If you have any knowledge of the diet industry you will know that majority of the people who lose a great deal of weight eventually gain it back. For that reason a lot of industry experts often say that the real battle starts after you have lost the weight and not during the weight loss process.
Thankfully when it comes to black hair growth the real battle is usually in retaining length and after length is gained often times you will find that the average ‘good regimen’ will allow us to keep it.
Enter protective styling. If there was ever a “holy grail” in black hair care, protective styling definitely fits the bill. Many long hair care gurus swear by it saying that they retain the most length with a regimen heavy in protective styling and I’m definitely of that camp too.
I got my own length with a 40-50% protective styling regimen in the first 3 years of my journey and I can attest to the fact that if done correctly, it definitely works.
But are there are times when protective styles could result in splits ends, thinning hair, balding edges and major breakage? Absolutely! To be clear, in this article I am referring to braided protective styles like weaves, braids, cornrows or twists rather than styles that don’t require you braiding your hair.
I personally know someone who wears her hair mostly in weaves and individual braids that she installs herself but in the years that she has been doing this, her natural hair still sits firmly at shoulder length.
Has she reached terminal length? Hardly, it’s just her braiding technique that is at fault. In a separate article I look into the best braid sizes and types that prevent hair damage while guaranteeing maximum length retention but below are 4 ways that protective styling could actually do more harm than good in your healthy hair journey (HHJ).
1. Set and forget attitude
Let’s face it, these days most of us have such busy lifestyles that the idea of not having to deal with a 2 hour detangling session weekly sounds like bliss. But this is where a lot of ladies go wrong.
They install a full weave/set of braids and assume that their hair care responsibilities are over for a couple of months. But when you are on a quest to bring your hair to health, even while wearing braids and weaves, your hair regimen should continue as usual.
Where daily moisture with the use of creamy leave ins will not be possible while your hair is braided, use braid sprays to maintain your moisture protein balance and of course, wash and condition your hair weekly.