Summer has been here for a while now and with those hot summer months comes the unwanted effects humidity brings to your natural hair: extreme shrinkage and frizz.
One surefire way to combat the effects of humidity is protective styling. Protective styling, as the name implies, is meant to protect the hair from the stress of daily manipulation and styling.
Your hair needs a break from you, the daily combing, twisting, pulling, and tugging that comes with our normal hair care routine eventually takes a toll on your hair.
Protective Styling is good for a number of reasons:
Low Maintenance & Manipulation
All of these sound fine and dandy, but what most naturalistas do not know is that what you do to prep your hair for a protective style, the technique used while installing your protective style, and your hair care practices for the duration of your install are all important to the overall health of your hair.
The following tips will come in handy when preparing for your protective style:
Start With a Fresh Pallet: Prior to installing your protective style, you should make sure your hair is completely clean. This one should go without saying. You DO NOT want to install a protective style on dirty hair. You want to start with clean hair and a clean scalp, especially if you plan on wearing your install for 4-6 weeks.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize: You should also make sure your hair is deep conditioned and moisturized prior to installing your protective style, especially since you’ll have your style in for a significant amount of time. Starting with moisturized hair ensures that there will be less breakage during the install.
Don’t Snatch Those Edges: Tightness is super important when it comes to protective styling. Be sure to express to your hair stylist that you do not want the style to be too tight. If you walk out of her chair and you can’t smile without your head hurting, that’s a problem! You especially want to be sure that your hair is not too tight around the edges—your edges are the most fragile part of your hair and are more susceptible to breakage. We all want to be snatched honey, but you do not want those edges to be snatched because trust me, it is not cute, and it takes a lot of work to get those edges to grow back in!
Wash & Condition: Ladies don’t want their style to get frizzy, tangled, or whatever the case may be. However, if you notice that your scalp is itchy and flaky, it may be time to pull out your wash day essentials and cleanse your scalp. It’s important to maintain a healthy and clean scalp while you’re rocking your protective style, especially if you want those tresses to grow and flourish.
Protect Those Tresses at Night: Be sure to sleep with a satin bonnet or scarf at night to avoid messing up your protective do and keep it looking fresh.
Next time you feel the urge to rock a protective style, keep these tips in mind. You can’t go wrong with protection and style!