CONVERSATIONS: Protective Styling – Knowing When to Call it Quits


Today I want to talk with you about protective styling; more specifically, knowing when a protective style is no longer protecting your hair but has now begun to damage it. Its important for us to realize, recognize and be proactive when we can clearly see damage being done to our hair by a protective style.

A few weeks ago I installed some crochet braid and they were pretty awesome. But because I crocheted braid all the way to the very start of my hairline, after a couple weeks I noticed that my hair at the hairline was pulling up from the scalp – you know, seeing the white stuff at the end of the hair. It wasn’t major, like across the entire circumference of my head – but it was enough for me to say goodbye to the style. Knowing that I have a sensitive hairline and have always had trouble growing it, I was not prepared to take a step backward on my progress for the sake of style.

This was an easy decision for me because I installed my own crochet braids; but for someone who paid up to EC$120.00 to have them installed, I can understand that it would be heart wrenching. But at the end of the day you have to weigh the pros and the cons and decide what is best for you and your hair.

My crochet braids lasted 19 days; just shy of 3 weeks and although I had hoped to keep them 4 – 6 weeks, I made the choice that I thought was in the best interest of my hair health.

A week ago, I returned to my favorite protective style – Havana twists – and used a brand of hair that was very coarse and much like our 4C texture hair. I used 4# packs of hair and after installing I realized that this type of hair was MUCH heavier than the other brands. Ridiculously heavy as, in general, marley braids are not heavy at all. I suffered for 5 days before I decided I could no longer tolerate the weight and pain of them and redid them all by removing 1 strand from each twist. In the end, I removed an entire pack of braid from my head.

My hair was much lighter but ‘scanty’ looking; however it was workable. I still find them to be a tad bit heavy and so these twists will be removed in another day or two. My hairline is not in danger but I cannot tolerate the constant feeling of stress on my scalp and just pain in general from the weight of the braid. Again, I installed these twists myself so it is an easy decision to make.

What are your thoughts on protective styling that are no longer protecting your hair? Do you stick it out because you spent your hard earned money? Do you regret not removing them before any damage was done?


3 thoughts on “CONVERSATIONS: Protective Styling – Knowing When to Call it Quits

  1. aquasurf00 says:

    I had to tone down the low side bun. I noticed my hair in the back starting to break. Now I am rocking a high bun with a drawstring ponytail. I do make sure it’s not too tight.

  2. An Afrikan Butterfly says:

    I wore crochet braids for 5 weeks but after the first 2, I had to take them down for one weekend because the pressure in front was a little too much! An easy decision for me because it cost me nothing. Hopefully I’ll be just as caring when I spend good money to get my hair done.

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