Protective Styling, a great alternative to minimize regular hair maintenance and care, especially for those who use a lot of heat on their hair.
I personally don’t use heat to avoid damage (overtime).
There are quite a few protective styles out there that Naturalistas wear in order to protect their mane.
They range from braids to twists (with or without extensions), weaves, crochet braids, faux locs, finger coils, high buns and much more.
These days, I have a hard time keeping up with all the new protective styles that are hitting the market. I’m sure you can relate! The latest I’ve heard of are Goddess Locks?!
I’ve seen a lot of women abusing these , which is why I thought it was very important for us to talk about some do’s and dont’s of this alternative.
I want you to have a better understanding of the purpose of protective styling so that your natural hair journey can be fruitful, especially if you’re one of those who prefers to wear protective styles, rather than dealing with your hair.
Let’s start with the don’ts!
1. DO NOT keep your protective style for too long, which is 4-6 weeks (in my book). It may seem like a really short time. However this will help with preventing serious breakage, loss of hair (especially your edges) and dry hair.
I’ve seen women wearing these styles for 2-3 months at a time. NOT GOOD.
We tend to think: “Oh I’m wearing braids or a weave so my hair is good and I ain’t got to worry about it.
Over time, your hair gets dry due to lack of moisture.
Even though your strands are protected by the style, I strongly suggest that you routinely ensure that your hair and scalp are moisturized/hydrated.
Shea Moisture’s Hold and Moisture Mist is a product I recommend. The organic Shea Butter component of this product helps with providing nourishing hydration to reduce breakage and improve hair elasticity.
2. If you’re wearing braids and want to style them into an updo or bun, make sure not to pull them too tight, especially the front braids. Our egdes are the most sensitive part of our hair. You want to protect them. If pulled too tight, they’ll break and lead to baldness in that area. Ya’ll know how long it takes to grow them back. BE CAREFUL!
On to the do’s and benefits:
1. It helps with promoting hair growth and health.
2. If you decide to wear a protective style, I strongly advise that you only keep them in for 4-6 weeks MAX.
3. Make sure the stylist/braider does not pull too hard on your edges when braiding your hair.
4. Oil your scalp to prevent dry scalp, which often leads to dandruff. Which oil would I recommend? CASTOR OIL, of course. Why? Because it helps with hair growth, DUH! Use your fingers to apply it all over your scalp. I recommend Tropic Isle Living’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil.
5. If you love protective styles, give your hair a break in between your styles. Take the braids/weave down, shampoo, deep condition, oil and moisturize your hair. Leave it out for a week or so, then feel free to re-install your style.
6. Lastly, spritzing some h2O on your scalp or just simply drinking water will help with keeping your hair hydrated. Healthy hair starts with a healthy you on the inside. So grab that bottle of water and DRINK! DRINK! DRINK!
All in all, if you’re going to wear a protective style, just remember that although your hair is protected and resting, it still needs to be nourished and moisturized.
If you follow my do’s, you’ll prevent breakage, damage to your hair and help promote growth and health to your hair.