Hairstyles that are Damaging your Natural Hair: Styles for Length Retention

So you’ve found a hairstyle that you love and you notice after rocking it for a couple months, your hair starts looking a little…different. Whether it’s not as full as it use to be or your ends are just plain ole fried, you notice the difference and want to get your hair back on track again. So you sit down and think – Could it be the repeated use of heat? Constant positioning of buns or ponytails? Blowing out your hair once a week for that voluminous fro? There are a number of natural hair killers that can cause your hair to go downhill over time, so I’m going to give you 3 major things that can damage your curls and alternatives do’s to save them.

  1. Straightening your hair. Now I know as a natural seeing your hair shrink up to your ears each wash day when you know you’re bra strap length can be more than frustrating, but when you’re trying to grow natural hair there’s really nothing that can prevent that. You have to lay off the heat if you want your hair to grow and flourish over time. So, if you’re one to reach for the flat iron each week, try going on a no heat challenge and track your progress about every 3 months with heat-less blowouts. Using no heat can be a challenge if your use to a straighter look, but trust when you put down the hot tools your hair will take a sigh of relief. (Here’s how I achieve a blow out look using no heat – Heatless Blowout Tutorial: 4b/4c Hair & How I achieve a blow out using my steamer – Q-Redew Hair Steamer: Review & How-to on 4B/4C Hair)noheatchallenge
  2. Repeated strain to one area. This is a natural hair killer that I don’t tend to hear much about, but one I have suffered from myself. I use to live in a low faux bun during my transition. I would bun on soaking wet hair, dry hair, whatever kind of hair I had at the moment – I was bunning. Putting strain on the same area of your head every day, especially when it’s in a fragile state  can cause balding, thin spots and sore scalp to that area of your head. You want to make sure you switch up the position of your bun or puff and the side of your part every day to prevent hair loss in that area.  It’s no secret that the puff is a natural girls’ go too but if you find yourself “puffing it” every day, somethings gotta give! Tight puffs done in the same position will damage the most delicate parts of your hair (crown, edges, nape)  if done repeatedly. (Read about how I came back from my crown damage setback here: How I Achieved Maximum Hair Growth & Length Retention in 3 Months) See how I switch up my puffs below!
  3. Beauty isn’t Pain: “Protective Styles”. Sometimes we kid ourselves into thinking what we’re doing is protecting our hair but what were actually doing is just cute and damaging. If you find that you have to tell yourself in the salon chair that beauty is pain just to stop yourself from running out the chair, just stop girl. That 3 hour salon visit will most likely cost you more than the $200 you paid if your install is done incorrectly.  Excessive shedding, alopecia, balding, molding- the list goes on and on of terrible things that can go wrong underneath that quick weave if the “professional” isn’t knowledgeable about the process. Below are some alternatives I use that keeps strangers out of my hair. nohair
    • Wig it! I use to be a huge fan of wigs when I first started transitioning and they are such a great tool for keeping your hair protected.
    • Wear mini twists. If you have been reading my blog since last July, you know I absolutely live for my mini twists. (currently have a set in now which I will be wearing until the end of April) They are cute, allow you to see your length without using any heat or manipulation and are super protective. I love that I have the ability to just get up and go and they keep my hands out of my hair – this style is just a win win!

What are your favorite styles that allow you to retain length? Share with me down below.

10 thoughts on “Hairstyles that are Damaging your Natural Hair: Styles for Length Retention

    1. I love twists too! They’re pretty much my go to style due to how easy they are to maintain. I’ll be doing more posts on how I preserve my hairstyles for multiple days once my mini twists come out! 😊


  1. Great article! Your tip about changing the placement of your bun to avoid sore spots, tension and lost edges is really helpful! Many of us naturals don’t think to change up a style that looks cute on us, lol TFS!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips! I am always wearing my hair in a puff on the top of my head. Think I need to move it around once in a while or try something different!

    Liked by 1 person

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