Protective and low manipulation styling is one of the major keys for healthy natural hair. We have all types of styles and methods we utilize daily that work wonders, but sometimes they fall short. Why? Our way of going about it isn’t quite right.
Here are 4 common protective styles that may actually be damaging your hair, and some solutions to help set the problems straight!
The High Puff
The high puff is the lazy naturals dream! You can moisturize and seal as usual, then just brush your hair into a puff; the best, right? Well not quite. While the high puff is convenient, quick, and typically requires minimal manipulation, it can still cause breakage.
Constantly brushing your hair upward and using tight bands to secure it puts tension on your edges and at the nape of your neck. Furthermore, the ends of your hair are constantly exposed.
Solution: Use satin scrunchies or Scunci No-Damage Elastics instead of regular elastic bands, tie your hair loosely, and wear the style a couple times a week instead of everyday. To protect your ends, moisturize and seal them again after styling.
Lacefront wigs seem like the ideal protective style because they allow you to braid up and tuck away your hair while still achieving natural, versatile looks. However, we get so caught up in making them look natural that we forgot the methods may be damaging our hair.
Glue, wig combs, and adjustable straps all can cause hair loss and breakage. The strap and combs cause tension and pulling, while glue can can pull your hair right out if not applied/removed correctly.
Solution: Skip the combs and wig glue on your hair. If you must use glue, apply to your forehead instead of directly on your hair.
Braids can be our friends and enemies. Where we have seen growth and strengthening, we have also seen hair loss and breakage. They all have their pros and cons, but when the braids are too tight, small, or done incorrectly–the cons are great.
Traction alopecia, excessive shedding, and breakage are all possible when you get your hair braided.
Solution: Protein treatments, daily moisturizing and sealing, and routine trims will help keep your hair healthy beforehand. Steer clear of regularly doing braids that are too tight or small.
The Low Bun
The low bun is one of the best protective styles because it is low manipulation and easily keeps your ends tucked in. However, constantly having your hair tied at the nape of your neck can cause breakage and balding.
Solution: Keep it loose! Instead of wrapping the band around 3 or 4 times, try once or twice. Also, stay clear of applying products with alcohol on your edges and the nape–it’ll only encourage breakage.