Protective Styling Challenge 2013 – COMPLETED

WEEK 1 CHECK IN – August 4th 2013

1 week down ladies! Please update in the comments how your hair is doing. Have you installed your protective styles yet? Are you having any early teething problems (itching, dry hair, bored already etc)? What are you doing/have you done for moisture this weekend if you are not washing and deep conditioning?

WEEK 2 CHECK IN – August 11th 2013

Two weeks down, one more week to hair freedom! That’s for those of you who started on the July 28th of course. If not don’t worry, you are hopefully just a week or two behind.

This is the point where you start planning what you want to do with your hair during your 1 week off or if you are really enjoying your protective style you may want to extend it for a bit longer? Don’t push for an extra week if you don’t really want to.

The point of this regimen (and challenge) is not to see who can go the longest in a style but to protective style while still enjoying your own hair often enough to prevent boredom. Pushing too hard may lead to you giving your hair 2 weeks off from protective styling instead of one. And that would mean extra detangling, styling sessions and the breakage that goes along with them. Defeat’s the purpose a bit don’t you think?

Please update us in the comments section on your progress so far. Have your itchy scalp issues resolved themselves only to be replaced by the fuzzy hair monster? Are you wishing you had picked a different protective style? And how was your most recent wash day?

WEEK 3 CHECK IN – August 18th 2013

You made it through! Give yourself a pat on the back on the back and look forward to hair freedom for this week. A quick tip before you take your protective style down (if you haven’t already); Most of us will want to wash, condition and detangle before putting the next protective style in next week so for this week leave, try to finger detangle only.

Personally I find it better to wash and DC my hair before I begin taking my braids down after which I can finger detangle, dampen my hair if need be and then style my hair. This way you will be able to cut your monthly manipulation down even further which is the whole point of this exercise.


So for this week of freedom, just check in and let us know how you plan to wear your hair. Are you going to be adventurous or doing something simple? How does your hair feel this week? Did you retain moisture during your protective styling stint or are you going to have to try something different for your next stretch?

WEEK 4 CHECK IN – August 25th 2013

Freedom week is over and it’s time to lock the hair up again ladies 🙁

Yes I know it’s hard to go back after you have been enjoying your loose hair this week. And yes I know you have a queue of 7 styles to try before summer is over but you made a commitment to protect your hair and you should stick with it!

This is the part where many people fail and never get to see the powerful effects of long term protective styling on length retention. As tempted as you are to extend your time off by another week, resist the urge.

Do the sink trick if necessary (style/manipulate your hair over a sink to see how much hair you lose to breakage) to get yourself back on track. You will soon see that:

1. You DO NOT have special hair that doesn’t break and

2.You DO need to protective style.

Ok that’s my boot-camp pep talk over, let’s talk about something happier. How was your week off (if you had one) and what are you planning for your next protective styling stretch?

WEEK 5 CHECK IN – September 1st 2013

I know that you guys over the pond are all having a relaxing time off work and firing up the barbecue for a long weekend of festivities. Yes it’s Labor day weekend, the day after which you can no longer wear white ( I never understood that whole deelio).

Anyway, we are well into the second month of the challenge. If you didn’t use your week off like I me then I won’t be surprised to learn that you are feeling bored of everything right now and you just want your own hair back! There’s really no need to be a hero ladies. Make sure that you take your week off when you have the opportunity because it cuts through the monotony, and protective styling for months on end can be monotonous.

Anyway what are your feelings about your hair this week? Have you been keeping up with moisturizing daily or have you been lazy? Are you still in love with your protective style or are you hating it?

WEEK 6 CHECK IN – September 8th 2013

For those who started right at the beginning, we are exactly half way through the challenge and one more week of protective styling before we get a second free week. It’s also back to school time so choose your protective styles for yourselves and your kids wisely.

With early mornings, homework, early nights and busy weekends, you probably won’t have much time for hair. If you haven’t go any kids yet then thank your lucky stars and keep doing your thing.

How are you feeling this week? Are starting to find yourself backsliding and finding excuses to play in your hair? Excuses won’t grow your hair. Remember that the little sacrifices we are making in these few weeks will directly relate to our length gains. Just buckle down and for this last week, do what you are supposed to do and look forward to next weekend when you can do whatever you like with your hair.

Advance warning: you are half way through the challenge so if you haven’t already done so, many of us will be due a hard protein treatment or a henna this weekend!

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

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