I've been natural for about 9 years or so. After about the 3rd year or so, I began to go through bouts of being really bored with my hair. Last year, I protective styled with box braids for the whole year, which I haven't done since my hair was quite short. I didn't expect to keep braiding my hair for that long but unlike other times, I never really missed my hair. I'm quite sure this was down to being frustrated with the styles I was limited to when I became a regular exerciser in late 2014. Since a braid-out (or hair prepped for one) wouldn't keep after a run, I was mostly stuck with french braids, buns and high puffs. So in Dec '14, I got some braids with extensions done and I had to admit they made me look better overall, were a time-saver and less stressful to deal with. I plan to stay in braids all this year too. I learnt how to do them properly myself, so I can save money and don't have to wait until I'm back in the UK to see my own stylist since I have zero desire to look for one here.