Protective Style Prep: 4 things you should do/have before getting a protective style.
Whether its braids, crochets, twists, or weaves, we all get them… Protective styles are oftentimes used to “give your hair a break” from styling, but oftentimes, we use “protective styling” to give us a REST from taking care of it.
In order to experience the full glory of our hair, we need to care for it. Here at GLOW Hair Care, we like to use other happenings in nature in our analogies to help clarify our understanding of hair and its care. For instance, we should care for our hair with the same success principles used to care for a plant. After all, plants do not water themselves…. So here are our 4 tips to ensure your hair can withstand a temporary drought as we give ourselves some rest!
Book and enjoy a proper cleanse and condition session.
Before installing a protective style, make sure that the hair and scalp is cleansed properly by first using a clarifying (or strong cleanse) shampoo. If you don't have the best reading on your hair, we recommend that you go to a professional for clarifying sessions as clarifying shampoos may be drying to the hair and with improper use may cause breakage. Clarifying shampoos are formulated to strip the hair of all oils and product buildup, thereby providing a clean slate to reintroduce what your hair needs back into the hair with an optimal environment for penetration into the strand. Looking for a strong cleansing shampoo that does not leave the hair feeling stripped of all moisture? Try Design Essentials, Oat Protein and Henna Shampoo.
Or you can visit a salon for treatment-based services. Looking for a salon home? Book an appointment with us - we are known to emphasize the “TREAT” in treatment. All salon services with us include steamed shampoo massages and LED light therapy to create the optimal hair environment for hair growth and retention.
Make sure your hair is fully hydrated and moisturized.
Before tucking away those strands it is important that your hair is fully hydrated and moisturized. If your hair is dry, it's best to deep condition it before you install your next protective style. We recommend our clients allow 3 weeks before putting in a protective style, that way they can wash and treat your hair 3 times before installing. If you can allow for 4 weeks (=4 treatment sessions), even better. Your goal here is to wash and deep treat your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioner once a week. Right now, we are loving Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner.
Get your products and tools to maintain during the protective style:
We understand that there is a convenience to getting a protective style. At GLOW Hair Care, we believe in "Simple, Rewarding Care", and most of our clientele are what we like to call “low-maintenance” naturals. Yes, make it simple, but don't get careless with your protective style. Unfortunately, with a protective style you can't just set it and forget it, you have to take care of it and your hair underneath.
Listed below is a quick checklist you should consider for maintaining both your protective style and your hair underneath.
Do you have a satin/silk scarf or bonnet?
You want to tie your hair up at night or once you are in the house. This helps not only to protect your hair, it also allows for the style to last longer.
Do you have a water-based spray?
This spray should help with moisture retention in the hair. You do not want your hair to get dry in a protective style. Allowing the hair to become dry can hinder your healthy hair progress. You should be spraying your hair 2-3x's a week. At night or first thing in the morning, lightly mist your hair. You should be focusing on the roots and length of the hair if wearing braids or twists.
Do you have scalp oil?
Having an oil for scalp health is vital. Remember, if your scalp isn't healthy it won't produce the best hair that is growing out. Scalp products in oil form complement and mixes well with our natural created oils (aka sebum). You want a scalp oil that is meant to nurture the follicle. We recommend our clients to use Grow Gurl Intensive Remedy Serum.
While wearing the protective style you would oil your scalp at least 1-3x's a week. We recommend you do it at night and make it a part of your bedtime routine – cell turnaround is most active while we rest at night.
Have patience and care for the take-out:
So, it is time to take down your protective style. We want to make sure that when you take down your style, you do so carefully, and with patience. It doesn't make sense that you did all that work to care for your hair in the protective style, just to go and rip your hair out during the take-down process. Be careful when taking down your hair. You also want to be patient when detangling the hair. If you do not have the patience, it's best to schedule an appointment with a professional or ask a friend to help. After the take-down process, detox your scalp and properly shampoo/condition your hair to prep for your next style.
Hopefully, the above has been helpful and will support you the next time you decide to make use of protective styling for hair health and length retention. Please keep in mind the goal is to keep the hair healthy and to employ good practices regardless of the style your hair is in. Hair needs to be healthy if you want to see good results in your hair care journey.