Protective styles are great for growing and maintaining the length of your natural hair, but they are only effective if the hair underneath is well taken care of.
Here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your protective style:
- Moisture. It is important to moisturize your hair before installation and while wearing a protective style. Deep conditioning treatments are a must in prepping your hair. You can do this with homemade DIY recipes, such as honey and coconut oil, or even store-bought deep conditioners. You should moisturize you hair while wearing these styles as well. Try doing this with steam from your shower, or a spray bottle with water or Aloe Vera juice. Also, regularly oil your scalp with your choice of oil. If you are someone who frequently wears protective styles or is planning to wear one, we recommend that you try the PureFix Hair Elixir which is a great scalp moisturizer (while promoting growth). It has a cooling sensation once you rub it in and it’s perfect for protective styles.
- Protein. Protein treatments are important in maintaining length and preventing breakage. This nutrient keeps your hair strong and allows your hair to be able to withstand the weight of protective styling; minimizing breakage. DIY protein treatments utilizing egg and mayo are great. You can also use store-bought protein treatments, such as ApHogee 2-Step Protein Treatment and Balanced Moisturizer.
- Trim your ends. Trimming your ends is important in maintaining length and overall health of your hair. Beginning with healthy ends will ensure that your ends don’t come out damaged and split when you take out your protective style.
- Take breaks. Protective styles are great when you don’t have time to do your hair every day, but your hair should get a break of at least 2-3 weeks for some much-needed care. During this break, your hair needs deep conditioning sessions and protein treatments in order to add back the moisture and strength it may have lost during protective styling.
- Begin with healthy hair. Overall healthy hair is always important. In order for a protective style to be fully beneficial, it is necessary for your hair to already be healthy. Protective styles are not a way to heal your hair, but a way to maintain its health.
How do you prep your hair for protective styles?
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Brandelyn Green is the Founder of VoiceOfHair, a platform to help women of color find the best hair care products, regimens and hairstyles! Since starting VoiceOfHair in 2014 she has grown the social media platform to over 1MM+ on Instagram and Facebook. As a natural who is also a salon goer, she wanted to create a platform where people could find the best products, hairstylists, advice and trends.
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Hi Brandelyn. Thank you for your article. I’m thinking of braiding my hair to protect it – I’m growing out a Brazilian blow dry and my hair is breaking a bit. Any tips?
Protective styles are always best when trying to restore your hair. We would suggest making sure that your hair is well moisturized before putting it into the protective style of your choice. Also less tension is BEST.
This post is really helpful. I recently had my hair in a protective style. During that time I was concerned about how it would affect my hair. I was wondering if it was some prep prior to protective hairstyles. This was right on time. Will be returning in a week to have my hair twisted. Will make sure my hair is well moisturized and less tension. Thanks you for this post.
You are so welcome Darlene!
I wish more people would understand that protective hairstyles should be ones that are loose on the scalp tension! I’ve seen way too many ladies with their edges completely gone, clear back to the middle of the top of their heads from wearing too tight rows or box braids!
Yes, we totally agree!