Protective styles are a natural’s way of avoiding manipulation or the chronic ‘hand in hair’ syndrome that is a real struggle for most of us. Whether you are rocking flat twists, box braids, crochet braids, extensions or plain cornrows, it is considered by most as a well-deserved break. However, most naturals do not know how to take care of their hair while in these styles so they end up neglecting their hair since they think that it being in a protective style is enough. This however, causes build-up and breakage upon taking down of said style.
Here are a few tips on how well you can take care of your hair while it is still in a protective style.
- Cleanse your scalp.
Start by diluting your shampoo with water, use an applicator bottle to apply it directly on the scalp, massage and rinse with warm water. Diluting the shampoo ensures that not too much lather is formed since you only want to wash the spaces/parted sections in your scalp. You only want to clean the scalp and not the protected hair and diluting it makes it easy to rinse off the shampoo and build up in the hair. If not well done, the hair is smelly and damp increasing more build-up in the protected areas and itching.
Since shampoos strip everything and leave the scalp wanting in moisture, try the WNL hair growth tea rinse to add moisture and nutrients to the roots of your hair while reducing itching on the scalp. This tea also promotes hair growth significantly and helps revive the follicles. A good moisturizer and moisturizing oils are also very important in making sure that the roots which are exposed do not dry out.
- Wear a satin bonnet.
Just because your hair is in a protective style, does not mean that it does not need protecting. Always put on a satin bonnet or scarf when sleeping so you can protect your hair at night as well. This is crucial because, cotton pillow cases absorb all the moisture in your hair leaving it extremely dry. It also promotes frizz by the friction between the dry hair and the pillow cases ultimately leading to breakage.
- Extra care when taking the style down.
Since your hair has been in a protective style for a few weeks, it is bound to have build-up and even tangling. Please be very gentle to your hair when taking it down. This ensures that it does not tangle, frizz or even break from all the pulling and tagging. Finger detangle first before using combs so as not to snap off the tangled bits in your hair.
Bottom line, a protective style can be as useful as it is harmful to your hair. Opt for more natural styles that do not weigh your hair down, like knotless box braids to reduce the tension and the tag which may lead to hair loss and thinning of your edges. Remember to detangle gently from the ends to the roots and preferably when hair is damp to get that slip. Ultimately, there is no greater revenge than a queen who owns her flawless crown.