Protective styling has been my mecca and genie in a bottle in retaining length and my saving grace to the hands of time in the 5 years I have been natural, but like anything in life, good can be used for evil…um ok well maybe that is a little dramatic but you get what I mean.  With all the advantages that protective styling brings, the disadvantages can be just as potent! Here are five huge mistakes you can avoid when it comes to protective styling.




Excessive Manipulation


Trying to achieve the frizz free twist and braid by re-twisting/braiding every day or every other day simply defeats the purpose of protective styling. If you are finding it hard to like your twists or braids after 2-3 day wear and your hair is at least medium length, a loose updo style such as a bun or french twist may work better for you versus braids or twists, since the latter styles cause much more manipulation to redo every couple of days.


Too Much Protection


As the saying goes “too much of a good thing is bad” well this could never ring more true when it comes to protective styling. Leaving your protective styling to the hands of time for too long can really wreak havoc on your strands. Not only is more time and patience required during detangling sessions the longer your hair stays protected the more difficultly it will be in detangling because of the accumulation of shed hair and buildup.




Sometimes people forget that protection is nothing without upkeep. Making sure your hair is moisturized with water, oiling, keeping scalp/hair buildup at a minimum and sealing are great preventative measures in retaining length and keeping breakage at bay.


Tension Overload


Unfortunately none of us have superman strength hair and something simple as pulling your hair too tight via hair bands can cause breakage. Excessive pulling action from the rooted area due to protective styles can cause temporary to irreparable damage such as traction alopecia. Also watch the amount of human or synthetic hair you are adding to your own hair if braiding or twisting. Too much bulk creates tension that can cause detrimental breakage to your hair line and other areas.


Size Does Matter


Well when it comes to braids and twists left to idle for anextended amount of time, size most certainly matters! The smaller the braid or twist the easier it is for the strands to tangle in smaller sections, and smaller tangled areas create an easier space for dreading and accumulation of buildup. So if you want to rock braids or twists for a couple of months medium sized braids will have you praising the heavens above when it comes to detangling time.