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Protective styling is truly a year round practice for curly girls that are looking to retain length, and keep their hair from becoming stressed under other styling techniques.
Box braids and twists, will forever be a staple in the curly community, because they truly keep the hair in a “tucked –away” state while also absorbing lots of moisture, and stretches the hair to it’s lengthiest self. Braids and twist are also a great way to keep your hands out of your hair and you will give your fingers and/or wallet a break.

Typically, you’d want to keep your hair styled and in a protected state for at least 4-6 weeks (depending upon your hair’s texture) to see growth when taken out. Growth near the roots of the hair is also a good indicator of the amounts of length you’ve acquired.

And whether your adding extensions to your style or choice, or simply like to twist and plat your own hair, their are steps you can take to ensure that whatever style you desire will last a little while longer.
Culled from here

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