Friday, January 31, 2014

6 month Protective Style Challenge

I generally wear my hair in protective styles, I’d say, 75% of the time. So to say that I will be on a protective style challenge, I will really just be continuing my habit of protective styling, except that I will include more long term protective styles, so that I can reduce how frequently I manipulate or comb my hair. My long term styles will involve extensions, because my fuzzy texture just cannot keep my natural braids or twists for more than about a week at a time (without me looking like a complete fuzz ball!)

I’m doing this challenge for three reasons:

1. I’m trying to retain as many inches as possible in time for my next nappiversary in September. It’s going to be ten years natural, and what better way to celebrate than with few extra inches! =)

2. My fairy knots have been getting out of hand, and I know it is because I am wearing my hair loose more often. My hair just prefers to be on a protective style/low manipulation regimen.

3. I’m taking on a few more projects in the next few months and I’m also expanding my product line, so to say I've been busy is an understatement. While I’m making sure everyone else’s hair is fabulous I’ll just be putting mine away for a bit! I won’t be neglecting my hair mind you, but I honestly would really welcome the chance to have to comb my hair less often.

I am inviting anyone who’d like to join me on the challenge! (I will be going for 6 months, but you are welcome to try 3 months or even 2 months). Whether you are growing out a short haircut, a dye job or just want to set a hair goal for yourself and reach it, you are welcome to come on board! I've outlined my detailed plan below, but you just have to make sure you follow these two key elements:

1. Protective styles ONLY during the period you choose.
2. Maintain a healthy hair regimen during the period, including clarifying, moisturizing, and deep conditioning.

Check out my post on Protective Styling 101 for tips on how to protective style without damaging your precious tresses! Comment below and let me know if you will be taking part in the challenge. I'll be back often to give my updates! I'll also be tracking the challenge on the Facebook page, so you can check in there as well and let me know how you're going!

Protective Style Challenge 2014 - My Plan

DURATION: February 1st, 2014 to July 31st, 2014 

I plan to wear the long term styles for 4 – 6 weeks followed by short term protective styles for 7 – 10 days. Styles worn for more than 4 weeks will be refreshed at the perimeter/hairline at the 4 week mark.
My long term styles: crochet braids, box braids (with extensions).
My short term styles: roll tuck and pin styles, half wigs, twists/flat twists, African threading.

Clarifying & Deep conditioning:
I’ll wash and condition long term protective styles once (at the 2 or 3 week mark). If I get itchy before wash day I’ll clean my scalp with a witch hazel and rosewater mix.
I will shampoo, ACV rinse and deep condition my hair after each long term protective style. Since it will only be 7 – 10 days until my next long term style, I will just co-wash and deep condition before the next long term installation.

I will spritz my long term protective styles daily with my Herbal Hair Spritz and oil my scalp with Oils n Herbs every 2-3 days. LOC method for moisture as needed on short term protective styles.

Optional: Many protective style challenges also include dietary changes, so you can encourage healthy Hair from the inside out. For personal health reasons I’m already on a programme which involves having to eat wholesome meals; I already take vitamins/supplements and my water intake is good, though I intend to increase it. My exercise regimen is sorely lacking, so I intend to improve on that! You can feel free to make any health changes you may see necessary to encourage healthy hair growth, such as dietary and/or exercise changes.

UPDATE: I completed the 6 month Challenge! =) Here are the update videos.