10 September, 2012

Personality Types - Why Protective Styling is Not for Everyone

So, this is a discussion I've had several times with my hubby (who knows very little about natural hair) and I'm finally getting in on film so enjoy the video but I wanted to write about it too. Here's the video for those who would rather watch than read it :)

Personality types differ and this is reflected in the different choices we make in our hair care practices. But, there is this widespread attitude and opinion in the natural hair world that there is a "best" way to take care of our hair regardless of who we are individuals. Well, this is simply not true. At least, for me, it has proven not to be true and I know if I feel this way, many more do too.I went natural around August of 2008 but I kept my hair shaved until October that year
when I started growing it out. Of course, like many new naturals, I knew nothing about how to take care of my hair and so I wore it in braids and weaves

while I researched and devoured videos on YouTube. When I finally got comfortable with wearing my hair out, I faced another obsession...that of achieving/retaining hair length no matter what!

This naturally meant that I gravitated toward those natural hair "gurus" who had longer hair because obviously they knew what they were talking about and if I followed their advice to the T, I will have long hair in no time. Well, that didn't work very well for me because the biggest common advice denominator was protective styling (PS). I commenced doing a bunch of PS as shown below:

 Now, when I say it didn't work too well for me, I'm not saying that you won't retain length with PS. It's actually quite the opposite because MAJOR length retention happens with PS. In fact, my hair retained the most length during the period I did mostly PS

I went from this ...                                                                                   to this in less 8 months

It was a failure for me because I HATED the way my hair looked like in twists. It was scalpy, I looked like a kid, and I just didn't like it PERIOD.* Disclaimer: if this is not true for you, then don't sweat it. It's okay if you love PS (because again, that meshes with your personality.* Another reason it was a failure was because as with everything else in my life, I like to be spontaneous more often than not. So, this translated to hair as well naturally  lol. I loved playing in my hair, wearing different styles and when I stopped wearing stretched styles (twist outs etc.), I discovered that I LOVE my natural curl pattern as well.

Upon this discovery just a few months ago, I got a hair cut and proceeded to start wearing my hair in a wash and go (WNG) 99% of the time and I've never been happier with my hair.

And guess what, this fits with my personality style better. I used to think that I didn't have the needed "discipline" to leave my hair protected for several days at a time. But now, I know it's not a lack of discipline....it's just who I am and that's okay.

I might not retain length at the optimum rate or I might have more of those pesky Single Strand Knots (SSK) than is desirable but that's okay because for me, right now, I'm in love with my hair and I have WAY MORE good hair days than bad ones so that means I'm #winning! 

Of course, since there is still that part of me that is not all care-free and whatever goes, I had to perfect my WNG technique and I have and I will talk about this in another post. But for right now, the take away is that, whatever personality type you are, don't expect it to be different in hair care just because we are dealing with #naturalhair which is often times a new and uncharted territory. Once you are done exploring, and watching all those videos and taking in all those wonderful advice from all those wonderful YouTube "gurus", you will the happiest caring for your hair the way that feels the most natural to you! That.is.all.

So a couple of questions for y'all:

What have you learned about your self through your hair? I love spontaneity.

Are you a PS girl or a WNG girl? WNG all the way! lol

Till next time,
ChyChy here.


  1. I want to be a WNG lady. Thus far I've used the CGM but still do twist outs because I like the fluffier look without the scalp showing. I reread the CG Book but honestly I do think one has to find a custom way to apply to their hair type. I have a little bit of every type of curls on my head. I'm non porous also. I've yet to really get the CGM that gives me coils that I like. So as a compromise: I do the CGM method and do a twist out. I wear it in a twist out for a couple of days then wash again. I haven't lost a lot of hair(other than shed hair) So I believe this is working for me. My other issue is that I haven't over several years found someone who can cut my hair for a style that suits my face. I've seen some YT videos of woman showing you how to use clippers and do your own. So I'm weighing cutting my own in the back. Thus far I do keep the sides short(I cut that myself). So you know I'm looking forward to more posts from you on the CG WNG methods and tips.

  2. I too love the WnG! I started off the summer doing nothing but braid outs but the humidity soon put a stop to all that. That in turn led me to perfecting my Wng. I've never been one for protective styling because I want to see my hair in all of its glory. I also want to touch and feel all the kinks and curls (on second thought maybe I should be protective styling lol). All of the SSKs do drive me crazy and make me second guess my love affair with the WnG, but I'm still rolling with them...at least until the weather changes :-) By the way, you have gorgeous hair whatever style you choose.

