Protective Styles with D’Angelo Alston

New York City based session stylist and Mr. Smith educator D’Angelo Alston has extensive experience creating protective styles for his clients both in the salon and on the set of editorials. We had a chat with D’Angelo to learn more about protective styles and get some tips on how to create and look after them from home.


What is a protective hairstyle?

A protective hairstyle is a hairstyle that is used to help prevent and reduce damage to the hair.


Why are protective hairstyles beneficial?

They are beneficial because they are quick, efficient and effective in preventing damage.


Who would benefit most from a protective hairstyle?

Anyone that may be experiencing hair loss due to chemicals, heat styling or excessive manipulation. They can also be very beneficial for those individuals that are looking to seal moisture into the hair.


What are some of your favourite protective styles to create?

My go-to protective styles usually involve twists, braids or cornrows. You can style them and make them fashionable while creating virtually no damage to the hair. You can wear them for extended periods of time which will help reduce the daily damage that we can cause to our hair.


What should someone do to prepare their hair before getting a protective style?

First things first, make sure the hair and scalp are CLEAN, after all, this style will probably be worn for an extended amount of time. It’s also important to make sure that the hair is very well hydrated and moisturised.


What are your favourite Mr. Smith products to use when creating protective hairstyles?

I’m always adjusting depending on the style and hair texture that I am working with, however my favorite go-to products are:

  • Leave In: This product helps soften the hair and make it easier to detail.
  • Mousse: This product offers a hold which I find to be important when performing a protective style.
  • Serum: This product will help seal in moisture.

What are your key tips for maintaining your protective style from home?

Invest in a quality silk or satin pillowcase or scarf, they help reduce the amount of friction on the hair whilst sleeping.


Is there a particular protective style that people can create from home and if so, what are your tips for someone trying to create a protective style from home?

Yes, I feel like any and everyone can recreate a braid, twist or even a bun. Just remember that practice makes perfect so practice practice practice!


What are some myths about protective styles?

One myth that is particularly annoying is that they are for specific hair types or textures which isn’t true, protective styling is literally for everyone! I’ve also heard people complain about how time consuming it is. That may be true in the beginning, but once you have your routine down it will be a breeze.


Style. Substance. Simplicity.

Mr. Smith

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