#4 You are keeping the style in too long
The max you should be wearing your longer term protective styles is a month or so. Any longer than that you are not giving your hair care it needs to thrive. Yes, you can still cleanse and moisturize your hair while wearing protective styles but not to the fullest extent. Let your hair breathe so you can get the most benefit from protective styling and reach your length goals.
Done the right way, braids can help to grow your hair because they give your strands a break from manipulation (combing, brushing, styling)
. The hair you would have normally lost from manipulating it is more easily retained with this method. However, if you make the above mistakes braids do not grow your hair and you will see little to no progress at all.