My Love/Hate Relationship with Protective Styling

Yeah, I know I’ve been MIA. And so has Fro…for good reasons too. Just when I thought my schedule had finally calmed down enough to go back to blogging – BOOM! Life happened. So here I am, taking the opportunity to get back into the swing of things 🙂 And although I haven’t blogged in a lil’ while, it doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about my hair at all. Granted, now it’s in twists, I’ve generally been thinking about it less and less.

But it just hit me this weekend…maybe long term protective styling isn’t for me anymore. Yet last week I thought wow, thank God I don’t have to spend so much time stressing about my hair in the mornings. What’s happened in between those times? My notorious 3 week itch happened. Well, this time it’s more like 4 week itch which in itself is such an accomplishment. The truth is, I’ve always ‘stressed’ about my hair. Not just now that I’m natural. My friends who knew me before the fro always made fun of how hair crazy I was. Every two-three months, my man would have to lend his ear and listen to me debating with myself about what hair style to do next. Maybe cornrows, because that way I can have my hair back in a couple of weeks so I shouldn’t miss it so much. But then again if I can do cornrows I may as well get a weave, it costs the same and it actually lasts longer so more bang for buck. But I also love braids. That’s me.

Well that time seems to have come again. Here I am with twists 4 weeks old.

I redid the hairline myself last week to ‘tidy’ it up and make sure my hairline was doing okay. And up until now I’ve been loving the hassle free routine, especially in the mornings. Yet the same excitement I felt when they were first installed has waned. I tried to avoid or at least lessen my time on natural hair sites etc. so I wouldn’t crush over other afros and at least give my protective style a chance. It worked for the first two weeks but last week I found myself scavenging the internet like an addict for some hair porn. Then last weekend I came across photos from my birthday last year:

Ooohhh. That was my hair! And there I was, lusting after my own hair. Lol, I know I have issues. And so returned the itch. I think it might just be something I have to deal with and accept. And in a way, I’ve accomplished one thing with putting my hair in hibernation: I’ve missed Fro. But I used this weekend (my first free one in about 4 months) to really deliberate about my hair. Do I take this time to remove the twists? Then remembering how busy I’ll be at work these next couple of weeks I finally decided to persevere and stick with them for two more weeks. I actually hate keeping styles in up until they look a hot mess. Unfortunately it seems that natural hair tends to age a style quicker than unnatural -well, in my experience…and several of my Twitter followers’ too. What’s up with that?! So I was a bit worried about that, but then I remembered, it’s winter and it’s okay to wear a beanie and scarves to cover up older looking braids… or to keep warm. So while my hair chills a little bit longer, my job is to stick it out, make sure it’s still looking decent and have fun with it. Two more weeks…just two more weeks…




  1. August 9, 2013 / 1:14 pm

    Protective styling is great when you're busy and need a break from hair. I determined I'm not a protective styling girl because I tend to ignore taking care of my hair when its hidden. Maybe I'll try again in the future, but I'll have to be really disciplined and conscious about it. Your hair looks great for being in a protective style for 4 weeks!

  2. August 8, 2013 / 10:56 am

    I hope this helps to get rid of the itchiness.

    If you can come across Debur Vatika Garlic Oil, it will help a lot. I used it for two days and my scalp hasn't been itchy for a month and a half now.
    Or Emami Amla Hair Food or Shampoo
    Or Neem water which you can get if you find the tree..

    Your hair looks great keep it up..


  3. Anonymous
    August 7, 2013 / 11:52 am

    Hi Dear,
    Jacqui from South Africa

    I have been natural for a while now and I realized that because of the different hair types what would work on you might not work for me, so can you just let us know what is your hair type and how did you determine this.

    by the way what are your thoughts on Biotin pills for hair growth.


  4. Anonymous
    August 7, 2013 / 11:41 am

    Hi,I have been natural since 2009 but I only started really taking care of my hair last year, so my hair is your length at 1year9months :-(.

    I tried to leave the braids in for two more weeks and I failed the day when I looked at my head and I just could not take it anymore. I missed my hair and I love the feeling of it in my hands.
    By the way can you please start bottling your product mixture, I would buy it and I know there is a couple of ladies that would also.


  5. Anonymous
    August 6, 2013 / 1:27 pm

    Hey Aisha,

    I am the proud Cathy from Tanzania in the below comment celebrating my 2 weeks low cut head. I loved natural but I was afraid to show how my skull looked, hahaaa!!But with you, I will love u as I will leave. U gave me the confidence!

    In few days to come I will email you my hair journey, where I was,looks I stole from you to where I am today. I sent them to my friend and she got confidence too.

    cathy, Tz

  6. Anonymous
    August 6, 2013 / 1:07 pm

    Welcome back Aisha. I recently removed my twists in the 3rd week. I co-washed weekly, but had the itch from the first week. Maybe they were too tight. Besides missing my hair, I had had enough.

    I'm experimenting with the Afro Botanics range and wanted to find out from you how you alternate the fertiliser (waxy) and the lotion moisturisers. Do you use the fertiliser more as a sealant? Also I can find the link to the full review. Have you deleted it? Thanks.

  7. August 6, 2013 / 10:40 am

    It's really funny because for the same reasons (missed my fro, itchy scalp) I've just taken out my twists (I keeped them 3 weeks,so I really understand your feelings!
    Anyway thank you so much for your blog, I learn a lot!!

  8. August 6, 2013 / 10:10 am

    Sasa Aisha.
    Salams from Austria.
    So I have a question for you. I had braids on for around 5-6 weeks. In-between that time I washed it and DC it and did that again before I removed the braids. The problem is now my hair is breaking like crazy. My question is what steps should I take to make sure it goes back to the strong healthy hair I had?
    Does your hair break after braiding it like you have now?
    Love your blog, its my hair bible 🙂
    Siku Njema

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