By Cipriana of Urbanbushbabes.com
Protective styling has been my saving grace and my genie in a bottle for retaining length in the 5 years I have been natural, but like anything in life, good can be used for evil. Ok, maybe that is a little dramatic but you get what I mean. With all the advantages that protective styling brings, the disadvantages can be just as potent! Here are five huge mistakes to avoid when it comes to protective styling.
1. Excessive Manipulation
Trying to achieve the frizz free twist and braid by re-twisting/braiding every day or every other day simply defeats the purpose of protective styling. If you are finding it hard to like your twists or braids after 2–3 days and your hair is at least medium length, a loose updo style such as a bun or french twists may work better for you versus braids or twists, since the latter cause much more manipulation to redo every couple of days.
2. Too Much Protection
As the saying goes “too much of a good thing is bad”. This could not ring more true when it comes to protective styling. Leaving your protective style in for too long can wreak havoc on your strands. Not only is more time and patience required for detangling, detangling also becomes more difficult because of the accumulation of shed hair and buildup.
Sometimes people forget that protection is nothing without upkeep. Making sure your hair is moisturized with water, you are keeping scalp/hair buildup at a minimum and sealing in moisture. These preventative measures help retain length and keep breakage at bay.
4. Tension Overload
Something as simple as pulling your hair too tight with hair bands can cause breakage. Excessive pulling on the roots while putting in a protective style can cause temporary to irreparable damage like traction alopecia. Also watch the amount of human or synthetic hair you are adding to your hair if braiding or twisting. Too much bulk creates tension that can cause breakage to your edges and other areas.
5. Size Does Matter
When it comes to braids and twists left to idle for an extended amount of time, size most certainly matters! The smaller the braid or twist the easier it is for the strands to tangle in smaller sections, leading to faster locing and buildup accumulation. If you’re planning on rocking a protective style for a couple of months, be sure to stick with medium sized or large braids or twists. It will have you praising the heavens above when it comes to detangling time.
Ladies, what errors do you try to avoid when protective styling?