When it comes to wearing protective styles, we often look at them as a carefree, low maintenance way to keep your hair cute while not having to worry about your real hair. With protective styles, you don't have to worry about your hair frizzing up or going flat as soon as humidity hits. You can also switch up the color of your protective styles without having to actually color your real hair.
As much as we love protective styles, it is very easy to forget about our real hair. DO.NOT.DO.THIS! You can actually grow your very long if you take care of your hair while wearing your protective styles. Today I'll give you eleven tips on how to continue to care for your real hair while wearing your protective style.
- Clarify- Before getting your protective style of choice, clarify your hair first. Often when we wear protective styles, we leave them in for a few weeks. In that time your real hair can accumulate a lot of buildup, residue, and even dirt. Clarifying with a deep cleansing shampoo will thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp and let you start with a clean slate. I recommend using a sulfate and paraben free like this one that won't strip your hair.
- Moisturize- After you clarify, it is important to start layering your hair with moisture. Start doing this with your moisturizing shampoo. So, you'll clarify on your first lather of shampooing and use a moisturizing shampoo on your second lather. This is a great one to use.
- Condition- Now that you have shampooed, it is time to condition. Dry hair can break very easily, so I recommend deep conditioning before getting protective styles. A deep conditioner like this one will help keep your hair moisturized and prevent it from drying out. This will allow your hair to still flourish under your protective style. I recommend sitting under a hooded dryer like this one for at least 30 minutes with your deep conditioner before rinsing.
- Add leave-in- Continuing with the conditioning, you always want to add leave-in conditioner, especially when doing protective styles. This helps to add even more moisture to your hair. The last thing you want is for your hair to dry out while wearing your protective styles which can end in actually having breakage when you take your protective styles down. I recommend this leave-in conditioner because it is very lightweight and I also recommend spraying it on your real hair even while wearing your protective styles.
- Moisture cream- After blow drying your hair or sitting under the hooded dryer, add a small amount of moisture cream (this is a great one) to your hair. Make sure you put it on your ends because they dry out the fastest. You want to keep your ends moisturized to also prolong your trims.
- Trim your ends- Speaking of trimming, get your ends trimmed before your protective style. If you are wearing your protective styles for 2-3 months, definitely get your ends trimmed before each protective style. If you get your ends trimmed regularly, you will not have to get much trimmed at all and you will see a lot of length.
- Oil your scalp- Oiling your scalp helps encourage growth and helps your scalp. This is a great oil to use and you literally only need a little, so use sparingly. Remember, you want to get the oil directly on your scalp, not your hair, and massage it in.
- Use braid spray- You will more than likely have your hair braided down if you are wearing a wig, but even if you are wearing braids, crochets, etc, you can spray your scalp with braid spray to stop and also prevent itching, This would be a better option than constantly digging in your scalp with your nails. This braid spray is a great one and will also nourish your scalp as well.
- 9. Continue the moisture- If you are wearing any kind of braided style that you plan on wearing for more than two weeks, or if you are wearing wigs and have your hair braided down, continue to add moisture. I usually do this by spraying my braids with leave-in conditioner. Only spray the length of your real hair, not the length of your entire braid. There is no point in moisturizing the synthetic braid hair. You only want to keep YOUR hair moisturized. Spraying your hair with some leave in conditioner will prevent your hair from drying out so there will be no breakage nor excessive shedding when taking your braids down. This will also be helpful when taking the braids down because it will make detangling much easier.
- 10. Continue oiling your scalp- While you have your hair braided, take advantage of being able to take great care of your scalp. Adding this growth oil to your hair will help your scalp will help your hair grow faster. Simply add to your scalp and massage it in. You can oil your scalp as often as you see fit, whether that be daily or a few times a week.
- 11. Shampoo & condition your braids- If you are wearing knotless or box braids, be sure to shampoo and condition them at least every two weeks. This will prevent scalp buildup. And be sure to use this setting foam on the hair to keep your braids looking fresh. Use this shampoo and conditioner on your braids. If you are wearing crochet braids or faux locs you will not be able to shampoo your hair but you can still oil your scalp, apply leave-in conditioner to your hair and also apply braid spray to your scalp.