How to Retain Length WITHOUT Protective Styling

Hey there kinky krew 🙂

I know I preach a lot about protective styling on here, but is it really necessary? If you’ve been following my blog since last Fall, you’d know that I am a huge believer in the power of protective styling and what it can do for your hair. But recently after a couple months of wearing my hair out off and on, I realized it really isn’t necessary IF the proper precautions are taken.


Deep Condition More

If you’re going to be a natural that always where’s her hair out, you must stay on top of deep conditioning. There’s no time for slacking! If you deep condition once a month, start deep conditioning twice a month. I realize deep conditioning takes time but with the ends of your hair being exposed to the elements, you want to make sure that you’re treating your hair with moisturizing and protein treatments more often. I’ve been doing my treatments with a hooded dryer and letting them sit for up to 30 minutes.

Don’t Over Style

I know we all love that fresh braidout, but constantly manipulating your hair can lead to unnecessary breakage and shedding. Setting your hair once a week, and wearing that set for AT LEAST one day, will help you maintain your style longer and gives you a cute two-in-one style! If you do a braidout – wear the braids with some cute hair jewelry for a day or two. If you’re doing a twistout, rock the twists for a couple days before releasing your fluffy curls. Same goes for bantu knots. This method helps you to stretch your style until your next washday while switching up your look for a couple days out the week.


I maintain my “Out” hairstyles by putting my hair into 5 loose ponytails and tying it down with a silk scarf. Or if your hair is long enough, you can do the pineapple method.

My Hair is Pulled into a pineapple and covered with a scarf

 Moisturize Daily

A day should not go by without you moisturizing your hair, although we are not restyling. When I’m prepping my hair for the day, I spritz some curl refresher in my hands, just enough to “wake” my hair up (We are not wetting our hair), and lightly fluff my hair. My favorite curl refresher is the Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-in.

white peony

Scalp Massages

Scalp Massages are great for stimulating hair growth and can be done with or without oil. Since we are trying to maintain a style, you may not want to do a thick heavy oil such as Castor Oil that might wear down your hair, so I opt for lighter oils. Almond, Jojoba, and Grapeseed are great lightweight oils that strengthen the hair follicles and reduce dandruff. My recent favorite oil has been Almond because it isn’t greasy and treats hair loss, damage and adds shine to my curls.

almond oil

Stay Away from Harsh Ingredients 

Alcohol, Sulfates, and Parabens – all 3 of these ingredients are huge natural hair killers, causing dryness, breakage, and damage. With the exception of “fatty alcohols” (listed below), most alcohols are extremely harmful to our hair; so if you see any of these ingredients in your products, I suggest you toss them out.

  • Ethanol alcohol
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Propanol alcohol
  • Alcohol denat.
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Isopropanol alcohol
  • Benzyl alcohol

These alcohols have actually been found to be healthy and beneficial to our locks.

Fatty Alcohols: Cetyl, Stearyl, Cetearyl, Myristyl, Behenyl and Lauryl.


With me going into my 3rd year of being natural, it’s getting more and more difficult to mini twist all of my hair or wear it in a bun (thick hair in a bun can be a bit uncomfortable). So honestly, wearing our coils free majority of the time isn’t as bad as we might think. I hope these tips are helpful to the the curlies who don’t plan on protective styling this upcoming winter or ever. Although it takes a little bit more upkeep, I believe it is possible to grow and retain length while rocking your natural hair year round.

Shop this Blog Post: 

Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-in:

Almond Oil:

8 thoughts on “How to Retain Length WITHOUT Protective Styling

      1. oooh yes I love that, I wasn’t a fan of jamaican black castor oil because the texture is too thick.


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