By Cipriana of UrbanBushBabes.com
Protective styles can be very beneficial and help achieve length goals but, as with anything, they take work and upkeep to maintain. Lack of care can put stress on your hair. Here are 3 simple steps to ensure your locks stay strong and truly protected when you rock protective styles.
If hair is too tight or you experience any type of uncomfortable tension from a hairstyle, whether cornrows, updos, weaves or braids don’t give in to the mentality the strands will loosen in a couple of days and the pain will subside. The damage that can be done in a short amount of time can sometimes be irreversible, resulting in temporary or permanent traction alopecia. Fortunately my ordeal with traction alopecia years ago from high stressed hairstyles was reversible but I do speak from experience when I suggest to keep tension at a minimum.
Even though your hair is secured in a protective style of your choice it doesn’t mean you can neglect providing moisture to your strands. Protective styles still needs TLC and special attention to prevent dryness, breakage, excessive split ends or unintentional dreading. Like a vine you must continue constant pruning or the plant will grow and tangle beyond measures that will be hard to control.
Leaving your protective style in indefinitely can lead your hair to a state of extreme distress when it comes to your detangling sessions. The more tangled your protective style is (especially at the roots) when it is time for your detangling session the more likely your hair is susceptible to breakage. The most I will leave my protective styles in is for three weeks sometimes four (because I wear loose twists) but no longer then four weeks and this number can vary depending on your protective style, regimen, lifestyle and upkeep. Also remember that, depending on the length, loose protective styles (like twists or braids) that are not placed in an updo of some sort are still susceptible to split ends from friction on clothing.
In the end, from my perspective and in my experience, protective styles are highly beneficial and will be a hair staple that will frequent my regimen for years to come. Just remember — anything positive can become negative if certain precautions are not taken into consideration.
Ladies what is your favorite protective style? Which protective style do you rock most frequently?