Low Manipulation Styles vs. Protective Styles

Friday, January 29, 2010


"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 :)


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  1. Good read, Currently rocking a braid-out.

  2. i really need to figure out the wigs thing because i don't really know how to wear one! but i have seen them grow out peoples' hair before due to no manipulation...

  3. Low manipulation styles also require little to no combing, hence you are not manipulating the hair.

  4. I personally don't even consider braidouts/twistouts low manipulation. I've seen many women rip their hair out trying to achieve the perfect braidout. I even stopped doing braidouts for a while because I felt I was losing more hair than if I were to just pull it back into a bun and forget about it. They get really knotty to as the day or week goes on, especially if you have fine hair, when it comes time to detangle it's always a chore.

  5. I agree with you flower child! Braid outs are not for me! im much better off doing protective styles

  6. Hmm. I love braid outs but they can cause some hair breakage. I'm a throw it in a bun girl, primarily. I really do wanna master rollersetting and pin curling though. Ehh. I just need to practice.

  7. I just dont like when the ends of the twist out or braid out seem dry when you separate it even though its not and you see little hairs falling. Im wearing a twist out now. Maybe I separated it too much? I dunno.

  8. yeah.
    i love my twist-outs BUT i've noticed my hair isn't retaining much length.

    so.. back to buns. ugh
    maybe i'll take today and figure out how to do more than just the one bun i know how to do.. lol.

    i'll move twist-outs into the special occasions category and move flat ironing into the blue moon category.

  9. I know exactly what you ladies mean. Sometimes braid outs can do more harm than good to your hair. I guess it just depends on the technique that you use as well. I tend to wear buns more than anything else because it's the easiest and my hair stays moist longer just like you Dani.

    Thank you for your feedback ladies :-)

    ♥ Sunshyne

  10. I do buns everyday at work. If I come in here with my hair out, everyone makes a big deal. It is so funny!

    Braid outs and me don't seem to mesh well.

  11. Excellent for clarification. I've seen this question a gazillion times. I actually am wearing a bun today and plan to rock buns for a while (after having a trim). I figure since I gave my ends a new start, I want to do more to keep em' healthy. Braid outs are fun, but I have a goal to reach and my hair groans when I wear it curly too much. lol

  12. Would putting hair up with a banana clip be considered a low manipulation hair-style? I'm using this style at the moment. I am also thinking of doing some cornrows to help with my stretch. I really want to go to 3 months and beyond if possible. Actually, I am put off from relaxing my hair again due to a recent new stylist causing a chemical burn on my neck was so severe the scar is still very visible. I know it will fade but I need to cover it up until then due to it's unsightliness. I'm still very upset over this.

  13. Very Nice informative post I definitely visit it again to read some bit more about hair.

  14. If you did Bantu Knot Outs and put the majority of your hair up in an updo (except for say a few curls), is that considered a low manipulation or protective style?

    I do a little of both styles to keep from getting bored and since I rarely use direct heat anymore, I find myself doing buns quite a bit. Bantu Knot Outs in an updo helps keep me from getting into a styling rut.

  15. @ S-hair - Hahaha..ppl are funny characters. I rock buns on the daily too.

    @ Rauney - Hey sis. Thanks!! Braid outs are nice but sometimes it can take a beating on your hair if you leave it in the hair too long.

    @ Natalie - Wearing your hair in a banana clip is considered a low manipulation style. I'm really sorry to hear about your burn. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

    @ Keisha - Thanks!! Don't be a stranger.

    @ Clevagirl - That is considered a protective style since it's up and your ends are not exposed. Keeping your styles versatile will prevent you from getting bored.