Weaves, Wigs, Braids: A Protective Style or a Destructive Style?

While many of us know what a protective style is, a majority of us have probably never heard of the term destructive style used anywhere. This is because it's a term that I recently came up with. Though the term destructive hairstyle may sound foreign to you, the actual practice of the word is actually very common.

In last weeks post, I wrote about the 5Ws and 1H of protective styling. Though protective styling can be very good for the overall health of our hair, but like every good thing in life, sometimes too much of it or the inappropriate use of it can be very bad for us.

As braids, wigs and weaves seems to be the style of choice for many when protective styling, I have taken it upon myself to shed some light into the good and bad side of these styles as I've noticed that they get mixed reviews in their effectiveness with length retention and healthy hair.

When are these styles protective?
- When installed loosely and not too tight
- Your real hair is well taken care of while it's hidden in the synthetic hair
- Braids aren't too tiny and heavy
- Wigs aren't too tight that they pull on your edges when you put them on and take them off at night
- Weaves aren't sewed directly into your hair, but a stocking cap is used and your real hair is cornrowed with some extensions.

When are they destructive?
- Pretty much when the opposite of the points above are done
- Styles are used as a crutch in that you choose to wear weaves because you don't know how to handle your hair and don't feel like learning
- Styles are done not only to protect your hair but to put it away so you can "forget" about it for the next 4 months
- Style is left in way too long
- This July post I wrote sometime back provides 9 additional examples on "when protective styling is not protective"

When has these styles been protective for you? when have they been destructive? Are there other points under each category

The Mane Captain


  1. This was very helful.But my sew-in is usually sewn directly to my hair.So far I have not seen any side effect.
    However, I ensure I do not wear a style for too long.

    1. That's good. Some people experience damage when the hair is sewn directly on their hair instead on a cap. I also find leaving a PS longer than 5wks becomes a DS. So something for many to think about


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