For many of us it’s Protective Style season! Also for many of us this also opens up the door to bad habits/practices when it comes to our hair. That is why we are more than happy to share the following things to avoid with your hair in a protective style in order to keep it in its best condition.
Our first tip would be to avoid rushing the take down of your protective style. If you’re in a hurry, wait until you have time to tend to your hair properly. Any attempts to rush the take down could easily lead to snag, pull or cutting a part of your hair accidentally. Patience is a virtue!
Black hair is the most delicate of all hair types, so you should give it the time, patience and respect it deserves. A useful tip to avoid this temptation (and one that works for us) is to binge watch your favourite show/podcast to distract yourself.
While we recommend patience in our first tip and next one is one the opposite scale. It may appear convenient and hassle free to leave your protective style for too long. This never works as leaving it on for too long (even if you moisturise often) can lead to product build-up, tangling, excessive dryness and the worst of all breakage.
There really isn’t a minimum time for you to leave your protective style in for (some of us struggle after 2 days), however we recommend not to leave it in for more than 2 months.
This next tip will be music to the ears of the natural creatives amongst us. We all may have our favourite go-to styles but this can be a problem in the long term if we do not switch up these protective styles. By using the same style consistently you are reapplying the same amount of tension to the same parts of your head. This is even made worse if you constantly apply these same styles with little or no rest in-between.
Speaking of tension, a good way to avoid it is to SPEAK UP if you find yourself wincing when you hair is being done. We no longer have to suffer in silence (our traumatic childhood memories of painful hair appointments are over). By not speaking up, we are allowing a strain to be put on our follicles which could cause damage (some times irreversible) over time especially to delicate parts of our hair. Try and go easy on certain style like ponytails, updos and braids.
This tip actually borrows the famous slogan from the Scouts…Be Prepared! The way you prepare your hair going into a protective style is how you will find it afterwards. Don’t expect your protective style to fix any damages.
If your protective style will installed for the long term, strengthen your strands with a Protein Treatment (not the same as a reconstructor). We would also recommend using a heatless method to stretch the hair such as threading, braids or banding.
Our final tip pretty much sums up our previous ones which is do not neglect your hair. This is so so easy to do…we are speaking from first-hand experience. However, even though our hair isn’t free, doesn’t mean it should be ignored and a little TLC goes a long way. Not every style requires our hair to be washed (and not everyone may want to), therefore we can alternatively care for our scalp. Some options for thins include massages, oils and spraying the hair with your DIY concoction of water, Leave-in and oil 1-2 times a week.