Don’t compromise your edges for beauty. Hairstyles don’t have to be too tight in order to be neat. Release the tension whenever it hurts, stings, makes tears run down your cheeks, gives you a migraine, folds the skin of your scalp and creates puss filled bumps.
In many cases as naturals we do our best to install protective styles in the hopes of length retention and growth. These styles, if done wrong, may cause more harm than good. Below I will detail the steps and tips I adhere to in order to make sure my hairstyles, protective or not, aid in my hair and scalp health.
1. Prep your hair. Without appropriate preparation, you may experience hair breakage due to drying. In a previous post I detailed the steps I take to ensure my hair is adequately moisturized and ensured that the moisture is sealed-in before any styling. Protective styles are meant to reduce manipulation, and that’s awesome as it reduces knots and split ends. However, this also means you won’t be doing your deep conditioning and maintenance routines as normally scheduled. If not previously moisturized, the hair will continue to shrivel and die due to dehydration.
2. Styling. There is no point in having the most slayed style if it’s costing you your hairline and nape. Why keep that weave in just to end up with a bald spot in your crown area? Tension during styling is an important factor that I admittedly sometimes struggle with. You want your hair to be tight so it looks neat and lasts long enough for it to actually be a protective style so you constantly work on that balance between loose and too tight. The two tips I will give on this topic are: