Can Straight Hair Be Considered A Protective Style

Straight hair can be considered both a blessing and a curse. It’s a look that is impossible to achieve if you don’t naturally have it without lengthy and potentially harmful procedures. The downside is if you do have this hair type, it is equally difficult to switch to other styles. There are a lot of struggles people with straight hair go through because of this.

Specifically, can straight hair be considered a protective style? Simply put, it can not. Though the maintenance and styling needs are significantly lower, it does not offer any protection against sebum production and foreign substances or retain any moisture. The only option for total protection is methodically braiding your hair.

This can be a daunting process as straight hair doesn’t want to be braided. Fortunately, this article has the solution to that problem along with the answers to your questions about straight hair. This is a complete guide to the protective nature of straight hair.

Unmasking the Myth: Straight Hair and Protective Styling

Unmasking the Myth: Straight Hair and Protective Styling

While we don’t believe strongly in the idea that a straight style protects your hair, it has a few merits. Namely, it offers these 3 impressive benefits. 

1. Low Styling Requirements

Having straight hair can be low maintenance. Minimal manipulation is required, which means you can avoid using hot tools. Instead of using products to style your hair, you can simply let it be. This natural look can save you time and effort in your daily routine. Plus, it can be a healthier option for your hair, as excessive heat and product use can cause damage over time.

Letting your hair rock its natural style is definitely the best thing to do for its long-term health. Manipulation puts a lot of strain on your strands and that is something you want to avoid at all costs.

2. Low Maintenance

Taking care of straight hair is as easy as pie. The only thing you really need to do is craft a simple routine and stick to it.

The first step is to choose a deep-cleaning shampoo and a nutritious conditioner. Use them weekly, and your hair will remain healthy and strong.

Unlike curly or coily hair, straight hair requires fewer styling products to maintain its shape. A simple leave-in conditioner or serum is often all that’s needed to keep your hair looking sleek and shiny. You won’t have to worry about using multiple products, which saves time and money.

3. Less Tangling

With straight hair, you don’t need to worry about complex issues such as single-strand knots or shedding. This is because in comparison to curly hair, there is a lot less density and so there is barely any bunching which leads to nasty tangles.

Why You May Still Need To Consider Braiding

Why You May Still Need To Consider Braiding

While the previous benefits are nice, these 3 perks will convince you that braids are what you need to up your hair’s protection game.

1. Reduces Sebum Production

Sebum is the natural oil produced by your hair glands. While you want a healthy production of sebum, you need it to be controlled. A problem we see far too often with straight hair is the overproduction of this oil. This leads to your hair looking and feeling slimy.

Braids help curb the production of this oil without cutting back on it too much. If you have oily hair, this is a life hack. It is also fit for dry hair as it doesn’t overdo the reduction in sebum production.

2. Protects Hair From External Elements

If you have straight hair, chances are you are no stranger to frizziness and split ends. This is only natural as your hair is left in the open and exposed to foreign elements such as pollution, dirt, and debris. This is at its worst form when you are asleep and your hair strands aggressively rub against the pillow while you toss and turn.

The braids create a biodome for your hair, keeping it in place and keeping out unwanted elements.

3. Added Nutrition

Another benefit of the biodome is that important nutrients don’t leave your hair either. It locks in any moisture that you add to your hair. This is going to give your hair a healthy glow that is sure to turn a few heads.

Challenges Of Making Braids With Straight Hair

Challenges Of Making Braids With Straight Hair

While braids may be the best option to protect your hair, they are not the easiest to make with straight hair. You will come across these 3 difficulties when doing so.

1. Very Slippery

Even experienced stylists struggle to work with the slippery strands of straight hair when braiding. If you have extensions, the situation is a total nightmare as synthetic hair is significantly harder to grab.

2. Lack Of Volume

Even if you have enough length for a particular style, straight hair looks a lot thinner than naturally curly hair when braided. You need to use a few techniques, which we will discuss, to add volume.

3. Cultural Sensitivity

Many consider getting braids with straight hair to be cultural appropriation as this is strongly rooted in African culture. If you do not wish to offend anyone, this style may not be for you.

How To Prepare Straight Hair For Braiding

How To Prepare Straight Hair For Braiding

You can’t just wake up and decide to get braids. You need to follow these 4 steps to ensure that your hair is ready for this strenuous process.

Step 1: Understand Your Hair

You need to know your hair very well before the process. Consult a stylist if you have to. For example, hair that is too fine can hold curls so you need to add synthetic hair. The texture also matters as the dryness or oiliness of your hair make a massive difference in looks and durability.

