Protective styles range anywhere from your basic bun and can include styles with added hair like box braids. However, if you are constantly wearing weaves or braid extensions are you really protecting your hair?
In order to have healthy hair you must have BALANCE. You must have balance in everything that you do which includes: how often you wash your hair, how often you moisturize and how often you “protective style”. Too much of anything can impact the condition of your hair in a negative way.
It’s definitely okay to give yourself and your hair a break from to day to stay styling with long term protective styling options like braids extensions. It does become a problem when you rely on these options all the time. When your hair is constantly on locked down with added hair on top of it, it does not get all the moisture it needs, it cannot be cleansed as well, and you may be exposing your hair to, too much tension.
This is comparable to wearing fake nails. When I was wearing my acrylic tips I noticed my nails grew really long because they were not exposed to the elements and the tips provided some protection from breakage. However, after removing the fake tips, the area that they covered was much weaker than the rest of my nails. The same thing happens with your hair. You may get some length, but if you have gone too long without giving your hair adequate moisture the length you gained is weak and may even have some splits from dryness. Which is why you still need to take time to thoroughly moisturize your hair when wearing protective styles, you can’t just forget about your real hair!
For the most part you should be doing protective styles with your own hair if your goal is to retain more length and have lower maintenance. And even then you need to give your hair some time to breathe. Remember, BALANCE. Styles like two strand twists, coils, or just keeping it simple with a bun are good options.
When you do want some added hair, Clip in Natural Hair Extensions are one of the best options. They can be easily taken out so you can care for your hair and they instantly give you more length and volume. Most importantly your hair won’t have so much stress on it, when using this option.
Preach, Naturally Philo, Preach!
In the natural community the term “protective styling” really has gone through an evolution. Yes, wigs, weaves and extensions can provide your hair with some protection, but if this is your go to at all times you are more than likely doing more harm than good to your hair, especially if you are not prudent about caring for your hair while wearing extensions.