One of my biggest pet peeves with the #natural hair revolution taking place among African-American women is the popularity of the so-called protective hairstyle. The fact that a hairstyle is called protective doesn’t automatically mean that it is protecting your hair. Here are the top #3 myths concerning #protective hairstyles:
Myth #1. A protective hairstyle will prevent my own hair from being damaged
Styles such as #braids and twists with synthetic #hair extensions, sew-in hair weaves, glued-on lace front wigs and wig cap hairstyles are often recommended as “protective hairstyles”. These hairstyles are all actually major culprits in causing hair damage. These styles do more harm than good because they are more permanent in nature and put undue tension and weight on the hair follicles right beneath the scalp.
Slowly over time this can lead to a condition called traction alopecia, which is a type of hair loss that literally is the pulling of the hair right out of the scalp. Also synthetic hair is similar to the look and feel of hair but is so inexpensive because it’s made from fiber that is much harder than human hair. When intertwined, braided or twisted throughout your own hair it actually makes tiny cuts along your hair strands and will do damage to your own hair.
Myth #2. A protective hairstyle will make my hair grow faster
When you can’t freely run your fingers through your hair it prevents regular scalp stimulation. Scalp manipulation is absolutely essential to promote blood circulation which stimulates hair growth. Any hairstyle that covers up your own hair for weeks or months at a time make it extremely difficult to maintain good scalp hygiene. Dirt, oils and perspiration are trapped at the scalp creating a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Now we’re talking about something way beyond dandruff.
Pat your hair weave …..because it’s gettin’ hot in herre
Myth#3. Since a hairstylist is suggesting it then it must be a protective hairstyle
All hairstylists are not created equal. Just because a hairstylist may be licensed does not guarantee that they are skilled or ethical. The requirements to become a licensed hairstylist in the U.S. are basic and just a start. After becoming licensed it is largely dependent upon the diligence of the stylist to acquire training and continuing education to become a technically skilled professional who is knowledgeable and performs responsible #hair care services.
Practicing healthy hair habits and seeking out accurate hair care information from reliable sources such as licensed and knowledgeable hair care professionals are key to achieving your healthy hair goals.