Monday, January 10, 2011

Going Unprotected = Risky Business

For the last month or so, my Google Reader has been inundated with “protecting yourself for the winter” type articles. Writers are advising us to be very careful when it’s extremely cold outside because it’ll lead us to heat things up inside. And that could cause a plethora of problems, if you know what I mean.

Well, I refuse to protect myself! I like to be foot loose and fancy free.

Yeah, I said it. I will not protect my hair this winter. I will not braid it with extensions…I will not wig it…I will not weave it…I will not twist it…I will not bun it…I will not cornrow it. I ain’t doing none of that stuff.


A lot of folks in the (not just natural) hair community are talking about hiding their hair in the winter months to shield the oldest and most fragile section of hair - the ends - which are more susceptible to breakage, from the harshness of the cold weather outside and the extremely dry heat inside. And while it makes sense, I just can’t. Well, I could…but I won’t – at least, not on a consistent basis.

My problem with protective styling is that I don’t care for the looks ON ME. I have major problems with braid extensions, wigs and weaves. Any hair on top of or added to my head makes my scalp feel like its suffocating. The problem with the twists? Time. It takes a few hours to put them in since I like mine tiny, and a good amount of time to take them out. Even though twists can be kept in for a few weeks and styling options abound, I start to miss my big hair at about day #2. Buns are no good – again, for me – because I like my hair to be smooth when pulled back and I hate using gobs of gel to achieve the look on my highly textured hair. Plus, most good holding gels contain protein, and protein + my hair = straw-like, crunchy mess. Cornrows are out because I don’t like seeing my scalp and although the really tiny, intricate ones make the scalp less visible…well, there’s that time issue again.

I got issues. *sigh…*

So I’m going unprotected for the winter with the full knowledge that mistakes like split ends, breakage and knots could happen. This is risky business, but it's a risk I'm willing to take to wear the hair that I love.

How about you, are you going unprotected this winter? If not, what is your form of protection?

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