6 Signs That It’s Time to Remove Your Protective Style

Is it Time To Separate- With Your Hair?

Getting a fresh set of Braids (or even doing your own) is always exciting.

Installing Butterfly Locs on Myself. I have traction Alopecia and I do my hair myself. I am half way done
Your New look is promised to give you weeks of low-maintenance care for your hair but unfortunately those weeks are numbered. Protective styles can be super amazing for several reasons. One reason folks install braids is to give their strands a break.

lifting my hair up so that you can see the sides. i have traction alopecia which requires me to be really creative when doing my hair myself in order to hide the sides.

They also give you a new look, they are fun and exciting, but best of all they protect our hair/prevent us from having to consistently do our hair.

wearing my locs

Braids are a great protective hairstyle but taking them out can leave you with a massive challenge especially if you leave them in 10 or so weeks, braids extensions can lead to

Matting at the roots and a-lot of yucky build up.

yucky build up around braids

I left my Butterfly Locs In for 2.5 months but Take for example the woman who left her weave in for over three years…you can read up more on that case right here.

So with that cautionary tale in the past lets look at some tell tale signs that its time to remove your protective style.

top view of my hair before removing


So How Long Should you Keep your Braids in ? The Real Answer is, it varies for each person. Let's talk about it!


  • comb
  • brush
  • towel
  • scissors
  • hydrating product (leave in)
  • spray bottle
  • shampoo
  • deep conditioner

First things first, you'll need the right tools to make sure you aren't causing any additional damage to your hair. Natural hair is fragile and needs to be detangled carefully, which is why we recommend having a wide-tooth comb on hand like this one from Beautyluxers. This makes it easy to glide through the hair when its wet and detangle without ripping or tearing.

Alternatively, you can use a brush like the Tangle Teezer to detangle, which i personally prefer to combs or Denman brushes. It detangles without ripping and helps curls clump together, which is ideal for defining and stretching my curls.

Don’t Know When To Separate- With Your Hair?


This is an - SOS series list - as in, an excellent back pocket to know for when you just need signs that its time for removal- so here's our super short and sweet list: 

  • Your ends are snapping
  • Your hair feels dry/matted
  • You know longer feel good about the way the style look
  • Your roots are tangled
  • Not retaining moisture 
  • You can see lint and feel product build up

And, of course, if it's been longer than your stylist suggests, or your hair is giving off an odor.


Ladies and gentleman, how do you know it’s time to take down your protective style? What signs do you look for when contemplating whether or not you should remove your protective style? Share your tips/signs in the comments below.

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I'm Sierra and I ♡ HAIR. I used to be a RBT Paraprofessional,
and now doing hair and writing about it online is
my full-time job. I love talking with people about
hair and I'm so glad you're here.
Did you style your hair? Tag @beautyluxers on
Instagram so we can find you!


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