Last summer I remember looking in the mirror at my hair and seeing all the damage I had done from not properly taking care of my hair. The ends were fragile and snapping, the color was dull, it was different lengths, and it shed like crazy! So after watching a million Youtube videos of women and their natural hair journey, the “big chop” kept coming up… they were saying how that after they got rid of all the damaged hair and started over, their hair grew back faster and healthier. That was all I needed to hear! I opened the drawer, pulled out the scissors, took a section of my hair and…SNIP SNIP…I had cut it! Honestly, it was liberating. The weight of those raggedy ends was off my shoulders (literally an figuratively lol). So then after doing the “big chop”, I found myself staring in the mirror again but for a different reason thinking NOW HOW AM I GOING TO WEAR THIS?! Anxiety set in and there I was running back to Youtube searching natural hairstyles for TWA (teeny-weeny afros). As I watched the videos, I began taking mental notes. From what I found there wasn't much I could do with my natural hair at that stage but wash and go’s for the most part so I looked at other alternatives— PROTECTIVE STYLES. Now wearing weaves was my thing, from sew-ins to wigs, I loved it all making that my preferred protective style. By doing so, I was able to grow my hair LONGER than what it was in a 16 month span. Also, it was thicker. It’s the healthiest my hair has been in years!
Do you find yourself constantly having to comb/brush and style your hair on a daily basis? If you answered yes then this is where protective styles come into place. The primary goal of protective styles is to style the hair that will last a few days to months allowing for reduced manipulation ultimately increasing length retention and decreased breakage. Constantly having to style your hair on a daily basis can cause stress on your strands which is what we don't want! With protective styles you can moisturize your hair then set it in a desired style allowing for the strands to absorb that moisture. If your hands are in it then the moisture is not staying on your hair but on your hands. Moisturizing=growth. In the grand scheme of things, your hair is continuously growing but you may not see it if it’ breaking off at the same speed it’s growing!
Braids, twists, faux locs, sew-ins, wigs, as well as natural hair styles. A lot of these styles can last from days-months if done properly. With that being said, make sure to watch out for unwanted tension especially around your hairline. Unwanted stress on your hair would defeat the purpose of the style for hair protection!