  3. i was so happy when i saw your story on curly nikki i believe? forgive me if it was another site. but i felt alone in the whole, "i hate twists b/c i have fine strands and low density and don't want to look like a 6 year old" boat. i want my hair to grow but protective stylying irks me to no end. however, my strands seem to retain the most length (obviously) when keep twisted up. i really have not reconciled the two; wanting to look like i want and retaining length through PSing. but it is good to know someone else out there understands.

  4. Your wng styles are gorgeous but for me protective styles are just a lot less effort.
    I've managed to grow my hair to hip length over the past 5 years with them and I'm keen to keep on growing it without having to pfaff about every day styling this much hair.

    Long hair gets in everything, in your mouth, catches on stuff. I couldn't be dealing with it every day so I just braid/bun it up. I save the twistouts, wng's for special occasions.

  5. You are gorgeous! Thank you for being so open and honest about your hair journey. I've been struggling for years with mine but I'm going to adopt the CG method after reading tons of info on it and now stumbling upon your fabulous blog. P.S. I'm in my first semester of nursing school so I look forward to reading about your entries in that aspect as well.
    With blessings

  6. I love your blog and your hair, I have very thin hair with thick, medium and finr hair strands and highly porous hair(it literally dries within 30mins after washing). I am naturally lazy so I do mini twists on my hair and that's that. I can't handle WNGs coz may hair is more kinky than coily? I don't know if you understand this but I have a lot of those sraight hairs which are not so straight but have kinks and bends. Hope I'm making sense

  7. I am so glad you shared this experience. I relate to you so much. I have been blogging about my bitter feelings in regards to protective styling so if you want to check it out http://www.paleobeautiful.com and I did a video on my experience http://www.youtube.com/chamarieq, it is called "Protective Styles Are Not For Everybody." Okay so my experience was like this. I have very long hair and have never had a problem with my hair just growing out from my head and getting really long, regardless of what I do. The problem is that when hair grows fast like mine and it's pretty fine, my hair is split prone for whatever reason. So recently I started caring about hair, you know, I used to see hair as hair but now, healthy hair is important to me. So I started allying with a youtube guru and soaking up info on healthy hair. Basically she told me I had to wear my hair up most of the time, and not do wash and go's. my first problem was the emotional confinement. I did not like my hair in braids and braid out's, and buns just don't fit my personality. Also, no matter how gentle, they always hurt. I was using silk scrunchies! Okay but obviously healthy hair is more important than style, so I did it anyway. Unfortunately though, in due time, I began to notice a big problem. I had an alarming amount of strands that looked overly stressed and were dangling with holes in them. I did some research and found out that braiding wet hair was a major culprit, the only culprit I was guilty of. So then I started putting my hair in a bun when it was fully dry after letting it air dry loose. Then my breakage and midshaft splitting just got worse an worse. I always moisturized, but it's like the very process seemed to do something weird to my hair, making my ends that were tucked in look very raggedy, and my other strands looked brittle. So now I have been wearing my hair down and yeah, sometimes I do get a few small splits and single strand knots, but my emotional freedom is back, and my hair is no longer breaking off midshaft. I would much rather trim my ends than to lose all my length! Your hair *might* grow more slowly when worn loose, but if it's in a bun, who is going to see it anyway? I personally feel that for me, obsessing over "healthy" hair is not healthy. It made my hair worse, it made me become obsessed with my hair, and it robbed me of the joy of having long hair. I don't want maximum length hair, or even knee length. If my hair just wants to grow to my hips than that is ok, if it grows a bit more that's ok too. If it were too long I would never be able to wear it down so I don't see the point. I like having some length to my hair because I am not into styling so the length gives me a beautiful look without effort, but I would rather "protect" my hair by eating healthy, exercising, moisturizing it, and wearing it in very simple, every day styles. After all, some ppl want to prove that black or mixed hair can be long, I more so like to prove that it can be worn down. I got this rude comment from a lady with straight hair saying "how do you wear your hair out like that without it tangling and getting dry?" I am thinking uh, how do you wear YOUR hair out? Don't you brush it daily? Yah, because otherwise it would tangle. I actually just finger comb my hair because I enjoy it and I like that I can feel the strands better without breaking them.


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