Protective Styling has become the best friend that many of us have always wanted or are privileged enough to actually have. She holds us down whenever we need her. She’s reliable, consistent, and she’s good for our overall wellbeing. Having her around just makes us feel better! Like all friendships, however, she needs to be maintained. Unfortunately many of us are guilty of taking this precious friendship for granted. Have you? Here are 5 signs that your protective style has been in too long……..
1. Your family and close friends have forgotten what your hair looked like loose.
Anytime your style has been in so long that your husband and kids have forgotten what your hair used to look like…….it’s time to take it down. When your style has been in so long that even you have forgotten your own hair type and texture then, I repeat……..it’s time to take it down.
2. Your hair has began to loc and it wasn’t intentional.
3. Half the day is spent scratching your scalp.
Anytime you find yourself frantically looking for the nearest long, sharp object (whether that be a pen, pencil eraser, straw, paper clip, a fork, your fingernails or perhaps maybe even someone else’s) to stick in your head and scratch until you gain relief, you know it’s time. Scalp itches, much like back itches, travel on contact. So as to save yourself the embarrassment of involuntarily going in on your scalp in public in a desperate attempt to calm the itchies, just do yourself a favor and shampoo your hair. You can always restyle it afterwards
4. Your hair begins to have an odor.
This may seem self-explanatory but unfortunately, for some its not. I’ve had new clients come to me and say, “my hair has an odor and I don’t know what’s causing it” and then I look at their hair and its in this protective style that looks like its been through 3 menstrual cycles………literally………..come on now ladies. We can do better, I know we can!
Sweat, dirt, and debris get caught in our hair and scalp and cause bacteria and odor, sometimes even fungus to start growing. Let’s not allow place for such nonsense by keeping our protective styles in for the right amount of time for our hair. For instance, a woman that works out regularly and sweats a lot may need to take her style down, cleanse her hair and scalp and then redo her style a bit quicker than say, a woman who rarely works out. But I know that we are all going to try to do better about working out so let’s just say protective styles should be kept in, at most, 4-6 weeks. Healthy hair grows from a scalp that’s properly cleansed and gets proper oxygen.
5. Your style is no longer recognizable.
You know that you started off with cornrows cascading into a two-strand twists updo, but at this point, you’re the only one who still knows that. Anytime your hair has began to look like unchartered territory, it’s time to call it a day and send the workers home…it’s over. When your protective style has become overgrown and no longer is a “style” then it has lost all ability to be “protective.” Do your hair a favor and give it a fresh start!
Protective styling really is a great option for some types and textures. However, just remember if you are going to put your hair in a protective style these 5 important things:
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize every. single. day. Don’t let a day pass where you don’t apply some form of moisture to your hair. Sone ladies are worried about frizz, if that’s the case simply hold a spray moisturizer a good distance from your head and lightly spray over your hair and scalp so as not to cause too much direct contact.
- Keep your style in, at the most for 4-6 weeks.
- Don’t pull your hair too tight as you don’t want to cause breakage around your hairline or bumps at your roots.
- If you do protective styles often, switch up the style so you don’t over manipulate any one particular area. This helps cut down on breakage as well.
- Always sleep in a satin or silk scarf or on a silk or satin pillowcase. This will protect the style and keep it fresh!
Have you ever kept your protective style in too long? What is “too long” in your opinion? Let us know!