of the topic in detail to show you if wearing a protective hairstyle is even worthwhile.

Do Protective Hairstyles Help Hair Growth?

If you intend to grow your hair as long as possible, you may want to know if you can enhance the growth rate by wearing protective hairstyles consistently. As you may expect, wearing a protective hairstyle could help your hair grow, but probably not in the way that you think.

When you wear twists, braids, or other kinds of protective hairstyles, you’re actively protecting the hair from damage by tucking the ends away. That creates an enabling environment for the hair to grow at its full potential, which may speed up the rate at which your hair grows.

However, that doesn’t mean wearing a protective hairstyle is a magic formula in and of itself. A protective hairstyle doesn’t do anything to enhance the growth of your hair, it only prevents external factors from hindering its growth, which may or may not count to you.

You can read an entire article on this topic here if it interests you. Moving on from that, it’s time to answer the question that brought about this article in the first place: how long should a protective hairstyle last actually? The following section will explain that in detail.

How Long Should a Protective Hairstyle Last?

One of the primary reasons why protective hairstyles are getting massively popular among ladies is that they hold up for longer than most other hairstyles. Since you don’t have to worry about redoing your hair every couple of days, there’ll be a lesser occurrence of breakage and related hair issues. But how long should a protective hairstyle last?

A protective hairstyle can last for as long as you can endure, but the average duration should depend on what hairstyle you’re wearing, how well you made it, and the kind of hair you have. On average circumstances, you’re looking at two weeks, while it could last for up to eight in the best-case scenarios.

Talking about the endurance part, different people have different standards for how their hair should look. While some people are fine with some amount of frizz, others may think their hair is already looking terrible on day two. If you identify with the former, you should be able to wear your hair for longer than if you identify with the latter.

Also, people with natural hair should be able to wear protective hairstyles for longer than people without them. Some hairstyles are also meant to last for a shorter duration, and there’s very little you can do about that.

If you need to wear your protective hairstyle for a relatively long time, you want to go with a style that’s meant to last for a pretty long time. In case you don’t know what these hairstyles are, I’ll get to them in a bit, but before that, it’s only fair to see how to make your protective hairstyle last longer first.

How to Make a Protective Hairstyle Last Longer

People that wear their protective hairstyles for several days (or even weeks) don’t do so by accident. They follow a series of hair care tips and practices that will guarantee your hair to last longer than the average.

If you aim to make your hairstyle last longer than it typically does, you may want to learn what these practices are before even starting to make your hair. With that said, here are some practices that will make your hairstyle last longer than normal.

1. Have the hair done by a professional

Your hair is only as good as your hairstylist and it’s not even a debate. Unless you’re trained to do so, trying to make your hair yourself will almost certainly end in a disaster, probably not in the short run, but if you’re looking to keep it for an extended period.

There’s nothing wrong with trying your hands on a protective hairstyle for yourself sometimes, but you should also understand that the goal here is not to make it last longer. Choosing a stylist using recommendations from people you know makes it less likely to get it wrong.

2. Use some water-based mousse

One of the biggest no-nos when it comes to natural hair is trimming the ends to make it look better. Over time, you’ll continue to cut more hair than is necessary, eventually doing more harm than good to your hair in the long run.

Instead of trimming those ends, it’s always better to try hair mousse. There are several water-based mousses you can try to keep your protective hairstyle to a minimum while keeping frizz and flakes to a minimum. Plus, most mousses will also make it easier to control your hair.

3. Wrap up your hair before going to bed

While this isn’t exclusive to protective hairstyles, it’s something that needs to be said, as it’s not discussed as often as it should, causing many people to ignore the essential practice. Before going to bed, always wrap your hair in a silk or satin head covering to protect it from frizz.

You should note that the only two recommended materials are silk and satin, using a towel or similar material might end up doing more harm than good to your hair. The covering could be a bonnet or a t-shirt. You may also want to try a silk pillowcase for the best results.

4. Leave your hair alone

Keeping your fingers away from the rows on your hair is one of the simplest yet most impossible tasks for anyone wearing natural hair. Once you complete the process of making your hair, you should endeavor not to touch it for as long as possible, unless when necessary.

The necessary scenarios could include washing your hair once in a while, and in some cases, hitting the bulk of the hair mildly when it’s itching. Excessively touching the hair will make it easier for the style to come about, potentially loosening your hair too early.

5. Get a hairstyle that lasts long

While every suggestion above works to help your hair last long, getting a hairstyle built to last will probably help more than every other one on here. While protective hairstyles generally last long, there are specific hairstyles that are popular for that reason specifically.

There are tons of protective styles out there that can last for weeks, and in some cases, months. If you’re after them, the following section will list some of the best protective hairstyles you can try on your hair today.

Protective Hairstyles that Last Long

While following the tips and tricks for getting a long-lasting protective hairstyle is useful, it’s not all you need. If you accompany those tips with a hairstyle that’s designed to last long, what you’ll have is a protective hairstyle that will last for as long as you want without looking terrible.

Here are some long-lasting protective hairstyles to try today.

1. Mini Twists

When you make your twists very tiny, you create an enabling environment for your hair to last very long. Mini twists are not as heavy on your hair as regular ones, making it less likely for the hair to come apart in the long run. When you get one, you can forget about making your hair for weeks.

2. Braids

It doesn’t matter what kind of braids you make; they should be lasting long in any case. Braids hold together better than twists, and they make the perfect hairstyle for someone looking for a long-lasting protective hairstyle. If you’re fine with the extra tension it puts on your hair, braids are an excellent choice.

3. Cornrows

Cornrows are very similar to braids, but you probably already know they’re not the same. The fact that they’re so similar that you can mistake them should tell you that cornrows last just as long as braids. When it comes to longevity, the difference between those two hairstyles will only come down to how they’re made.


When it comes to how long your protective hairstyle should last, it should depend on what kind of hair you have and the kind of hairstyle you’re looking to make. As the article explains, you should be able to get around two to eight weeks from most protective hairstyles.

However, if you’re looking to get extraordinary longevity from your protective hairstyle, you must do it intentionally. There are several tips for making your protective hairstyle last a lot longer, and this article lists a whopping five of them.

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