So you’ve combed, brushed, moussed, sprayed and done everything under the sun to your hair. Now, it’s in need of some serious rehab. But what if it needs more than just your average leave in conditioner? Not to worry, you don’t have to expand your collection of hats, scarves or wigs to protect your hair during the recovery process. Stylist David Harrington says, just wear a protective style.
SM: What exactly is a Protective Style?
DH: It’s a way to style your hair using corrective products (instead of normal styling products) to shape your hair so that it can recover from abuse or severe damage. It’s also a way to give hair a break from heat styling.
SM: Are Protective Styles specific to hair type/texture? How do you adjust the type of style of the type of hair?
DH: You can adjust the process of constructing a protective style according to hair type or texture, but the result is the same. Most protective styles like buns, french twists, or braids work for all hair types. Use a dollop of rich conditioner to texturize and protect the hair. It will also help the style hold longer. For really dry hair, you can add a few drops of oil to the conditioner to smooth edges or lock in a bun or braid. A beautiful silk scarf around the front of the head also adds a bit of protection (and style) as well.
SM: How long should you wear a Protective Style?
DH: There is really no specified length of time for wearing a protective style. You can keep it refreshed by taking the hair down between washings and doing the style all over again. I’d say you can stop wearing a protective style when you feel your hair is healthy enough to endure heat styling again.
SM: What are the best products for protective styles?
DH: I strongly recommend you defer to your hair stylist for that answer. Your stylist knows your hair (sometimes better than you know it yourself) and can make the best assessment based on your individual needs. If you don’t use a stylist, you may fare well with a moisturizing and protein treatment. That will help rebuild the strength and elasticity of your hair.
*A stylist with over 20 years experience, David Harrington has styled for Gucci and Escada. His artistry has been seen in Los Angeles Magazine, and on Entertainment Tonight, Univision and the British GQ Awards.