It is certainly that time of the year with the cold temperatures and dry winds. You just want to tuck your hair away and catch some much needed break after months of styling during the warmer months. But before you choose the protective hairstyle you’d like to install, there are few things you must know and certain practices you would need to incorporate into your regimen in other to get the best outcome from your protective style.
Some of the more desirable outcomes of protective styling include: length retention, damage and breakage prevention and of course, time and money saved in general maintenance. However, if the hair is not properly maintained in the protective style, it may not be easy to achieve these desirable outcomes. While protective styling is great for retaining length, it can also lead to hair loss that occurs due to product build up and excessive tension on the scalp during installation of some kinds of protective styles.
There are different kinds of protective styles, including mini twists, flat twists, Senegalese twists, braids, flat braids, million braids, faux locks, weaves and etc. Some protective styles have more challenges to successfully maintaining them than others, especially when one plans on having them on for a relatively long period of time. In general, I prefer to install protective styles that do not limit access to my scalp. when I do get such styles, I do not wear them past two weeks. Single braids and Senegalese twists are my favorite protective styles because they do not limit access to my scalp. Flat braids on the other hand might appear very pretty but I tend not to wear those for long periods because they limit access to my scalp.
In other to achieve great results with your protective styles, I recommend the following: do not keep your protective styles on for too long, especially the ones that limit access to your scalp like flat braids and weaves; make sure to keep your hair and scalp moisturized at all times during your protective styling; avoid excessively itching your scalp while your protective style is installed; clean your scalp regularly while protective styling. For each of my recommendations, I will provide tips below.
My recommendation not to keep your protective styles on for too long goes without saying. The more you leave your styles on, the more likely your new growth will be suffocated by product build up and dryness. However, due to the high cost of getting protective styles installed, people tend to leave them on for too long. One might be able to avoid negative outcomes by thoroughly moisturizing and cleaning the hair and scalp regularly. In other to keep your hair and scalp moisturized, I recommend water infused with essential oils and a tiny amount of leave in conditioner. The scalp often sheds skin due to the tension that is applied during installation of protective styles so it is important to apply oil directly to the scalp after spraying on water and essential oils. I always have tea tree oil and peppermint oil infused with water and leave in conditioner ready to maintain my Senegalese twists. I avoid itching my scalp excessively because of how it can lead to inflammation and poor hair growth. I regularly apply melted Tamanu butter infused with tea tree and peppermint essential oils to my scalp to eliminate itching. Also, by cleaning my scalp regularly with witch hazel, I am able to maintain a clean scalp free of build up or dirt. These are my tips on how to properly maintain protective styles for great results. Please feel free to share your own tips in the comment section down below.