Naturals are always told that protective styles help to reduce hair manipulation, breakage, tangling and damage. Many ladies have grown out their hair by basically putting their hair away most of the year and it makes a lot of sense, it does. However, i have been finding out that what works for some, may not necessarily work for me.
A few weeks back, i had Goddess locs put in my hair. I prepped my hair by washing, deep conditioning and moisturising. The stylist also did a great job of not making them too tight and i was happy with the results.
Being myself, i started missing my hair just one week in and by the second week, i was done. My hair was braided before the locs were attached and my plan was to take down the locs, wash the braids and wear them under a wig for a week ( because my hair is quite short). In the process, one of the plats unravelled and i loosened it in order to braid it back. To my shock and horror, as soon as i took out the braid and finger detangled it, a lot of my hair came out! I tried another one and it was the same thing, my hair was shedding terribly! In panic mode, i took the braids out as carefully as possible and finger detangled everything, this is what came out
This was just two weeks after installation! If it were after a month or two, i would consider this normal but na’ah! Not after two weeks! When i washed my hair a lot more came out! Needless to say, i was upset.
I read online that a black tea rinse helps stop shedding so, i took two tea bags, let them seep in hot water for a few minutes and when the water cooled off i poured it over my hair and scalp, let it sit for 30 mins, rinsed and proceeded to do a wash and go.
Loved the results!
After a week of wearing it that way i went about my normal wash routine and after finger detangling and following that up with a wide tooth comb, this is what came out
Now, this is still a little more hair than i usually lose after a week but it is less than a quarter of what i lost after just two weeks of protective styling. For the life of me, i have no idea what went wrong. But since a lesson was served, i learned that hair is different. One thing may work for one natural and be a complete disaster for another, as naturals, we have to observe and learn what our hair likes and hates.
It has been two years since my big chop (with many mini chops in between) and i am still learning and discovering new things. Protective styling is not over for me, i will experiment how my hair does in crotchet braids and weaves but braids and twists with extensions will have to chill for now. I still want hair on my head when im 40 (lol).
A great option is to protective style with twists, buns and braids without any added hair. Hopefully i will give those a try as well. Maybe you should too!
What are your thoughts on protective styling? Is shedding something you experience?