Step 2: Choose The Right Products For Your Hair

To achieve a messy or big braid on straight hair, it’s important to use hair products before braiding.

Get a shampoo that cleans well, a conditioner that adds a lot of moisture, a sea salt spray or volumizing powder to mess up hair to make it look thicker and braiding gel to set it in place. Ensure that these products are paraben-free and do not contain any denatured alcohol.

You can also use dry shampoo to remove any excess oil and add volume to your hair, which can help with the braiding process.

If you have fine or straight hair, it’s best to avoid using hair oil before braiding, as it may prevent the curls from holding. Instead, consider using setting lotion or mousse, which can provide long-lasting hold.

However, it’s important to read the ingredients carefully, as some ingredients may be harmful to straight hair. For example, avoid using products with alcohol, as they can dry out your hair and make it brittle.

Step 3: Go For Styles That Fit Your Hair

Choosing an appropriate style will increase the easiness of the process and the chances of success.

Tighter braids create more uniform waves so go for traditional looks such as crochet braids, half cornrows into low pony, upside down dutch braided buns, bantu knots, classic loose plait, and bohemian box braids.

Step 4: Prepare For Post-Braid Haircare

Last but not least, you need to build a routine after you braid your hair. Prepare to seal your straight hair braids with a flattening iron. If you have synthetic hair, you can even seal it with glue. Just make sure you wash it off with hot water and dry it off completely.

What Kind of Braids are Ideal for Straight Hair

1. Crochet braids

Crochet braids

People with straight hair often choose crochet braids as a popular and versatile hairstyle. This technique involves crocheting hair extensions onto cornrows to create a natural-looking and low-maintenance style that can last for several weeks.

One of the benefits of crochet braids is that individuals can experiment with different hair textures and styles. Crochet braids can add volume and length to straight hair while also providing a beautiful and bouncy texture.

Get ready to take your hair game to the next level with crochet braids! Not only do they add stunning length and volume to your straight locks, but they also create the illusion of thicker and fuller hair.

Whether you’re feeling sleek and straight or big and curly, crochet braids give you endless styling possibilities that will leave you feeling like a total hair goddess. Don’t miss out on this must-try hair trend!

Overall, those with straight hair can opt for crochet braids to switch up their style. With the right technique and care, crochet braids can provide a stunning and long-lasting hairstyle.

2. Half Cornrows Into Low Pony

Half Cornrows Into Low Pony

If you’re looking for a chic and sophisticated style for your straight hair, you might want to try the Half Cornrows Into Low Pony braid style.

This style features a half-ponytail gathered in the middle and a French braid on one side, which adds versatility to the look.

The half-ponytail ensures that the braid has a secure and stable foundation and adds extra volume to the hair.

Moreover, you can experiment with different shapes and styles using the French braid.

The Half Cornrows Into Low Pony braid style is an excellent option for beginners because it is relatively easy to learn and looks great with minimal effort.

So, if you want to make a statement with your straight hair, give the Half Cornrows Into Low Pony braid style a try.

3. Upside-down Dutch braided buns

Upside-down Dutch braided buns

Upside-down Dutch braided buns are a unique and stylish hairstyle that can be achieved on straight hair. This hairstyle involves creating Dutch braids upside down from the nape of the neck and then twisting them into buns at the crown of the head.

One of the benefits of upside-down Dutch braided buns is that they can add volume and texture to straight hair. The braids provide a unique and intricate detail that adds interest and dimension to the style.

Additionally, upside-down Dutch braided buns can look absolutely gorgeous on straight hair. The combination of braids and buns creates a chic and sophisticated look that is perfect for both casual and formal occasions.

Overall, upside-down Dutch braided buns are a fantastic option for those with straight hair looking for a unique and stylish hairstyle. With the right technique and practice, this style can be achieved at home or with the help of a professional hairstylist.

4. Bantu Knots

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a popular African hairstyle that involves twisting sections of hair into small knots. While this style is traditionally worn by those with textured or curly hair, it is possible to achieve Bantu knots on straight hair. However, the end result may vary depending on the hair’s texture and thickness.

To achieve Bantu knots on straight hair, it’s important to first prep the hair with a styling product that provides hold and texture. Once the hair is prepared, take small sections and twist them tightly into small knots, securing with a hair elastic or bobby pin. Allow the knots to dry completely before unraveling to reveal bouncy, defined curls.

