Hair Blues- Matting.

The 3LRChallenge is still on. Please tell me you still remember what this is. A 3-month long challenge towards a healthier body and healthier hair (more specifically, length retention) with a focus on 3 areas- nutrition, hair and exercise. The month of August is gone now, so if you haven’t been keeping up at all, don’t be discouraged, we’ve got September and October to be good! 😀

How have I been doing?

I haven’t been dedicated this far, I admit- my excuse remains the intensity of school work and exams. (yawn) It was all good in the beginning but after the first week or two, I slacked. Slacked? I let go. Life had to get in the way but now that all has been said and done, I’m ready to get back on. I will keep you posted on my efforts and progress from now on because as I said before, accountability is important in these challenges.

Protective styling is an important part of this challenge. The rules say Protective styles should be kept in for not less than 2 weeks and not more than 4. Are you wondering why? If you are, let me explain.

The whole point of Protective styling is to prevent you from manipulating your hair. This is particularly necessary for length retention because if your hair is in a low-manipulation style, there is little tension and little exposure and this translates to little breakage. If you’re going to see any improvement in the Length retention department, it only makes sense that your Protective style should be around long enough to matter.

How long is too long?
Three weeks seems ideal. A month looks just about right.

Putting your hair to rest does not mean that you should neglect it or totally forget it exists. When you have a Protective style in for a long time (esp when you’ve got extensions), from my experience, it is easier to get lazy and forget it.

Moisturising is actually more tedious for me when I have extensions in. Here’s my routine for moisturising with extensions in. I did moisturise at least 2 times a week sha. That much, I did.

Here’s a photo of my hair one time, taken after a wash. I’d just taken out my kinky twists.

I don’t know if you can notice from this picture, but most of my hair did look like locs just ready to happen. Strands all clumped and meshed together, I had to do some MAJOR detangling. I’d only had the twists in for 2 weeks!

I took this photo in March or so, I made this observation, yet in my infinite wisdom, I decided to go for the long haul. I had kinky twists in for 7 weeks.

Technically, the twists were in for 4 weeks of the Challenge, so I wasn’t breaking any rules. I lawyered myself into matting and breakage.

Yeesh. From week 2, my hair started matting real bad. And breaking. I had to take out almost all the braids along my hairline to ensure that I still had a hairline. And a few at the back too. After I took the extensions out (Still talking about hairline area), I noticed that my hair was strongly meshed together.

Even with the help of some leave-in conditioner and careful finger detangling, I still lost a significant amount of hair. The twisting technique sef, was so teeeek. So tight that it got real tricky for a twist or two and I actually had to just cut them off, along with my hair.

Why didn’t I just take the damn thing off, you say?
1. No time. Really, I felt like 24 hours in a day was not enough.
2. I only returned to school with my spray bottle and bottle of JBCO. I had no conditioner, no leave-in, no comb, nothing.

Lessons learnt:
1. I will not again leave my protective style in for too long.
2. My hair matts easily in kinky twists.
3. I will not travel for a long period without the basics.

I go home tomorrow morning and I’m definitely taking the kinky twists out as soon as I’m home. I hope all the detangling doesn’t make me cry. 😥

Have you had a similar experience with your hair? Or anything else you knew not to do but you did anyway?

Till next time,




4 thoughts on “Hair Blues- Matting.

  1. I always admire ladies that protective style their hair in twists, kinky twist and braids and carry it for so long with little damage. This is becos my hair always mattes then breaks off every-time i do these PS, right from my relaxer days. I have always wondered and still wonder how they & u do it…. The only PS that seem to work for me is cornrows, very basic ones, not the Ghana weaving type becos those one break my thin hair-lines too.


    • Have you tried bigger twists and braids? When the twists along my hairline started matting, I took them out an after a week, re-did them, in bigger sizes/portions of hair.

      I’m beginning to wonder if that pressure is worth it though. A friend of mine leaves her hairline alone and steady puts hair gel in that area. You may want to try? I’m definitely going to give that a shot, as soon as I find something nice for my edges.


  2. Just wondering how you ended this challenge. I wasn’t able to see it through the end. I just can’t keep my hair in a protective style that long unless it is braided or I have some type of twists installed.


    • Because my hair was in the twists for so long, I have been in no mood to hide it again. So I just twist my hair in big chunky twists every 3-4 days, and I mostly just finger detangle. Not exactly what the challenge requires but this is protective enough for me.


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