Starting out learning all about natural hair, you learn the difference between low manipulation and protective styles. Low manipulation can be twist or braid outs, puffs and afros. Low manipulation styles require less handling to maintain the hairstyle and can be worn for several days without have to redo it. Many natural swear by it and says that helped them achieve their desired length where others seem to avoid it at all costs. But can it really help with length retention of your hair? Here’s my thought process…
Styles like twist outs are cute, but with my low porosity 4C hair I can only stretch it out for 2 days max. By the end of day 2 there is barely any definition and my hair might start shrinking depending on the humidity. Every other night I would two strand twist my hair and take it out the next morning but I’ve noticed after a while I experienced more breakage.
With hairstyles like twist outs that leave my ends exposed I noticed a lot of single strand knots and tangles. My kinky strands love each other a little too much and when they are free to, they will wrap themselves around each other, causing knots and tangles.
For me personally low manipulation styles have to be worn few and far between. My hair grows best when I just leave it be. Low manipulation styles forces me to keep messing with my hair one way or another even when I try my best to stretch the style out for a week. When wash day comes, it’s a longer detangling session and more hair is loss.
I do admire and appreciate low manipulation styles but I’ve grown to realize it’s not for me. From time to time I would wear a puff but for the most part I keep my hair in protective styles. I felt that with doing so it did help me retain more length and less tangles.