My One year experience with protective styling – Did I retain length?

Hello guys. Welcome back to my blog *whoop whoop*. Lately I’ve had to unlearn and relearn somethings about my hair and some of them are things I’ll definitely share with you guys because my hair journey seems to have taken a new turn lol. Like how my hair all of a sudden became highly porous and now it’s always really dry. But that’s a story for another day. Today I’ll be sharing with you guys my personal experience with protective styling in the last 1 year and how I didn’t really retain length because I was going about it the “not so right” way. I’ll also share tips on how to improve on your protective styling methods and what I’m doing differently now. Please keep reading.

So my second year mark – hair growth wise was sometime in September and when I did a quick length check, I realized that I retained just about 4″ of growth against the 6″ I retained the year before and I wasn’t really surprised because I know I had a role to play and this is majorly because I neglected my hair in the name of protective styling.

Natural girl on a budget

For those who don’t know, protective styles are styles you put your hair in to keep the ends of your hair protected. This promotes hair health and length because of the low manipulation of your own hair. These styles can range from buns, to mini twists to box braids, wigs etc. My most preferred form of PS as some of you already know are wigs.

What is Protective styling

Wiggin’ it

Now where did I go wrong? I’ll tell ya. Before I put on my wigs, I’ll normally get my hair “corn rowed” and I leave that in for up 3 weeks sometimes. If I got really busy during that period, a month could go by before I take out the corn rows. I actually thought I was doing my hair a favor since I wasn’t even touching it but I was wrong. I didn’t realize that my hair was getting very dry and the occasional spritz of water and shea butter sealant wasn’t doing the best job in moisturizing my hair. And as you know, moisturizing your hair regularly is a great way to promote healthy hair. So when I’ll take down these cornrows, my hair will be so dry and just be breaking off. I also started noticing split ends!! But for a couple of months this year, I was way in over my head with putting down some structure for my business, over working and all that so even though I knew what was happening, I’ll just did my regular wash day, rinse and repeat the same thing lol.

Wigs for natural hair
Anyway!!!!! Let’s say I had a sort of wake up call in September because split ends and dry hair are a no no! So I decided to make some changes and I’ve been sticking with that so far.
What to know when Protective styling is –
1. Your hair must always stay moisturized. Never neglect your hair during this period.
2. Your scalp must be cleansed regularly to remove build up and promote growth of new hair.
3. You have to maintain a working regimen and stick to it. (Deep condition and all that).
4. Have I talked enough about moisture yet?
5. A style isn’t protective if it in anyway harms your hair. This is the reason I stopped braiding my hair with extensions a long time ago cause it harmed my edges.
6. Carefully and properly taking down your PS is just as important! If you don’t properly detangle your hair after take down, you’ll lose all the length you retained anyway.

So what I’ve decided to do is instead of putting my hair in corn rows under my wigs, I section my hair and put them in twists (total of about 10). This way, I can feel my hair more often, remember to moisturize and all that. Although this works best for curly wigs not straight/flat wigs. For straight hair, I put my hair in just 2 cornrows and I make sure to take them down every night to do my night routine then braid back up.

What is Protective styling?

Also, I’ve gone back to clarifying and Deep conditioning my hair every two weeks like I used to. I also would incorporate more protein treatments to this. I also barely comb my hair anymore. I think I said that in the last post. Lastly, I keep my spray bottle, leave in conditioner and castor oil right where I’ll see them every night so I make sure to moisturize and seal before bed time. I have also trimmed my hair to get rid of the split ends. I did this myself but you could get professional help if you need to.
So hopefully, I’m back on track and I can start protective styling the right way.

I hope this post was helpful to you? If you have any questions, please dont forget to leave them in the comment section below.

All wigs in this post are from @ellaemmanuell on Instagram.

Now to the giveaway yaay

Shea Moisture Nigeria master class

I really hope I get to see you guys..

I get to be a Panelist at the Shea Moisture Nigeria Masterclass happening this weekend (3rd of November, 2017) and I’m thrilled! I’ll be speaking on everything you need to know about Budget friendly hair which is probably one of my most asked questions lol. And Attendance is free guys so I look forward to seeing you all. More details will be up on the @sheamoisture.nigeria page on Instagram.  🌸🌸

PS: I’ll be giving away 2 access cards to the Experience stations at this event giving you inner access and the first two people to comment under this post saying they want it, get it. Easy right? Please leave your email address as well so I can reach out to you.

Till next time, Ella.


24 thoughts on “My One year experience with protective styling – Did I retain length?

  1. OK I had to quickly drop my want for the access card. Do you know that this blog post is for me. I just hopped onto the wig gang and my hair is in cornrows and neglected. Don’t blame me, I got tired of the hair, wanted to cut it sef. I just decided to hide the hair. I will get back to taking care of the hair properly before split ends and bteakage destroy my hair.


  2. This was super helpful, thanks! Also, can you tell us more about your wigs, they look really good (especially the really short one). Perhaps you already have a post on it and I missed it?


  3. Hi Ella, please what deep conditioner will you recommend for me, and my hair is pretty thick and always has to be in corn rows each time I’ve a wig on else the wig wouldn’t fit😞, I’ve noticed the same dryness too.


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