Common problems with Protective Styling
Traditional protective styles are braids, twists, updos and buns and untraditional protective styles are weaves and stretched styles. No matter the style the purpose is the same but just because it is called a protective style does not mean it is actually protecting anything. Just like anything else, there is a right and a wrong way to do a technique. Not putting enough time and effort into a technique is surely the best way for it to fail but there are other problems with routines or techniques than just not doing it properly.
Excessive manipulation – Even though it seems that you are putting your hair into a protective style to keep from manipulating it, there are ways to do so. If you have your hair in twists and feel the need to retwist and touch them up every few days because of frizz then you are missing the whole point of protective styling. Wear a headband on the rougher areas as they get older (the nape or the edges) or a pretty scarf and if you get bored put them into a pretty updo. Protective styles mean less manipulation so if this style is just not for you then maybe another one will work better.
Product, lint and shed hair build-up – This is a serious problem for women who protective style for longer periods of time. Sorry but all styles have a time-limit and for good reason. The oils, the spritzes and lint can clump together over time and stick like glue. Some women with protective styles neglect to wash their hair for fear of messing up the style and not being able to wear it as long as they would like. Your hair needs to be cleaned…regularly and just because it is up and away does not change that. There needs to be shampoos during and breaks in between protective styles so lint does not have a chance to accumulate.
Over-protecting your hair – Yes, too much protection is just as bad as no protection. As mentioned above, there needs to be breaks in between protective styles as the hair needs time to breathe as well as rest. Most protective styles adds stress to the hair and that is not including the major detangling session you will encounter after the take-down of the style. Deep conditions and protein conditions are crucial and will help but there needs to be a break between each stint to give your hair some down-time.
Too much tension – When you spend a lot of money on a protective style you want it to look good and you want it to last. With that being said many women are encouraging or overlooking styles that are adding too much tension to their edges, napes and hair in general. Excessive wear and tear on your hairline can weaken it and break it off. This is another reason why breaks in between are necessary along with making sure the style is not too tight or you may take a braid and your own hair off during take-down.
Neglect – Your hair needs your attention even under or in that protected styles. It needs moisture, natural oils and to be cleansed regularly. Neglect is the quickest way to find dry, brittle strands during your take-down so know that you do not get a break from caring for your tresses when they are in a protected style.