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How To: Maintain Protective Styles For Optimal Hair Retention

It is important to highlight that we cannot simply fast track the rate at which our hair grows however, we can do our very best to minimize breakage which ultimately will aid in hair retention.

The Hair Growth Cycle

All hair types grow in a cycle, this is known as “ The Hair Growth Cycle;” hair grows in three stages: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. The average person is believed to grow 1/2 an inch of hair per month.

The Anagen phase, also known as the Active Growth phase. 

During the Anagen phase, cells in the hair papilla divide and generate new hair follicles on a regular basis. In any person, this can last up to 6 years; however, this is solely determined by genetics. The longer the hair is in this stage, the longer it will grow.

The Catagen phase, also known as the Transition phase.

Hair becomes detached from the dermal papilla, loses its blood supply, and is pushed out of the dermal layer during this phase. This stage can last anywhere from two to four weeks.

The Telogen phase, also known as the Resting phase, is the last stage of the cell cycle.

The hair follicle is dormant throughout this phase. This can last anywhere from one to four months. The old hair follicle is pushed out by the freshly growing hair as the Telogen phase ends and the Anagen phase begins. This is known as shedding. 

Hormones, stress, and malnutrition are all factors that lead to hair loss. Your hairs will be in different stages at any one time; here are some tips to help you avoid breakage regardless of the stage:


When undoing hair, be gentle. Always pre-poo to ensure that your hair is well moisturised.


Use a wide toothed comb to untangle build-up while hair is damp carefully and thoroughly before washing.


Reduce friction by using protective styles for the appropriate amount of time (1–2 months).


Do low manipulation hair styles – hairstyles where you are not required to touch your hair much


Keep a clean scalp – If you notice a lot of product build-up wash your hair as excess product build up is counterproductive


Wear a silk or satin bonnet/ scarf at night to minimise friction, dryness, and breakage


Use of a silk pillowcase.



Use a protective style that is appropriate for your hair type. If you have fine, delicate hair, you could try twists instead of cornrows.


Do protein treatments before doing protective styles


Do not neglect hair – moisturise hair regularly using LCO/LOC method


Use a DIY moisture spray or leave-In conditioner spray


Use light grow oils on the scalp – watch out for build-up.


Avoid putting too much tension on your hair. Find a hairdresser that does not do tight hair styles or do not be afraid to speak up when you feel as if your hair is being done too tightly (YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO LAY YOUR HEAD DOWN ON A PILLOW ON THE FIRST NIGHT WITHOUT FEELING A LOT OF PAIN/TENSION).


Switch up protective styles – depending on your hair type some protective styles are better during certain stages of the growth cycle


Use tea- tree oil to clarify scalp and reduce itching and dandruff


Hair growth is connected to several internal systems, It is advised that you consult with a doctor to ensure that your internal health is optimal

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