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If you want your Black hair to grow longer and be healthier, you should consider wearing protective styles a few times each week. Protective styles reduce stress from brushing and heat styling, minimize exposure to the elements and lock in moisture. They also can prevent and reduce breakage-very important for healthy hair growth, especially for Black women. Try incorporating the following looks into your weekly styling routine and your hair will thank you!

1) Braids: Entrusting your hair to a local braider can save you loads of time, as many braided styles can last for months at a time. If you don’t want to make the commitment to goddess or micro braids (which can be harsh on Black hair if worn for too long), try a simple braided style you can do at home.  Revisit the childhood staple: two “Swiss Miss” braids with a part down the middle.

2) Buns: Make a ponytail (or loose braid, if your hair is long enough) at the nape of the neck or at the crown of your head. Wrap it around itself and secure with bobby pins.

3) Wigs: There’s no better way to change your look at the drop of the hat than a wig, which is a great, low maintenance protective style for Black hair.

4) Ponytail Extension: Drawstring and clip on ponytails are a great option for women who want the look of hair extensions without the commitment of a sew-in weave. Use a firm (n0t hard) brush to smooth your natural hair down and finish with a light oil sheen spray for Black hair.

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