"Is a braid out a protective style?"Advice: It's so funny how often I get this question, but the answer is No!
A braid out is considered a low manipulation style. Low manipulation, basically means styling the hair with no direct heat. Braid outs, twist outs, bantu knots, pin curls, flexi rod sets, roller sets etc. are all under the category of low manipulation styles. These styles require no direct heat (blow dryer or flat iron) and barely any energy or skill on your part. They are easy to do and healthier style choices since direct heat is the quickest way to dry out the hair.
A protective style is where your ends are protected, shielded away, and invisible to outside elements i.e. weather (rain, snow, wind, sun etc.). These styles really help in retaining length. Some examples would include buns, braids, cornrows, wigs, weaves, lacefronts, french braids, up-dos, phony ponies etc. Protective styles can be considered as low manipulation styles, however, low manipulation styles are not protective styles.
I hope that clears up any confusion.