As I have done blog posts as well as videos on YouTube emphasizing the importance of following a healthy hair regimen while in the process of regrowing and healing your scalp, it is equally important to follow a healthy hair regimen when you have a protective style as well. Protective styles range from twists, locs, braids, etc. and are often pursued as it is a style that reduces ongoing manipulation of your hair, encourages growth retention and protects the ends of your hair strands, reducing knots and tangles.
When looking at how to properly care for your hair while it is in a protective style, we must start from the beginning!
1. Installation of protective style:
It is important to be mindful about the tension placed on the hair as too much tension can lead to breakage and continued damage. It is important to communicate with your stylist your problematic areas to assure no additional strain is placed on the scalp. Your protective style should be done loosely enough that you don't feel any tension of any kind on your scalp, and advocate for your scalp should the style get too tight.
When any style is too tight on our scalps, the traction/pulling you feel on your scalp is your nerve endings reacting to practically having your hair plucked out. The problem is that the strain causes the blood vessels to constrict and dilate, triggering a signal to activate pain centers in your brain, and may likely cause a bad headache.
A overly tight protective style can lead to permanent damage to your hair follicles, and result in hair loss/reduced growth due to damaged follicles. Some often report diagnosis of traction alopecia, a progressive condition that is primarily caused by pulling force being applied to the hair, after repeated tight protective styling.
2. Hair maintenance.
Once installed, the next focus is on maintenance. Whether adding hair or using your natural tresses for your protective style, you must continue your hair care regimen to assure that your hair is well maintained. Regular washing, conditioning, and moisturizing are a must along with spraying the style daily with a refreshing spray will also keep your hair hydrated.
3. Limit protective style.
TIMING is everything when looking at protective styles, while you want to get the most out of your style, leaving your protective style in for too long then begins to become counterproductive. It’s been suggested that a protective style should only be left in for 2-3 months before taken out and your natural hair given time to breathe.
Once you remove protective style, detangle in small sections. If you are not careful, many of the shedded strands may create friction with the other strands or loop around them causing them to break. Create as much slip as possible when detangling. Follow up with washing, conditioning, and moisturizing and wait a few days before installing new braids or a protective style to avoid your scalp from getting irritated.
Use a satin/silk lined bonnet/wrap and/or sleep on a satin/silk pillowcase to avoid excessive frizzing, breakage, and tension.
You can find our vintage reversible set and bonnets at the link below
Click here👉🏾 Vintage reversible satin bonnet
Soak Braiding Hair in apple cider vinegar and water to relive hair of possible harmful chemicals.