While Bantu knots on straight hair may not look identical to those on curly or textured hair, they can still provide a unique and stylish look that’s perfect for any occasion. With a little practice and patience, anyone can rock this trendy hairstyle regardless of their hair type.

5. Classic Loose Plait

Classic Loose Plait

A classic loose braid is a three-strand braid that you create by crossing the strands underneath each other as you braid.

This style is a great choice for those with straight hair because it offers a timeless look that you can dress up or down depending on the occasion.

The braid creates a three-dimensional look that is full of volume, and you can style it into a French braid, Dutch braid, or fishtail braid, depending on the desired effect.

If you’re seeking an effortless look, the loose, unraveled version of the fishtail braid, the bedhead fishtail, is a great choice.

Moreover, you can easily add some texture and dimension to your straight hair by doing a braid tuck.

Lastly, a loose side braid is a quick, messy style that looks great with bedhead hair.

6. Bohemian box braids

Bohemian box braids

The Bohemian box braid is a stylish and effortless look that you can achieve with straight hair. To create this style, you need to set individual plaits or braids in small squared sections, which you can wear loose, in a bun, or in a ponytail.

This style is less damaging than thicker box braids, which can often put too much tension on the scalp, making it great for people with straight hair.

Moreover, it provides a protective style that reduces grooming time and looks great.

The Bohemian box braid is also a great choice because of its versatility. You can pull your hair back in different ways and style it to suit any occasion.

7. Ladder Braids

Ladder Braids

We recommend ladder braids as the perfect braid style for straight hair because they take the traditional braided look to the next level.

To create ladder braids, you begin with a waterfall braid with multiple levels, which produces an intricate and formal style. This braid is especially ideal for special occasions such as weddings and formal events, as it gives the wearer an air of sophistication.

Moreover, the intricate nature of the braid ensures that it stands out, making it an excellent way to show off a hair accessory or two! Since you do ladder braids on straight hair, the braid will hold nicely without becoming messy or unraveling, making it the perfect style for an evening out.

8. Half Bun

Half Bun

The Half Bun braid style suits those with straight hair, and it’s a simple and modern hairstyle.

To create this style, you start at the crown of the head, separate the top half of the hair, and then braid or twist it into a bun. You leave the bottom half of the hair loose, which gives the hairstyle a relaxed yet elegant look.

The Half Bun style is an excellent option for those with straight hair because it’s easy to do and it helps keep long locks under control while still looking stylish.

Moreover, you can personalize the Half Bun with various braids and accents, such as double French braids or fishtail braids.

The Half Bun is also ideal for busy women who have limited time to style their hair because it’s a quick and effortless updo that you can do in just a few minutes.

9. Pull Through Braid

Pull Through Braid

The Pull Through Braid creates a voluminous and fashionable style, making it one of the best braids for straight hair.

To create this braid, you tie the hair into several ponytails and weave them through one another, resulting in a unique braided effect.

It’s a fantastic way to add texture and volume to straight hair, which can be challenging to achieve. Additionally, the underlying structure of the braid makes it easy to accessorize with a bow or ribbon, adding an extra special touch.

Compared to more complicated braids like the French braid or upside-down braid, the Pull Through Braid is relatively easy to do and requires minimal styling, making it perfect for those who want to experiment with braided styles without committing to a more complicated look.

Moreover, the Pull Through Braid is ideal for a quick and easy hairstyle that still looks polished and fashionable.

10. Reverse Braid

Reverse Braid

You can achieve the stunning and stylish Reverse Braid with straight hair.

To create this hairstyle, you start the braid from the nape of the neck and work upwards to the crown of the head, resulting in an elegant bun or ponytail that’s perfect for workouts and sports practice.

The Reverse Braid is an excellent choice for straight hair because it adds a unique twist to a classic look. It’s also versatile since you can dress it up or down depending on the occasion.

Moreover, you can pair it with other styles such as a fishtail or French braid, making it an ideal choice for those who want to add texture and volume to their hair.

Final Words

You now know everything there is to know about straight hair and how well-protected this style really is. The truth is even stylists struggle to define this style as protective as it doesn’t act as a shield against any real dangers. The only argument for it being a protective style is the fact that fewer products will be used but you always have that option with other hairstyles as well.

All in all, the answer to “Can Straight Hair Be Considered A Protective Style?” is a resounding no and you should look to braid it if you want to completely seal off any external threats to your hair’s well-being. Even then, a vigorous hair care routine is needed to keep those locs luscious.

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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