A protective hairstyle can save you a ton of time on your morning routine, and it can also help you achieve the hair length of your dreams. Pair that with the daily flow of compliments you're bound to receive on your new look, and you just might be tempted to leave those box braids in for just a little while longer. But when does your style cross the line from being a protective style to a damaging style? Here are 5 signs that you can use to determine when your protective style needs to be canceled.
1. Scalp Buildup
If you're scratching your head and you look underneath your fingernails and find something that looks like your kid's slime, it's time. Buildup can occur from using an excessive amount product on your scalp. While your hair does need moisture, using a dry shampoo can help keep your scalp healthy and clean in between washes. But for now, your style is canceled.
2. Dry Scalp
The opposite of scalp buildup is a dry scalp. This means you haven't added enough moisture to your hair or the product that you added has already been absorbed. A dry scalp = dry, scraggly hair. If your scalp is starting to look like an ashy elbow and feels as dry as a bone, find a comfy chair and a good Netflix show to binge while you take down your hair because this protective style has been canceled.
3. Itchy Scalp
It's ok to have an itch here and there, and Braid Magic Soothing Spray can definitely give you some relief. But if you find yourself constantly scratching your head like you do with the scratch-offs from your local gas station, then your protective style is so canceled. After taking your hair down, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to make sure you remove all of the irritants and follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner.
4. Flakes or Dandruff
Unless it's snowing in your area, you should not have flakes covering your hair and shoulders. This could be caused by a dry scalp or buildup. If you examine your hair closely and find that you have flakes or dandruff, cancel this style right away and wash it thoroughly with the same process you would use for an itchy scalp.
5. Smelly odor
If you lead an active lifestyle, you might be more familiar with the unpleasant scent your hair can give off after running or playing a sport. This isn't just something you can spray away either, the foul smell is a result of bacteria growing on your scalp. You don't want bacteria on your body and you definitely don't want it on your scalp. In fact, if you sniff your hair really closely, you'll get a good whiff of canceled.
Your protective style probably still looks cute, but if you keep it in longer than you should, the end result won't be cute at all. Your hair and scalp could suffer severe damage and all of the length you retained may fall out as soon as your hair is undone. The good news is that after you cancel your current style, there are endless options for you to try next. Keep it moving and keep it uncancelled.
What are some other signs that your protective style needs to be canceled? Share your suggestions in the comments!