Natural Hair Mag

Why The Negativity With Protective Styling?

I was in a natural hair Facebook page reading some comments about women wearing weaves and braids for protective styling.

tapered curly fro


Some of the comments welcomed the idea of protective styling while others shunned it. Those who shunned said the natural hair journey should be about natural hair only and all the goodbadugly that comes with it.


Amongst those comments where naturals getting irritated with all the Senegalese twists and crochet braids photos, voicing frustration that there was not enough photos of natural hair.


Others claimed how can a natural hair journey be “natural” if they were weave all the time? How can you can yourself a natural while making it a point to share Instagram photos of weave all the time?


While I can respect a natural being true to the journey, I must point out that protective styling is part of the journey. Not every natural knows how to deal with their natural hair. They have no idea how to cornrow, twist or anything to make their hair appear more manageable. They simply have no clue so they stick with protective styling to get through the day.


And more power to them!


The first problem I have with critics is that there is no stamp of approval on how a woman goes through her natural hair journey. It is individual and unique to each head of hair. There is no patent on going natural.


Additionally, some naturals, like myself, experience a great deal of new growth when our hair is in a protective style. For example, my hair grows beautifully when I leave it alone and allow it to grow without me messing with it! Protective styling is one of the best ways to encourage hair growth (as long as the styles are done correctly).


So, I really do not understand the idea of negativity when it comes to natural styling. Who are you tell me, or anyone else, what to do with my hair?! Who are you tell me what my natural journey should consist of? A journey is just that: a journey of turns and twists and products tried and breakage and repair and fighting perm relapses!


There is absolutely no way a natural hair journey should be based on one set of values. So instead of knocking a natural for relying on protective styling for growth, why not lift her up and give her some pointers on designing her own hair. Or recommend a great natural stylist to her.


Let’s try to stop the ridicule of protective styling and just support each other and the movement!

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