By Jenell of KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com 

How to Take Down Protective a Style without Damage

Many professionals advise removing your protective style with extensions after 4-8 weeks.  Partly because the weight of protective styles can begin to harm your hair line as your new growth gets longer and longer moving the extensions further down the hair strand. The other reason is hygiene. It is advised that you wash your hair while in extensions at least 1-2x a month, but let’s face it, you can’t clean  your hair as well as you can when it is interwoven in extensions.

When I am ready to take my hair out of a protective style, a lot of planning goes into this because I need to dedicate about 3-4 hours to the removal process. Most of the time I have to remove my twists in sections because my time and attention is divided amongst things at home. I wish I could sit and take down my hair without interruption, but this is unrealistic.

The goal is not how fast you can take your protective style down. The goal is getting them out safely without damaging your hair that you worked so hard to protect.

Choosing the Day

I select a day that I know I have nowhere to go. I also select a time of day where I can get the most of my hair done, in the event that I do have to stop frequently. I highly recommend you do the same.

If you know you have to be somewhere at night don’t loosen your hair in the morning with hopes of being done before you go out. You won’t!

If you have somewhere to be in the morning, don’t begin taking your hair down the night before. You won’t be able to take down your extensions, wash your hair,  moisturize your hair and then detangle. Well not unless you plan on pulling an all nighter with no rest at all before your  scheduled obligations the next morning.

Take Down Tools

When taking down my protective style, I grab all my tools to ensure that I don’t need to get up for things that I forgot. I usually have all of the following items:

Scissors– to cut the lower part of the extensions off
Wide tooth comb– to remove all shed hair from sections of your hair
Rat tail comb– to loosen any tight knots and tangles
Water bottle– fill it with warm water, conditioner, and oil. This will help to soften your hair before loosening your protective style
Bag– to throw all extensions and she hair in.
Patience– Don’t rush. Don’t rip. Don’t count the minutes.

In the video below I show you how I take down my protective style

For more tips on how to take down extensions without damage click here.

Are you rocking extensions? How long have you had them in and when do you plan to take them down?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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17 Comments on "How to Take Down Extensions Without Damage or Breakage (Part 2)"

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Karen

I wish I had seen this before I took my braids out last summer. I was still new to natural hair and took my braids out while my hair was dry. I had lots of breakage. My hair is better now but there are places that are uneven because of the breakage. I’m thinking about getting twists, at least now I know how to take care of my hair.

Alicia
Decided to take my 5 week old Marley-style twists out this week. This is the first time that I have had synthetic hair that approximated the kinky texture of my own. Therefore I can’t just get scissor-happy in a tangled patch. I actually took two twists out just a few minutes ago to see how difficult it would be. There was a little locking so I was freaked out at first, but only mid strand. The tips and roots were easy to free. I figure it will take me an evening and most of the next day. I don’t think… Read more »
B
This could not be more on time. I have had kinky twists in for about 5 weeks & plan to take them down in the next 2-3weeks. The last time I had braids I was transitioning & I had to cut several inches because I just took them out and immediately wash my hair w/o combing it out or anything and it just matted into huge knots. It took me a full day to try to comb out some of the knots & the rest I just had to cut…it was a TOTAL NIGHTMARE, but was completely avoidable if I… Read more »
Crysterical
Something that worked like a charm for me was putting conditioner at the base of my yarn braids as I took them down. I would cut the braid a half inch from where my hair was, unravel the braid by pulling the two yarn strands, and before I remove the yarn I take a generous dab of conditioner (Silk Elements MegaSilk Olive Oil conditioner at sally’s…amazing!) and gently worked it in at the base of the braid until the yarn slid out. I continued to rub the base of the braid with the conditioner to break up the post protective… Read more »
Browngirl66

Very useful information that can definitely ease the process!

Vonnie

Plan on getting box braids soon so this will be very helpful.

Jackmeister

When moisturizing your extensions do you just do your scalp or the extension’s themselves?

kxlot79
I can’t speak for what anyone else does, but in my non-professional opinion, the best moisturizer is plain water. If you have hard water, you might want to use cooled-off boiled water. If you want to get a little fancy, mixing in a bit of aloe vera, glycerin, or a light oil (jojoba, grapeseed) in a spray bottle works wonders. I find that when the scalp is irritated after extensions have been installed it is either a reaction to the material (Some people are actually allergic to the cheapie synthetic fibers. I’ve heard searching for “hypo-allergenic” and “itch free” varieties… Read more »
kxlot79
I think that the length of time you keep in extensions should be directly proportionate to the amount of time and care you put into your natural hair interwoven with your extensions’ material. I have had my waist length yarn braids in since early October 2012. I do not plan on taking them out until early March or early April 2013. I really enjoy styling my hair and experimenting with different products and techniques, so keeping them in is more a matter of resisting the urge to rock my jumbo puffs or a faux-hawk. I wash my hair a minimum… Read more »
Br00kland

Thanks for this topic.

Tanyka

Just took out my yarn twists. I don’t use a water bottle instead the night before the “take down,” I sleep with a shower cap after moisturizing my hair with a mix of aloe vera juice and water. I find this method loosens my hair and eliminates the step of spritzing.

I had my yarn twists in for five weeks.

Ugonna Wosu

fusionofcultures had a video on this too.

Simoan
I have in Senegalese twists (have had them in exactly 4 weeks!) but mine are starting to look untidy/fuzzy. So I’m taking them down tonight. My technique is similar to the one shown in the video, glad for the suggestion of dampening my hair while in the twists first. Will certainly be incorporating that into my routine. Was very concerned about the amount of shed hair I usually get from taking down my extensions. Now that I’ve seen this video I realize it’s not quite as excessive as I thought. I just want to thank BGLH for these helpful tips!… Read more »
msboogee

Don’t like this chick

Really Though

Whoa!! What is that about?!

Sassy24

Good to know

Tabatha

I gather all of my tools too including a mirror because I like to watch tv, so I’m not feeling antsy about just getting it out. The only thing that I don’t have is the spray bottle which I will be having now. I normally get cornrows and i keep them in 4weeks, 6 weeks if I can’t seem to plan a good day to take them out.

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