I've been getting a couple of questions about protective styles, particularly caring for box braids, faux locs and large twists with added hair. While I am not a fan of these styles (with added hair) to maintain healthy hair (for a variety of reasons), I'm aware these styles are go-to for many people.
So if you must wear these styles, I have a few tips and pieces of advice for you:
Do not, I repeat do not get your style installed too tightly. Yes, we all want our stylist to "catch every piece of hair" to make the style last as long as possible however, this is very, very unhealthy. Not only will you have a large chance of experiencing breakage, especially with your edges (as they are very delicate), you leave the salon or person's home with the worst headache of your life. You should not have to take Tylenol or ibuprofen before or after getting your hair done...unless you want broken edges.
Tia Mowry in box braids
Be mindful of what size braid or twists you select for your hair. The bigger your sections, the less likely you have of experiencing breakage. Those small braids/twists are not a good choice as many of your sections will be attached to added hair that will become much heavier than your own hair. As a result, your hair and scalp experience a lot of stress, which later leads to breakage...especially those edges.
When you remove your style you will, I repeat you will experience a large amount of shedding. You may feel as if your hair is falling out but most likely it is not. Here's the explanation behind this: Your hair naturally sheds about 100-150 hairs per day. Keep in mind you can't comb your hair with these styles. If you wear your style for 30 days, think of how many hairs should have shed during that time but couldn't because of your hairstyle. Once you do decided to remove them, all of those hairs come out at once.
Get even more detailed tips in our Curly Conversations episode:
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