black girls black hair natural hair protective hairstyles

12 months of Protective Hairstyles

I started wearing Crochet Braids last October. I remember it so well because my girls and I were going to NYC to attend a live taping of the Wendy Williams show. SB: How u doin’? My sister spent hours the night before installing them and making sure they were curled to perfection. I had gotten burned a few times and my neck was sore from sleeping with hair rods but that’s sometimes the price we pay for beauty! Thankfully, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade through trial and error so I don’t have to suffer as much.

I removed them for a brief moment when I was a bridesmaid in my girlfriend’s wedding. Since then, I’ve been wearing what’s known as “protective hairstyles” for a whole year and I must say I’ve noticed a difference.

I am a self-proclaimed semi natural-ista and proud of it! What that means to ME is; No to perms, Yes to weaves with minimal heat. Overtime, I’ve cause a lot of unintentional damage to my hair. For the longest my go to style was a straight sew-in weave, no more than 12 inches with a middle part. I’d leave out the top portion of my hair to blend with the weave. Constant flat ironing of this section caused my hair to break off badly.

I started changing up my routine by leaving out not a stitch of hair with my weaves and wearing Crochet Braids to allow the damaged areas to grow back. It had gotten so bad that I could barely braid that section. If and when I do leave out a portion to flat iron, I make sure to apply a heat protector first. I also switch up my leave out sections between side and middle parts to give my hair a chance to breathe. Since then, that area has grown and it now passes below my eyes.

Something else to note is that it’s important to keep your hair hydrated when wearing any style, especially those styles where all of your hair is completely sealed up, ex: wigs, braids, crochet braids.

I am by no means an expert on hair, but these are just some tips for what’s worked for me. I still have a long way to go to achieve the hair goals that I want but I’m definitely not where I was 12 months ago!

Check out my 12 months of protective styling in the photos below and tell me what you think! What protective styles are you eager to try this Fall/Winter? Would you take the 12 month challenge?

The College Grad

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