As we enter the fall/winter season, many naturals decide to use protective styles to withstand the cold, harsh air. While the versatility, ease and convenience of protective styles make them a must do at some point between September and March (or May depending on what part of the country you live in), there are a few hidden dangers associated with the ways we commonly protect our hair for long periods of time.
Protective Styles Can Jeopardize Your Edges
In efforts to get a protective style that will last long, often times we get tight braids or cornrows that have our hairline playing peek a boo with our napes. Alternatively, maybe you’re stressing your leave out to seamlessly blend in with your straight, curly or kinky weave. Opt for larger cornrows and bigger braids around your edges, and try doing crochet weave around the perimeter of your hair rather than having leave out.
Protective Styles Can Weigh Down Your Hair
How many packs of marley hair did you use on your last protective style — 10… 15? I know when I did jumbo box braids last year it took nearly 8 packs of kanekalon hair, and my neck definitely felt much lighter after they were taken down. Loc extensions are another style that can become heavy because of the amount of hair involved. Pay special attention if you have finer hair, and if you notice a protective style is weighing your neck or some of your hair strands down, consider pinning your hair into an updo to cheat gravity.
Protective Styles Can Mess Up Your Routine
The most dangerous thing about protective styles is that they make us lazy with our hair. Granted, many times we turn to braids, twists, weaves, and other long term protective styles because we’re either frustrated with our hair, too busy, or just giving it a break. However, the benefits of protective styling are completely negated if you don’t continue to moisturize and care for your own hair underneath. Find yourself an applicator bottle to dilute shampoo for your roots, and a nice leave in conditioner spray that can reach those nooks and crannies below your wigs and weaves.
What are some challenges you’ve encountered while protective styling?