Protective styling is every natural’s favorite escape when she’s tired of her curls, and wants to take a much-needed break.
I myself love protective styling because I’m at the point where my hair is almost at my goal length, and if I keep seeing my hair every single day, I will continue to obsess over growth.
Even though protective styling can be a great asset to your hair, if installed and maintained properly, it can also be your hair’s worst nightmare if not taken out when needed. If you’re wondering how to know when to take down, then here are 3 tips:
1. Root Check
I recently took down box braids after having them in for about 5.5 weeks. I would have gladly kept them in longer, but I had massive new growth and my roots were showing like crazy.
So much that some of the braids around my perimeter were literally dangling, and I could have probably pulled them out, but I unraveled the braid and took them out. Letting braids dangle like that on your hair is unnecessary tension and stress on your natural hair and could lead to damage and breakage.
I haven’t had a sew in in years, but with sew ins a clear way to know it’s time to take out is if the wefts are loose and need to be tightened.
I used to just go in and get the stylist to simply retighten the sew in, but I later learned that that was not a good idea. I needed to take the sew in completely out and give my hair some TLC, and then rebraid and sew back in the hair.
One time after getting crochet braids installed my head was in pain for literally 3 days. I have a high tolerance for pain, and I am not tinder headed, so after day 3 of my head still throbbing I had to bite the bullet and take down 3 day old crochet braids.
I was really bummed, because my hair was LAID, and that was money down the drain, but the install was just entirely too tight. I cried at night because laying my head down on my pillow was extremely painful.
I think an important thing to remember is that although these styles are convenient, the hair installed is not your real hair, and you have to be sure that you are always keeping the best interest of your natural hair in mind. When it’s time to take a protective style out, just take it out.