I am a huge fan of protective styling, not only does it protect your hair and let your hair flourish without you doing a thing, but it also saves you time. I'm not talking about protective styling with your own hair because that's the only protective styling I have been doing for the past 12 years of being natural. However, I'm referring to using added hair. I know I am really late to this but a lot of time when i would buy hair at the store, well one time that I did, my scalp itched so bad that I couldn't take it. It literally came out that night. I tried again at a hair salon that cost a lot of money to put in my hair, the same thing happened my hair itched so bad that I took it out immediately. So now loss of money and a burning scalp, so I simply stopped.
After 5 years later, I thought i would try again but this time I did it myself. I tried doing crotchet faux locs, clip ins and fell in love with protective styling using extensions. I did some research on protective styling to find out the dos and don'ts for when I do my hair myself or have enough money to go to the salon. i wanted to share with you the Do's and Don'ts I have came to learn through experience and research.
When putting a protective style in your hair it is vital that you moisturize your hair before putting braids, clips ins or any protective style in. Washing your hair and going straight to a protective style with no product or anything is going to make your hair dry and brittle. Taking the time to take care of your hair before putting one in is important and I'm going to break down how to do that.
What you want to do is do the LOC method. While your hair is damp you want section of your hair into 4-6 sections. On each section you want to use a leave in, oil and creme. What this method will do when placing it in your hair before your protective style will keep your hair moisturized and soft throughout the time the protective style is in your hair.
Once the protective style is in your hair, you can spray your hair 1-3x a week to keep it moisturized throughout the time you have the hair in. As I talked about in previous post you can moisturize your hair using a leave in spray with your favorite leave in conditioner mixed with water or aloe vera juice mixed with water.
When getting your hair braided please make sure to speak up if it's too tight. If you a person that can speak up great but for those of you were it get a little intimidating speaking up please do say something. What can happen if it's too tight it can cause significant hair loss or it will make the first week or two uncomfortable for your scalp because the braids are too tight. If it's extremely tight it can lead to traction alopecia in other words hair loss. If you already have your hair in and it's too tight what you can do is massage the expose part of your scalp to help loosen it a little.
Wash hair throughly
When having a process where your hair will not be touched in awhile it's best to get a deep clean and deep condition to get your hair prepared for this. You want to make sure all the dirt, oil and product build up is removed from your hair. Deep conditioning is going to draw moisture in your hair and make your hair easy to detangle.
It's so important in doing your research when doing a protective style. Please do not allow them to grip your edges to where it's really uncomfortable for you. The point of a protective style is for growth and because it looks good but you do not want any type of hair los during the process. Braiders will sometimes tell you to take an aspirin and the pain will be gone by morning. Please do not believe that if your head is hurting there is something wrong. If your braider is gripping too tight and it's causing small bumps than it should be removed to avoid hair loss. So, instead of wasting money on a style do not let them grip too tight.
Leave in too long
I know some people say to keep your protective style in long and sometimes people last up to 3 months. However, 8 weeks is pushing it and 12 weeks is extreme. When having a protective style in I usually last between 4-6 weeks. If you do go longer then that just know that pasting 8 weeks is pushing into a zone where it can lead to dryness, matting and locking of the hair. I know the hair you have in still could be looking good but that doesn't mean that you keep it in for that long.
When taking your hair out please be gentle. Your hair is going to go through shedding while being taking down so take the time to handle your hair gently. if you have a knot spray with with some leave in mix to see if you can get it out as best as you can.
Can you think of anymore to add? Let me know below