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  • Writer's pictureAlopecia Hairstylist

Why I Don't Do Protective Styles

Updated: Feb 22, 2019

Edit: Because my momma said my blog sounds mean...I am not a mean spirited person, I LOVE to help people; it is one of my first passions in life, next to minding my own business and doing hair! So before I get into this, let me preface it by saying, theses are MY PERSONAL BELIEFS. None of the following is a ploy to take clients from my peers nor take food off of their tables! Also, I am NOT a hater! The following is simply stating why I don't offer "Protective Styles" on MY menu of services.

I have oftentimes been asked, rather rudely, why I don't do weaves or extensions. Actually that conversation goes exactly like this:

*business phone rings* Thank you for choosing Mikka Arrington Salon, this is Mikka speaking. How can I help you?" "Uh, yes, I'd like to book a sew-in. How much do you charge?" "Ma'am, I don't do sew-ins." YOU DON'T DO SEW- INS???" *Soulja Boy voice* Well, what do YOU DO??"

Yeah, pretty rude, right?? But it happens! In this blog, my first blog, I will answer this question as honestly and transparently as I know how. They're not good for your hair! And while I'm at it, wigs aren't good for your hair (or scalp) either! There, I said it! As I am currently performing a Balayage service on a client's wig that she dropped off. And I'm sure I've probably pissed off more than half of the 2 people reading this blog; including my mom apparently. LOL!! Lord, please let this entertain and possibly educate more than 2 people!

Where should I start? I'll start by saying I don't believe that braids and sew-ins are a "protective" style. Never in life is it okay to pull someone's hair so tight that they begin to develop little bumps on their scalp and hair line (the most fragile part of a head of hair); have head aches so bad that you have to pop pain killers every few hours for the first week or 2 to manage; sleep very gingerly because of the pain; and dare I say SLAP yourself in the head so rapidly that you sound like the percussion section of a middle school band. Not to mention how crazy it looks to others. Especially to those that aren't part of the culture, because you can't or shouldn't scratch; because it causes EVEN MORE breakage! Or as I read in the comment section of a re-posted video (on Instagram) of Usher slapping himself in the head, rather violently..."scratching messes up the hair and can make it frizzy"...and that's just the woes of your hair being braided! Oh! Let me throw this nugget of information in while I'm at it: BRAIDING YOUR HAIR DOES NOT MAKE YOUR HAIR GROW, NOR DOES IT MAKE IT GROW FASTER! A normal head of hair grows about a 1/2 an inch a month (some grow faster, some a little slower). You may think your hair grows faster when it is braided because it's out of sight, out of mind. It's kinda like when you were younger and you'd go see some of your out of town relatives once a year, during the summer maybe. And they would all dote on how much you've grown, but you don't see any change in your appearance...Does that make sense??

UnbeWeavable! When someone takes a needle and thread through those tight, tiny braids, you are risking the possibly of ripping, tearing or snapping hairs as the thread passes through to attach and anchor wefts of someone else's hair to your head. Now your hair is in a tight maze with weight added to it...I can't tell you the countless Instagram pictures and videos I have seen from some of my peers' posts showing the damage done when the weave comes out. Damage that is beyond even the best of products' repairing abilities. Damage so horrific, the only recourse is to cut it. Which unfortunately, starts a whole new cycle of weave wearing because how can you face the world without someone else's hair attached to your head???

Scalp irritation with red bumps
This is a picture of one of my clients that had another stylist perform a sew-in service before she left the country for a little over a week. She came to me 4 days later to have it removed because she couldn't take the pain anymore.

I'm sure by now, I've pissed off some of my peers and consumers of weaves, extensions and wigs. That is not my intent! I don't like to ruffle feathers so I'll say this to be fair, the protection and health of your hair in these "protective styles" fall more squarely on the person wearing them. Meaning, the aftercare is just as paramount as finding a LICENSED PROFESSIONAL who cares just as much about the health of your hair and scalp as they care about the money you pay them. Do your due diligence!!

Now as far as wigs go, let me start by saying some people won't even bother to wear a wig cap to protect their hair. As the wig moves or shifts around (e.g. when scratching) , the material on the inside of the wig (even a lace wig) is grabbing, snagging and chewing at your hair. This is NOT good! People who wear wigs all the time are also depriving their hair and scalp of oxygen (air) and sunlight (vitamin D-you need this). Thus making a wig more of a destructive style than a protective one. Of course wearing wigs from time to time is not a problem as long as you are not wearing them all day, every day.

My confession: I wear a wig...all day, everyday...yup, I sure do! Before you call me a hypocrite, let me explain. I have an autoimmune disease called Alopecia Areata. It is a condition in which my body, or my immune system attacks my hair follicles, in a circular or patchy pattern. For whatever reason, my body does not want me to have hair on certain parts of my head but wants to make up for it by giving me an abundance of nose, upper lip and leg hair-as well as places in between those areas, if you know what I mean! *scoffs* Let's just say waxing is not an option; it's mandatory! I also don't wear a wig cap. I know, I know, I'm completely going against everything that took me the last 2 days to type up LOL! I don't wear a wig cap for 2 VERY GOOD reasons: 1. I shave the hair that can grow. 2. Wig caps hurt the hair that can grow. I'm not sure if this is the case for everyone with Alopecia, but for me, the hair follicles I do still have are very sensitive; making it painful to wear anything on top of it. But I'll tell you more about my journey with Alopecia in my next blog. I don't want my first one to turn into a book! So for now, I'll just sign off as ~The Alopecia Hairstylist!


This blog contains the expressed opinions of Mikka Arrington and in no way should be considered as factual. Please do your own research and thank you for reading!

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