Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

The summer is the best time to think about protective styling, as you want to enjoy your vacations and days on the beach. The hair should be the last thing on your mind, right? Not really. Just because you are protective styling does not mean you neglect your curls. NaturallyCurly member, Zippytatiana9, posted a question on Curly Q&A about hair coming out while in braids.

Question

Is it normal for hair to come out while in braids?

To clarify, the Senegalese twists are still in her head, we aren't taking them down (only been in for a week and a half). Three braids have already come out and each time the hair that was also twisted comes out with it. Almost like the hair is ripped from her scalp, is that normal??

Answer

It sounds like the twists were installed too tightly in her hair. When the protective styles are install, the stylists will install the twists/braids a little tight in order for the style to last long and remain neat, but the twists or braids should not be installed too tight or the hair will break off. Since you are not taking the twists down at the moment, the best thing you can do is to keep the hair moisturized and monitor the breakage. I would not keep the twists in any longer than 3-4 weeks since she may be experiencing breakage.

While taking the twists out, it will be best to do it carefully. Use coconut oil (or your favorite carrier oil) to release each twist and comb the hair with a wide tooth comb. Slowly work your way from the bottom to the top of the section. Some hair will come out because the hair has not been combed since she was wearing the protective style and the shed hair has not been released. Remember that hair shed 75-100 strands a day so there will be a lot of hair fall, but in this situation, you have to be extra careful because the style may have cause hair breakage.

After you take the style out, cleanse the hair gently with a mild and moisturizing shampoo. Next, you should deep condition her curls with a protein conditioner A protein treatment will help strengthen the hair, especially if it is experiencing breakage. While using a protein treatment, please follow the directions on the product because some require specific instructions. Monitor the condition of the hair after your take the protective style down. You may need weekly treatments until the breakage decreases. If breakage sustains or worsens, you may need to schedule an appointment with a beautician.

Read more: Top 20 Protein Rich Products

For future references, while the protective style is install, make sure it is not installed too tight. The hair will be constantly pulled and it may worsen even while styling the twists/braids (buns, ponytails, etc.) However, please do not let this discourage you from not using protective styles. They are great and help to reduce manipulation, but you have to monitor the health of your hair and scalp. Consider using a light leave-in conditioner like the Camille Rose Naturals Fresh Curl and a scalp oil like the Ann Carol Coconut Lavender Oil.