Many people swear by protective styling and many of us have seen their results. Some naturals can wig it for 3 months and retain substantial growth. However, this is not necessarily true for the rest of us.
Prepping your hair for a ‘Protective style’
Many of us have probably tried to protective style, whether that was box braids, mini twists and cornrows. But this is where the majority of the damage is done. For example, some naturals will blow dry or straighten their hair before their protective style potentially causing heat damage.
Photo Credit: @finallyamber
This prep process will cause so much damage before your hair has even been tucked away. Not to mention, that some stylist will braid your hair very tightly to make it last longer and look neater.
Henceforth causing excessive hair manipulation and pulling. In worse case scenarios, this can result in traction alopecia.
Neglecting Your Hair In It's Protective Style
Some naturals simply, install their protective style and leave it under a weave untouched. It never gets washed or given much attention. Although, it is protected in the sense that there’s little manipulation.
It often doesn’t get the moisture and care it needs. So make sure you regularly spray your hair with water or your favourite leave in to prevent dryness.
How To Protect Your Hair
The best thing to do if you want to retain length with protective styling is to ensure that you don’t damage your hair before installing your style i.e excessive blowdrying or tension on your scalp.
Start with clean and deep conditioned hair that is detangled. It may also help to start with simple styles and not to keep your install in for too long. Such as mini twists and low maintenance buns.
Many people have lost their edges in the name of protective styling and this doesn’t have to be the case.
Photo Credit: @queenteshna
Once you are ready to take down your style, ensure you use a pre-poo with lots of slip. I highly recommend the African Pride Pre-Poo’s they’re super affordable and have all the slip you need to remove the all the shedding and tangles.