The Harmful Effects of Protective Styling for Natural Hair
Protective hair styling has become a major part of many natural hair journey’s. These styles are supposed to protect your hair and minimize manipulation that can cause hair breakage. There are many hairstyles that can be considered protective to the hair strands and then there are some that are not as protective as you may think.
Many naturals choose to lean towards extensions for protective styling options. It is a process to get extensions installed. I am going to discuss two not so protective styles that includes extensions.
Braids are a popular protective style choice. They are worn by all cultures, sexes and ages. With the warmer weather gracing us with its’ presence, we can expect to see many braid styles as many flock to the beaches, lakes and waterparks to have some fun in the sun.
Braids are beautiful, but they can also cause hair loss if they are done too tightly. One thing I have noticed with natural hair is that many believe they must grip the hair tightly to catch every curl and edge. This results in a painful scalp, itching, reddening, bumping up and hair loss.
Our hair can shed almost 100 strands a day, so you may notice hair within your braids once you take them down. There is no need to worry. If you notice your edges are itchy and bumpy and you have headaches because of your braids, they are too tight and can not be considered a protective style.
Micro braids and twists used to be one of my favorite go to protective styling options. Even though my hair was popping off around the edges, I would still get them for convenience. I ignored what was taking place with the health of my hair for the sake of convenience and beauty. I can not name one person that is OK with losing hair around their edges. If your braids are too tight, they can not be considered a protective style.
Glue in Weaves
Quick weaves and partial leave out weaves using glue can take a toll on your natural hair. Glue is placed on your crown as an adhesive. When I was a natural hair stylist, I had a customer who had recently gotten a quick weave as a protective style by another stylist. Hair glue was throughout her afro and it was very difficult to get it out. There was also breakage from where the glue would not come out easily.
Chemicals in glue can also be irritating to the scalp and cause itchiness and inflammation. This can delay your healthy hair growth cycle.
These two hair style choices are the most common choices that I have encountered with other naturals. Protective styles should protect and not cause harm to your hair strands and follicles. If you notice irritation or pain from a hair style, I suggest removing it immediately. I know installments can cost a good penny, but the goal is to have a healthy hair growth journey.
I am not against extensions, however, I am not in favor of the harm that it could possibly do to your hair strands and follicles therefore causing you to have to keep covering the damage up with more extensions. If you go to a hair stylist, I always suggest picking one that has the health of your hair at heart first! You want to be able to rock your natural and it be healthy as well as rock your protective styles knowing your hair will still be healthy after taking the extensions out.
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Categories: Natural Hair