Protective styles are great for when you don’t have time to care for your hair or want to try something new. It is also well known that leaving your hair alone will help retain length and keep your hair in a healthy state. However, it can be a recipe for disaster if done the wrong way or not properly cared for.
There are some things to do to ensure that your hair stays healthy and doesn’t break off after the protective style and I’ll be unveiling some of these tips that have helped me.
What are protective hairstyles
Protective hairstyles are styles usually done with extensions that cover the entire length of your hair. They protect your hair from the environment, keep it in a fashionable look, and save you the stress of everyday hair care.
For more information about protective styles and style inspiration, check out this blog post.
How to care for your hair in protective styles
- Stop with the tightness
I know you want to look good, nobody can fault that but gripping your ends too tight and pulling every last strand of hair is not the way to go. Tightness will cause tension, headaches, blisters, breakage and over time alopecia because you hair will get pulled out at the roots so many times that it decides it’s not going to grow anymore.
Instead, you can leave out some baby hairs and sleek them with a nice edge control. Or you can decide to renew the first row (if you can) once a week so the front is looking fresh, that way you don’t need to braid that front row with how it’ll look in 4 weeks in mind.
- Heavy hairstyles are not your friend
I know you love to look good and those Jumbo braids that are hitting your mid-thigh look good on Pinterest but if your hair is too heavy then you are setting yourself up for headaches, breakage and heartache. Those heavy extensions will pulldown your own hair and leave it hanging by the threads, it’s just not worth it if you want healthy-looking hair.
Moderation is key, if you are going to do a heavy hairstyle wear it for a shorter period of time then let your hair rest afterward. There are lightweight extensions that you can use, try those out instead, trust me you will look beautiful either ways.
- Drink plenty of water.
Drink 8 glasses of water a day to keep hydrated. A well-hydrated you equals smooth skin and healthy hair amidst a lot of other positive effects. Your hair is like a plant, you need to wet the roots and that is by you drinking water.
- Eat healthily and exercise
You need to live a healthy lifestyle to have healthy hair. It is an extension of your body and if you are not healthy, it will show in your hair.
- Moisturize your hair
This may be hard for some protective styles. But you can lightly spray your edges and roots with water then massaging with oil to seal to keep your hair healthy. Protective styling won’t stop you from caring for your scalp so do that as much as you can.
Do not oversaturate your hair though, that will cause the hair to remain damp and pick up a weird odor. Also, don’t oil your scalp every day, that will just give you build up and get your hair dirtier faster. Moderation is key.
- Keep the hair in for 4-6 weeks only.
Don’t keep the protective stay in for more than 6 weeks. Not only will this cause accumulation of dirt that will cause itchiness, but the tension can also cause breakage for your hair which is the opposite of what a protective style should do.
- Protect at bedtime
Wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf when you are about to sleep. Use a silk or satin pillowcase too if you can get one to prevent unnecessary loss of moisture. Protecting your hair at bed-time can also slow down the rate at which your style gets rough looking.
How to take down protective styles
- Put a light coating of oil on your hands to enhance slip
- Be patient and gentle. If you tug on the extension too much, you’ll most likely cause your hair to be pulled off with it.
- When cutting the extensions, cut about an inch lower than where you believe your hair stops. This will help prevent any accidents.
- After the takedown, have a washday so you can replenish your hair with nutrients.
- Have a full washday installing the hairstyle and properly moisturize your hair.
- Space out your hairstyles so your hair has some time to breathe. Constant protective styling can wear your hair out.
Are you ready to achieve your hair goals?
A drop of black natural hair growth program is designed to take you from where you are on your hair care journey to where you want to be. It is a monthly subscription program run through Patreon. It gives you access to awesome benefits that will help on your hair journey, they include;
- A hair care consultation upon signing up. You will get a personalized hair care regimen after the consultation.
- Weekly webinars and discussions on topics affecting your natural hair journey.
- A private discord group.
- A group Pinterest board.
- A community of naturals to go on challenges with, try out new products, and share experiences or advice.
- Quarterly award ceremonies to members of the program that have been most active and helpful to the other naturalistas in the group.
- Discounts on merch and access to guides whenever they come out.
Did any of that interest you? Then click here to find out more and get enrolled in the program now!
You can also watch any of my previous webinars on YouTube. They will give you a feel of what kind of solid information will be coming your way every week.
What hair care tips will you incorporate when you’re protective styling? Be sure to comment.
Hope this helped you in any way.
Stay true, be you.
-Drop of black