There’s no sense in letting your growth from protective styling go to waste. You don’t want weeks of hair growth scattered in broken strands across the bathroom floor. Removing your protective styles with caution will ensure that you minimize breakage and retain length.
Whether you’re protective styling with your own hair or extensions, removal can result in tangles and difficulties can come pretty easy.
During my transitioning phase, I was pretty hooked on curly ponytail hair pieces. However, my patience was definitely lacking. One day as I was in the process of removing my ponytail and for whatever reason it just wasn’t coming out fast enough. There was a bobby pin stuck somewhere and it was digging into my scalp which was not only annoying but painful. In a rush to get this ponytail out of my way, I got it out alright, but with a huge chunk of hair from the mid section of my head. Luckily for me this portion of my hair has grown back, but for a while it wasn’t looking too cute.
But of course most of us know that removing extensions does come with the potential of breakage if you aren’t careful, but this can happen just as easily with your own hair. Especially for natural strands that love to intertwine and wrap themselves around each other created those dreading single strand knots. When you’re removing a style like two strand twists, braids, or cornrows knots and tangles form fairly easily.
Here are some tips for making the removal of your protective styles a smooth and breakage free process:
- Patience, patience, patience! If you’re not in the mood to take your style down, wait until you are. When you’re tired and just not ready to dedicate the time, just don’t do it. The process can be tedious and requires a gentle touch.
- Add moisture to the mix. Your hair will be much more malleable and easier to work with when you use moisture. Use some oil, pull out that good old spray bottle, and get to spritzing.
- Start at the ends. If you’re taking out two strand twists or box braids start from the ends of your hair and slowly work your way up until the plait is removed.
- Tangles Happen, Don’t Panic. This is true especially as your hair gets longer. Even if you’re very careful with your hair; knots can still form. When this happens don’t panic, don’t tug at it, or brush it. Take your time and simply slowly undo the knot. In some case you may need a good pair of hair shears. Its better to cut the tangle than to break it.
- Find a method for gently detangling your hair. Whether you choose to detangle while your hair is saturated with conditioner or to finger comb, find a method that works for you and keeps breakage down to a minimum.