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Are Your Protective Styles Doing More Harm Than Good?

By now most of us know how important protective styling can be to our hair growth journey.  Using wigs, braids, sew-ins and buns are all styles that allow us to give our hair a rest from constant manipulation while protecting those delicate ends–the oldest part of the hair strand.  The result is usually great length retention and reduced breakage.  Hello long hair, don’t care!

But there is an important aspect of protective styling that MUST NOT be ignored:  proper installation.  I can not stress enough how crucial it is to have protective styles installed securely, but not too tight.  The resulting damage from wearing styles that place too much tension on the hair can lead to disastrous results.  The hairline is especially sensitive and prone to breakage if not cared for properly.

For instance, the young lady below wore box braids and cornrows as a protective style for a couple of months.  The extensions were too heavy and too tight on the hairline, causing what’s known as traction alopecia.  Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by prolonged traction on the hair follicles.  This traction is a result of tight ponytails, curlers, or in her case, tight braids.  Traction alopecia is usually reversible if addressed immediately, but permanent hair loss can result if the practices that resulted in the condition are not eliminated.

In this case, the customer decided to use a properly installed sew-in weave (no hair line tension) to give her hair a break.  Three times per week she used Greenhouse™ Herbal Hair Growth Oil on her scalp and massaged for 3-5 minutes.  The all natural blend is packed with skin-loving oils, vitamins, and ayurvedic herbs and helps to strengthen the hair and nourish follicles.  This oil also helps to soothe an itchy scalp.  She is very pleased with the results so far and is excited about having a full hairline in tact soon.  Most importantly, there will be no more styles causing stress to her hair.  With a little TLC and patience, she’s definitely on the right track!


Please make sure that you communicate with your stylist.  If at any time during a protective style installation you feel discomfort or even pain, make him or her aware.  It’s ok to speak up–it’s your head after all.  No style is worth sacrificing a healthy scalp and fabulous head of hair.

Karisa Hill
Karisa Hill is a healthy hair enthusiast, licensed cosmetologist, and business coordinator for Beautable. As the founder of KLH Botanicals, she enjoys being a wife and MOMpreneur and strives to teach her two adorable mini-naturalistas to love the skin their in.

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