Protective styling for length retention

Have you been protective styling but your hair doesn’t seem to be ‘growing’?

If answered yes, I think it’s time we had a talk about braids, weaves and wigs and where you could be possibly going wrong.

So what actually is a protective style? Essentially any style that protects your ends. When we think of protective styling we mostly think about using hair that is not our own. But contrary to common misperception, protective styling isn’t solely the traditional box braids or weave, it can be something simple as a bun as long as those ends are safely tucked away! Protective styling is not that beautiful twist out, even if you’ve been rocking it for a whole week. Twist outs, braid outs and any other style that exposes those fragile ends to the elements are low manipulation style, which is another way of retaining length, however completely different to protective styling.

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Have you been protective styling for a while now but still not managing to retain length? Here is where you’re probably going wrong…

  • You’re wearing your protective style back to back: You hair needs to breathe. You need to replenish your curls and kinks with moisture and give them some love and attention.
  • You’re leaving your protective style in for too long: My suggestion is 6-8 weeks maximum, however this time period can be adjusted depending on your hair type (know you hair and know its needs).
  • Your style is too tight and there is too much tension: My advice? Choose! So yes you may have paid anything between nothing to £100 to get this style installed. But there comes a time when one must choose between the money they invested in a hairstyle and their edges! I promise you, you won’t be thinking about the money next year when you’re edges are still flourishing because you took that tight protective style out after only a week of wearing it. But you will probably be thinking why didn’t I take that style out earlier, when you’re spending years and countless bottles of castor oil trying to grow your edges back.
  • You’re being lazy: One cannot equate protective styling to bye hair. Think of your hair as your child, even when they go to the childminder you still check up on them. At a minimum of once a week spray your hair with water and add some oil and leave-in conditioner.
  • Protective styling does not mean no need to wash your hair! If you don’t have the energy to do this (I know it’s not the easiest especially when in a weave) at the very minimum spray your scalp with water-shampoo mix. Remember that clean scalp promotes hair growth (read point 2 in my post on a Winning combination to growing a long and thick afro!) You don’t want your growth to plummet, it kind of defeats one of the primary purposes of protective styling.

Hope it helps ladies. X

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