Protective styling is a way to not only switch up our style, but to give our curls and coils a much needed break as well. Protective styles are great because they require no manipulation, encourage length retention, and can instantly give you a new look in a short amount of time.
Since most people leave their protective styles in for 4-8 weeks, it is important for you to prep your hair before you install any style. In order for it to truly be a protective style, it has to protect your hair underneath while also looking fabulous!
Here are a few steps to prep your hair for protective styles:
1 – Cleanse:
Before installing your protective style, you must remove any product build up from your hair using a shampoo, bentonite clay treatment, or apple cider vinegar rinse. Cleansing your hair before your style prevents product buildup, scalp itchiness, dryness, and ensures that your hair is properly moisturized before your install.
Choose a moisturizing yet effective cleanser similar to: Aztec Healing Clay, Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo, Shea Moisture JBCO Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo,
2 – Condition and Detangle:
Use a conditioner to condition and detangle your hair. Twist each section once detangling is complete. Wash out the conditioner with your hair in twists to prevent it from tangling.
3 – Deep Condition:
Since you want your hair to be extra moisturized before you install your protective style, apply a deep conditioner that will ensure that your hair stays soft and moisturized.
Choose a moisturizing deep treatment similar to: Eden Body Works Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner, Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask, Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner, Karen’s Body Beautiful Luscious Locks Hair Mask
4 – Moisturize and Seal:
Moisturize and seal your hair to ensure that your hair retains moisture while in your protective style. Choose a conditioner and sealant based on your hair’s needs, density, and porosity. Hair with a thicker density or high porosity may need a thick leave-in and a butter to seal, fine hair or hair with a lower porosity may need just a spray leave-in to moisturize and an oil to seal.
Liquid and Spray Leave-In Suggestions: Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner, Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave in Conditioner, Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner
5 – STRETCH: Stretching your hair before you install your protective style can reduce breakage and make your hair easier to manage. Stretch your hair using heat free techniques such as cornrows, flat twists, braids, twists, flexi rods, rollers, african threading, or banding.
After following these steps you’ll be on your way to healthier hair and length retention. You’re ready to install your favorite protective style. There are a ton to choose from including crochet braids, wigs, weaves, box braids, marley twists, buns, and more.
Chime in below and share your favorite protective style and how you prep your hair before your install.