You’ve heard about protective styles and how beneficial they are to natural hair.
But as we said in our article on 7 simple changes to your hair routine this fall, it is not enough to have a protective style on. You still have to care for natural hair while wearing that protective style.
But how do you do that? How do you make sure that a protective style does protect your natural hair and help it grow and not actually give you hair problems? Read on to find out!
- Prepare Your Hair
Preparing your hair before installing your protective style is an important step in ensuring a protective style does what it’s meant to do. It also makes taking care of your hair much easier. Preparing it is basically what you do on washday:
- Pre pooing
- A protective style should be installed on clean hair, to avoid too much product build up as you will have that hairstyle for some time. Use a sulphate free shampoo that both cleanses and moisturizes your hair.
- Deep condition. Ensures that you get the moisture your hair needs to prevent breakage.
- LOC/LCO. Further seals in the moisture obtained through deep conditioning.
- Protect Your Edges
Your edges are most likely to experience breakage when you wear a protective style. This is because more often than not they are pulled and experience a lot of tension causing them to break. In other cases the products that you use on your edges might cause them to break.
When installing braids, ask your hairstylist to leave your edges out. As for other protective styles such as wigs, ensure you do enough research on how you can protect your edges and which products to use and which ones not to use.
- Keep it Moisturized
At some point your hair will start feeling dry. And dry hair in braids is not good news. There are three ways you can moisturize your hair:
- Spraying water + oil mixture on your braids. In a spray bottle, put water plus an oil that seals in moisture. Use this as many times as you need to, to ensure that your hair gets moisturized. Spray your hair slightly; do not wet your hair.
- There is no better way to keep your hair looking amazing than hydrating from the inside. Drinking lots of water daily ensures that your hair stays moisturized.
- Using the LOC/LCO method. You can also use this as an alternative to spraying your hair. It’s the same method you use to moisturize your hair after deep conditioning. As long as you have the right products, your hair should be well moisturized. A word of caution though, do not apply too much oil or hair cream as it will result in product build up and might also prevent your hair from actually getting moisturized.
- Protect Your Hair at Night
Despite having a protective style, you still need to protect your hair at night. As you sleep, you twist and turn a lot, which builds up a lot of friction on your hair. Friction is damaging as it dries out your hair and can also harm your edges.
Sleeping with a satin/silk lined bonnet or a satin/silk scarf will prevent you from losing the moisture you worked so hard to gain and also protect your edges.
- How Long Should You Wear Them?
Last but not least; don’t wear the hairstyle for too long. Instead of having healthy looking hair when you remove your protective style, you will end up with damaged, brittle and weak hair. Brittle and weak hair will result into a lot of breakage. That is not what we we’re aiming for when you installed this protective style. It is also important to get some cleansing done on your scalp.
On the other hand, keeping your protective style for a short time will not quite protect your hair or help it grow due to the unnecessary hair manipulation over a short period of time. 6 to 8 weeks is the recommended time to have a protective style on.
How do you take care of your hair while wearing a protective style? Do tell us below! You can go ahead and try out our products which are now available at select Target and Walmart stores! Click here to find a store near you.