Protective styling is what got me through that horrid TWA stage when I just wasn’t feeling my short fro, and I was still on the fence about this whole natural thing.
I started protective styling just to hide my hair while it grew to a length that I was comfortable with. It wasn’t until I was almost 8 months into my natural journey, and had lost count of the many different protective style installs I had, that I decided that I wanted to see if I could do a full year or protective styling.
For me, it was more so a personal challenge, than anything else. If you knew me, then you’d know that I never keep a style in for more than a couple months so the fact that I was sticking with this challenge for so long, was shocking.
By month 5, my hair was to a length where I felt comfortable wearing it out, but I decided to keep protective styling because I wanted to keep my commitment.
Prior to going natural, I also had a habit of letting my hair grow long, then I’d get the urge to cut it. I didn’t want to do that with my natural hair, so I kept protective styling. Months 8-10 were the toughest because it was summertime and for naturals that is wash and go season.
I would have loved to just do a simple wash and go and keep it moving, but instead, I was wearing thick crochet braids that got really hot, and almost uncomfortable because it was too much hair to put up in a ponytail. Once I made it to September, which was my 1-year mark, I could barely believe it! My hair was shoulder length, thick, and healthy.
I looked back at my day 1 photo and really couldn’t believe how much growth I had achieved in just a year, and I owe it all to the protective style challenge.
One of the other things I loved about the challenge was that it included getting regular trims between installs. That was huge. Normally, when I would protective style as a relaxed girl, I would forego trims thinking I was retaining length when all I was really doing was not retaining any length because my ends were not healthy.
What hair challenges have you done?