So....you all know that I've been protectives styling since August. I started off with the mini twists for about 2 weeks then I got crochet braids done and I've had those since late August (I'm taking them down soon, though, but after a week or so, I'm reinstalling them).
I believe that protective styling is key in achieving our desired hair length and it helps with out hair's health.
Protective styles give your hair a break from being tugged and pulled, combed and blown around, et cetera. Therefore, it aids in minimising breakage. Breakage plays a huge part in us not achieving our desired length because as our hair grows and breaks off, we don't see the growth, that's why many of us think that our hair length is at a standstill.
Between when I got my crochet braids installed and now, I have grown over an inch of hair and I see that under the crochet braids. So, I'm closer to my goal of BSL.
As you might've guessed, my favourite protective style is the crochet braids. Why?
- My hair is fully protected from the elements
- My hair can rest
- They look super good
- They can be done at home
- They can last for a really long time
- I can still have curly hair everywhere even though it's not my hair
- I want BSL or below BSL hair, with these things installed it's like voila! longer hair! (then they're taken down and it's like umm.....you're getting their hun')
- They're easy to take care of
There are other protective styles like the mini twists, box braids, cornrows, roll, tuck 'n' pins, weaves and wigs. They all are good (not my favs, though).
Anyways, moving on....
Protective styles can cause damage if not done properly or you forget about your hair when you're protective styling. This damage could be
- The breakage you are trying to prevent
- Traction alopecia....
So, in order to prevent the possible cons when protective styling, ensure you:
- Do not make your protective style tight
- Do wash and condition your hair while protective styling even if not as often
- Don't tug and pull at your hair in the protective style
- Moisturise your hair as needed
- Do not make your protective style too thin (like mini mini-twists or mini box braids)
- Do not leave your hair in protective styles like mini twists and box braids for too long (unless you want dreadlocks, that is)
- Do not neglect your hair
Remember, when you take down your protective style, give your hair a break from being in a protective style for a long time. This could be done by wearing your hair out for a few days before protective styling again.
I miss my hair often, but I love this protective styling journey. I'm going to continue with my crochet braids when I can, but someday, I hope to try marley/havana twists (they look so good!) and maybe a weave for the first time since I've been natural (scared of taking down weaves, though x_X).
What are your favourite protective styles and which ones would you like to try some day?
How do you care for your hair while protective styling?