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MY Experience With A Protective Style (Senegalese Twists)

This was the first time EVER that I did a protective style.  I’m not a PS kind of person; I’ve always had reservations about braids, twists, and weaves.  I guess I was always used to protecting my hair the best way I could so that’s what I’ve always done.

I wanted to create this post so you all would have any idea as to how MY experience was, how long it took, the hair used, how I moisturized my hair, and how I took them out.

So let’s begin..

A friend and I went on November 23rd to get our protective styles installed– I got Senegalese twists and she got box braids.  We got to the salon around 9.45am or so and were in the chairs by 10am.  We went to a salon on 125th that was recommended to me by a friend.

It took my friend about 5hrs for her box braids to be installed; it took me 6 3/4 hours!  I took a bathroom break during the process, but still.  The braiders used Kanekalon braiding hair.  The process itself is an amazing one– watching them install the twists, the quickness they twisted the strands and the intricacy of interweaving more pieces into the twists for length.  I paid close attention to the work and made sure I let them know if something was too tight or if they were pulling too hard.  *Ladies, it is YOUR hair so do NOT be afraid to speak up!  I got tips from a friend who got her hair braided the week before about how to handle them braiding my edges.  Holding the base of the twists prevented them from pulling on my edges.  We ALL know how important those things are!

After the process was done, I made sure that I stopped to get ACV on the way home just in case I experienced any itching or discomfort.  My older sister, Cheryl (http://curlsfothegirls.blogspot.com/2013/10/spotlight-monday-cheryl.html), recommended that I spray the braids with warm water to help loosen them up.  It worked!  The next day, I used the ACV to spray the braids down because I experienced minor itching, nothing too bad.  I wanted to make sure I attacked it before it attacked me like I had seen.  Synthetic hair has an alkaline base that causes an allergic reaction for some.  They get all kinds of bumps and itching.  I didn’t want to experience that so I was prepared before any of that could take place.

I’m used to washing my hair weekly so this was a big change for me.  My friend, Reecie (http://curlsfothegirls.blogspot.com/2013/10/spotlight-monday-reecie.html), suggested that I used dry shampoo to clean my scalp to prevent frizz which sounded like a good idea.  However, after using the dry shampoo, I found that I still had residue on my scalp and it didn’t feel clean enough to me.  After I got out of the shower, I used astringent on my scalp hoping that it would help me.  I couldn’t take the itching anymore so I washed my scalp with a tiny bit of Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo.  After rinsing, I applied some liquified leave-in and an oil to seal.

To moisturize my hair, I used a mixture of water and Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner.  I also used sweet almond or olive oil to seal my hair and help with any potential frizz.

I honestly liked the twists, at first.  They were different for me.  The parts were extremely neat and I wanted to try something different.  That was the upside for me.  Unfortunately, I got bored after a couple of weeks and contemplated taking them out.  It was honestly too much hair on my head (that wasn’t my own) and I missed my hair!  The only thing stopping me was the thought of the money I spent to get them installed in the first place!

hair ball AFTER take down & detangling session

I couldn’t take it any longer so I began taking them out around 2.45pm on Saturday.  Even with help from my mom, it took 4.5 hours to take them out.  I used Jenell Stewart’s Senegalese Twist Take Down method.  I cut the ends of the twists, used her water, conditioner, and oil concoction with my own ingredients, sprayed the twists and unraveled them.  After unraveling them, I took the section, sprayed it down with more of the mix, detangled, and twisted it to get the hair out of the way.  Once I was completely done, I began to wash my hair and applied my Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioning Mask.  I left it in overnight.

I’m honestly not sure what happened overnight, but I woke up to knots and tangles.  This detangling session was one of my worst.  I don’t know if I was still getting shed hairs, experiencing breakage, or if it had something to do with the Camille Rose product, but I ended up having to cut out 2 knots! 🙁  It made me sad, but I was surprised at how calm I was.  Luckily, no one will notice when my hair curls up 🙂  I decided to clip my ends and apply the Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Protein treatment just to be on the safe side as well.

I did enjoy the twists for the first couple of weeks; however, I have to be 100% honest with myself and protective styling is just NOT for me.  It’s not something that I see myself willingly running back to do.  So I definitely give kudos to all the women that protective style with ease.

I think the amount of hair I lost with the initial take down was a decent amount considering I hadn’t combed my hair for damn near a month!  It honestly scared me a bit because I had never experienced that much lost hair during a routine detangling session and thank God.  However, I’m still sitting here, typing up this post, with this protein treatment in; I gotta get my life!

Until next time,
Ashley, xo.

Do you protective style?  Tell us your favorites, and how you maintain them below!

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  • Shane Jones
    December 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Hey honey. You said you trimmed your hair on your own. I have two questions to ask you :

    1. When do you know when you need a trim? It is so hard for me to honestly know because I am only use to being able to tell when it is straight.
    2. What method do you go about with trimming your hair. I do not want to go to the salon but I am scared to cut it at home without truly knowing if I am going about it the right way.

    If you could help I would appreciate it thanks boo =)

  • Ashley Hall
    December 19, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Hey Girl!

    -trimming your hair depends on your hair's needs. i can't necessarily tell you when it's best to trim YOUR hair lol but you can sometimes tell it's time for a trim when the ends don't really curl, if you do a twistout & you have tons of hair wrapped around your fingers AFTER you twirl the ends of the twists, or if your ends just look fried. those are the best ways for me to notice i need a trim!
    -i trim my hair 2 ways: 1. by twisting the sections (as evenly parted & accurate as possible) & clipping the ends of the twists OR sectioning my hair & clipping the ends as i see fit! i still part the hair, i just won't twist it before i trim. this is what works for me. i think you have to find a method that you're most comfortable with 🙂

    i hope this helps! let me know if you have any other questions 😉