A lot of us tend to make the mistake of “forgetting” about our hair when we get a protective style, especially in the winter when we get longer lasting styles like faux locs or block braids..right? MISTAKE! Well the intensity or manner in which you care for your hair will obviously be altered by the hairstyle but it does not mean the caring for your hair should be put on hold. You just need to switch it up!
In this post I’ll quickly share the tips I live by when it comes to protective styling and my easy routine for caring for my hair when styled!
Before I get a protective style done, especially when its a “long term” style, I make sure I get in a full blown wash day. I mainly make sure I cleanse to get rid of all the product build- up and dirt and condition and treat it to also give my hair a boost of nutrients and lock in all the moisture! So ill basically shampoo – condition – deep condition/hot oil treatment – LOC Method – stretch it out depending on the style I’m getting. See various ways I stretch my hair here. (My next post with expand on my basic wash day routine and products I use – I know yal BEEN wanting me to cover that lol!)
2. GETTING YOUR HAIR DID
A lot of us take this for granted but a lot of the time a lot of damage happens here when your hair is getting done by a stylist who either doesn’t know what their doing or isn’t gentle enough. Something as basic as sectioning out the tiny pieces of your hair when getting braids done for example can damage your hair if the stylist yanks out the hair roughly or is using a comb that isn’t friendly for your hair. Also if your hair us dry and not well moisturized the whole process will be a nightmare and so sore – you’re probably going to get some damage done and grab yourself a free headache as well! Something to be mindful of!
Then there’s the controversial (well sort of) issue of hairstyles that are too tight and pull on your hairline! So you’ll find yourself in that awkward moment where you can feel that your style is just too tight but when you look in the mirror it looks super neat and cute, so you decide to JBS (Just Be Strong) and tell yourself it’ll loosen up after some time. I’ll tell you right now – that is the worst thing you can DO you for yourself, see below:
- Your hairline will get damaged and we know how hard it is to regrow!
- You might develop sores on your scalp which will bleed, scab and flake and look like dandruff, then you’ll have to undo your style earlier because it will look a mess!
- Your scalp will be sore and get sensitive
- hair damage, breakage and abnormal shedding when you undo it
So basically the minute you feel that your hairstyle is too tight stop your stylist right then and there and tell them to loosen your hair – you’re paying the to do your hair so do not be afraid to speak up!!! If it only becomes apparent that the style is tight after the fact then do not be afraid to undo it, yes it will be a waste but you hair matters more!
Also sometimes the nature of the hairstyle is naturally bad for your hair..like if your braids are too heavy, no matter how gentle your stylist is and how loose they get them, because of the weight it will put down your hair and strain it and will eventually cause it to break and will hurt your hairline too!
3. POST – STYLE CARE
So what I normally do is mix a spritz and spray it on my hair daily morning and evening). It keeps my hair moisturized and also gives it a nice shine. In my spritz I mix
- water/aloe vera juice for a base
- 15 drops of jojoba oil
- 10 drops of sweet almond oil
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
- 5 drops of peppermint oil
You can play with ingredients for the spritz to suit your needs, don’t feel restricted to this mix, I myself switch it up here and there to experiment! You never know how your hair might like it!
Once or twice a week I oil my scalp with one of my favorite oils – Crazy Pouss Hair Regrowth Oil by Afro Natural. This oil is LIFE! It eliminates dandruff and I hardly ever have my scalp get itchy! What I also love about it is that it penetrates well into my scalp and doesn’t leave residue so it limits product build up. It also somehow keeps my scalp looking clean AF! After spritzing, I dab it on the rest of my hair because its pretty thick and therefore doubles up as a sealant! It does all the things really!
You can use anything else to apply to your scalp really. Some people don’t apply anything to their scalp and it works for them. Whatever you use, be it hair food or an oil or whatever just make sure it doesn’t cause build up because that might lead to knots forming on your hair. That will break your hair and make un-plaiting such a drag!
Some people actually wash their hair with protective styles, but most of the times I tried to do that my hair ended up getting messy and the style got spoilt! A huge price to pay for clean hair right?! If your style does allow for you to wash it then go for it..it will increase the length you’ll probably go with the style!
Also keep wearing your satin bonnet/scarf to protect your hair even though you’ll have a protective style. It will carry your hairstyle longer and also protect your hair!
4. HOW LONG IS TOO LONG?
So with the long term styles like braids, faux locs, weaves etc the question that always arises is – what is the longest time one can keep a hairstyle without compromising your hair’s health?
Personally I think the longest I’ve went with a hairstyle was five weeks, it was faux locs! And my hair was just fine when I undid them 🙂 The recommended period for styles is six weeks so if you’re going to go past that limit just know that you’re entering dangerous terrains, but if you have a specific manner in which you care for your hair and it works for you then do you. I just don’t risk it! lol
Basically the moral of the story is don’t just relax and forget about your hair because you have a protective style, it still needs to eat! While you won’t be able to fully care for it like when its not styled you still have to put in some work…the bare minimum really. You’ll be happy when you undo your hair and it doesn’t shed much and still looks healthy!
What other measures do you implement to care for your hair when its styled or do you just chill haha? Lets chat in the comments! Also have you had any traumatic experiences with your stylist? Tell me!!