Natural sisters love protective hairstyles because they make hair care easy for weeks. If you’ve decided on getting braids or weaves for the fall or winter, its important to prepare your scalp and hair in advance. Let talk about how to prepare your natural (and relaxed) hair for a protective hair style that you can diy at home:
Make Sure You’re Ready – Nothing will break hair like a dry dead twig than putting braids, weaves or extensions in hair that is weak. Check the condition of your hair. Actually go deeper than that…check your scalp! Make sure you scalp is in good condition and nourish it with healthy natural ingredients like this scalp balm.
Detox Your Hair and Scalp – You are going to want to start off on the right foot so give your hair and scalp a spa treatment with bentonite clay masque. Mud has been used by women for years to remove buildup and toxins. It also rich in minerals that will cleanse and condition your natural hair giving it new life leaving it like the hair you were born with it. Did I mention that it cleans AND conditions? Works for me!
Clean and Conditioned – After your detox and before your installation, make sure your hair is clean conditioned, detangled and ready to go. Try this bundle that won’t strip your hair of its natural oils and will provide the right amount of protein to strengthen your hair. A word of advice: Do yourself a big favor and make sure you inspect any bought hair you're installing and wash it if you can. This is a good sanitary practice.
Protective Style Installation – Go to a professional who care for the health of your hair and scalp. Don’t be deceived by the after installation looks. If need be talk to your stylist in advance so they understand your needs. Get recommendations from ladies whose hair looks healthy fuller and longer AFTER their takedown. You can find out which stylists are causing the “high foreheads” and make sure your braids are not too tight and hair is not too heavy. Ain’t nobody got time for that pain chile!
4a, 4b, 4c Installations – Yaw know my hair is all types of 4 and a row of type 3 at the nape. It’s thick and dense too. Here’s some tips on how to work with kinky coily hair to make installation of your protective hairstyle easier: After washing and conditioning your hair, while it’s still damp *detangle* it before it coils kinks and shrinks, braid it in sections. Before you get to your appointment it will be stretched and tangle free and less prone to breakage.
Here’s another tip: Let your detangled hair dry to about 50-75% and use a blow dryer on low setting to stretch your healthy hair. Some of you ladies wanted to know should I blow dry my hair before braiding and the answer is definitely yes for type 4 hair. A gentler blow out is a safe and common practice for 4c hair and will drastically reduce breakage and the time it takes to work with your hair. So go for it ladies!
Hair That’s Transitioning or Relaxed – A lot of women want to know can I braid my hair after relaxing? A protective hairstyle for transitioning out of a relaxer is a great idea IF you follow the advice in this article. Chemical treatments (including color) can leave your scalp and hair in a weakened toxic state. If you have relaxed hair, I wouldn’t recommend putting braids, weave or extensions in unless you are transitioning out of relaxers. Start off on the right foot included in this article and make the switch to natural your way whether it be a big chop/twa or gradually trimming away. A gorgeous protective hairstyle can give you the confidence you need to make the switch to healthier natural hair.
Maintenance – Brace yourselves. Yes, your hair underneath still needs maintenance. Apply this scalp cleanser to deep cleanse and stimulate the scalp and remove odors, debris, sweat and pollutants. One trick you can use to get to the foundation of your weave is an applicator tip when applying the cleanser. The conditioner will leave your hair smooth and moisturized.
Braid and extension wearers will love this leave in conditioner to keep their hair soft but strong, conditioned and smelling delicious while wearing their protective style. You will notice much more growth and stronger fuller hair. It’s also a detangler so USE IT WHEN YOU TAKE DOWN YOUR HAIR! You will notice much less shedding and more hair on your head and not on the floor (that’s the point right, lol).
Bedtime Hairstyle Routine – I think a lot of us miss this. Your nighttime routine should still include some sort of regime that protects the hair at night (scarf, *rich hair oil*, moisturizer, loose braid, twists) to keep your style looking flyyyyy longer. Just do shortly after you get home for the evening and it will be a breeze the next day!
Six Max – Never leave your hair in a protective style longer than six weeks. This is a safe zone and depends on the health of your hair and scalp and the installation. Here’s your hair has grown underneath your style and your scalp and new growth require attention to keep if from matting. This can cause excessive shedding and unnecessary breakage. It can lead to scalp infections caused by mold and fungus. Give your scalp a treat with this refreshing spray that is both antifungal and antibacterial and stops itching.
Give It A Break – After take downs, your scalp and hair are in a state where it needs to recover…not a reinstallation. Wait at least two weeks before you consider your next protective styles. Continuous protective styles installed on weak hair and traumatized scalps can lead to hair loss. It’s the perfect opportunity to look at something different for your next protective style, don’t be afraid to switch it up girlfriend. Take time to examine your scalp and hair and while you’re at it give it a nice trim, it will look longer and fuller!
Lovely naturals, I hope you enjoy much success with your protective styling this cold weather season! Stay true and do you!
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How are you preparing for your next protective style?
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In the meantime, stay lovely and stay warm!