Protective styles can be a great way to give your hair a break and maximize the chance of retaining length. But that’s only IF you’re sure not to make these protective style mistakes!
*Please note, while the term “protective style” can include any style that requires little to no daily manipulation like buns or roll, tuck and pin styles, this post will refer mainly to the more long term protective styles like braids, weaves and twists*
Let’s start with what’s probably the most common no-no…
1. Installing Styles Too Tight
Too… TOO many times in the history of hair, women have suffered permanent damage from braids or cornrows under weaves and wigs that have been installed way too tight. It’s almost like a rite of passage.
Ladies, please, speak up! There’s nothing wrong with telling your stylist that they’re using too much tension when styling your hair… especially on those edges! Don’t be fooled into thinking “that’s just the way it is”.
No. It doesn’t have to be that way and it definitely SHOULDN’T be!Your braids don't have to be TIGHT to be NEAT! Talk to your stylist! #naturalhair #hairtip Click To Tweet
When styling your own hair, keep tension to a minimum. With the right technique, they can be neat and pretty without all the tension and risk of losing those edges!
READ ALSO: 6 Ways to Regrow Thinning Edges
2. Not Moisturizing
Now, just because your crochet braids, twists and such give you a little break from every day styling, it doesn’t mean you completely ignore your hair! It still needs regular moisture to stay healthy.
Moisturized hair is less likely to break so grab a spray bottle (spray because it’s just the easiest form of application) and fill it with goodies like water, a leave-in and some nourishing oils, shake it up and spray onto your scalp and hair as often as necessary. I’ve found that when I moisturize my hair with this type of mixture every other day or so while wearing a protective style, my hair is super soft when I take my hair down and the process is much easier!
Not much of a “mixtress”? Here are a few of my faves to keep your hair hydrated…
- Mizani True Textures Style Refresher Milk
- Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Hold & Shine Daily Moisture Mist
- Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer
Whether you use something homemade or store-bought, the point is to make sure you don’t end up with…
Onto the next one.
3. Not Cleansing Your Scalp
As a stylist, I’ve had to deal with weave and braid take-downs that revealed scalps full of cake-on dandruff and product buildup… EW! I later realized that some just honestly don’t realize that you can actually cleanse your scalp while wearing these styles.
One simple technique, which I use often, is to dilute the shampoo in an applicator bottle with some water (I would do about 2-3 ounces of shampoo, 5-6 ounces of water) and use the nozzle to easily apply the shampoo directly on the scalp. Diluting the shampoo is totally optional. Massage and rinse out thoroughly by allowing the water to hit the scalp directly.
If you’re worried about your hair being weighed down with water and the drying time, try this Clarifying Scalp Treatment by Carol’s Daughter. It feels awesome and really works!Are YOU Making These 4 #ProtectiveStyle Mistakes? #naturalhair Click To Tweet
Here’s a throwback post with more tips on getting the most out of your protective styles!
Last but not least…
4. Leaving Your Style in Too Long
I know it feels good to get that break from dealing with your hair every day but you canNOT leave your weave in to infinity and beyond!
If you’re trying to save money or simply trying to get your money’s worth by rocking that weave for six months, think about that before investing in the style. A six-month weave with no maintenance or any style left in that long is not healthy. And not cute!
The moral of the story:
“Listen” to your hair! It’ll let you know when it’s too tight, too dry, too dirty or just time to give it up! 😉
Now, truth time…