How Protective Styling Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good In Your HHJ

How Protective Styling Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good In Your HHJ

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.

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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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Comments

  1. Nessa Rene
    Nessa Rene'e

    I’ve had my hair in 2 French braids for 3 days and it’s time for me to take them out and wash. I could never keep a style for weeks because my scalp gets so oily.

  2. Sherelle Hendrix
    Sherelle Hendrix

    Some things I can agree with but you would just have to be smart about how you do your hair (not tight etc), the right time frame to leave your hair in a protective style, and maintenance.

  3. Serresa Rider
    Serresa Rider

    I asked before about putting styling gel in my hair keeping it in a ponytail could that be one of the reasons my hair isn’t growing like I want it to or as fast

    1. Jamillah Davis
      Jamillah Davis

      Yep! slapping gel in hair and keeping it pulled back in a ponytail is not a protective style. Gel can cause dryness and breakage, not to mention you could be causing stress to your hair fro the constant tension of wearing a ponytail.

  4. Crystal Marincess Compton
    Crystal Marincess Compton

    Last summer I had my hair braided and when I took them out in August i found my ends to be ravaged. I had to trim it. Also I found caring for my hair more difficult despite my best efforts. I want to try it again but worried it really wont be a benefit.

  5. Ni-Ni Henderson
    Ni-Ni Henderson

    Different experiences for everyone. And depending on how protective styles are achieved, maintained, and removed can also be a determining factor in the outcome of the overall health of your hair…

  6. Karen Baker

    Love my hair in braids. My hair seems to grow faster and I moisturize daily. I like alternating between braids and twists. I just braided my hair yesterday and I love it!

  7. Malakah Angellia Gladston
    Malakah Angellia Gladston

    Great article. Now I only keep mines in for 3 weeks at a time. No matter how much oil I put on my scalp EVERYDAY, my scalp itch. I wash my hair weekly, spritz the hair with water & conditioner mix. I installed the braids myself so they’re not tight, but still refused to leave em in longer than 3 wks, 4 wks is my maximum until my hair start to get matted .

  8. Malakah Angellia Gladston
    Malakah Angellia Gladston

    But this routine gives me length. I just started this routine about 6 months ago but notice the amount of length I can retain just by doing this.

  9. Kelly-Ann Payne
    Kelly-Ann Payne

    Well, I don’t do my own braids because I don’t know how and I go to a professional who’s very gentle. There’s nothing wrong with individual braids. If I knew how to braid, I would take them out, but I don’t, so I’ll take care of them until my hair grows back. Not everybody that wears braids has a bad experience, so don’t try and discourage those that wear them.

  10. Kelly-Ann Payne
    Kelly-Ann Payne

    And not everybody gain weight back after weight loss. I struggle with depression, which affects my weight, not because I eat badly at all or on purpose. And try to be active as much as I can.

  11. Aliyah Morrison

    I have to braid my hair or have my mom do it . I wear cornrow braids now and I tried two strand twists now . I tried weaves and braid extensions before but my hair was ichy I had dandruff and it broke my hair off i also hate fake hair so I don’t do it anymore .

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