Protective styles can do wonders for hair growth. However, there can be serious long-term effects when your natural hair is neglected underneath. Protective styles can make it difficult to access your natural hair, but that’s no excuse to not take care of it. Just like your hair extensions need proper care and attention, so does your natural hair. When a protective style is cared for properly, you will achieve your desired results with your own hair. If you are thinking about installing a protective style soon, keep reading to see how you can properly take care of your hair
Prepping Your Scalp for Protective Styles
It is best to start off with a clean and moisturized foundation. Depending on what your hair may need before installation, be sure to apply a deep conditioner, hot oil, or protein treatment to your hair to retain any moisture or nutrients it may need to prepare itself for this protective style. Your hair will not be easily accessible for 4 to 6 months so it needs to be in the best shape possible to endure the next several weeks. Installing the hair on natural hair that is dry and brittle will most certainly lead to breakage when the extensions are removed.
Try Washing Your Hair Weekly
The minimum wash requirement for protective styles is about twice a month. However, for the best results at the end of the installation, we recommend washing your hair every week with sulfate-free hair products. Not only will this help to refresh the extensions, but your hair will receive any nourishment it may have lost thus far. If access to your natural hair is extremely limited, it is best to use a spray bottle to allow the hair products to reach your hair. It is vital that you are able to fully rinse out your shampoo and conditioner as this can lead to product build-up which can clog your pores and prevent growth. Once the hair is washed, make sure the hair is completely dry by letting it air dry or by using a blow dryer on a cool setting.
Lock-In Moisture with Argan Oil
A great way to lock in moisture and restore nutrients is by applying oils, like our argan oil from our Mega Hair Care Bundle, to your natural hair. Oils work to help protect the cuticle of the hair which strengthens the hair. When your natural hair is properly cared for underneath your protective style, it will flourish.
Massage Your Scalp to Stimulate Growth
This tip is definitely a favorite among those who wear protective styles. You may find that your scalp becomes itchy, especially since it’s more difficult to scratch it, so a scalp massage is exactly what you need to relieve the itchiness. Scalp massages may be difficult depending on the type of protective style, but it is worth the extra effort. Rubbing promotes blood flow which helps the hair grow. It may feel good but it’s important not to get carried away! Using sharp objects such as your fingernails to rub the scalp can damage it and cause sores. Instead, use the pads of your fingertips or a scalp massager to safely massage your scalp.
Give Your Hair a Break from Extensions or Styles
Once you have reached the 4 to 6-week mark, it is time to remove your protective style. This will allow you to see the growth that occurred and check out the health of your hair. Although protective styles are great for growth, it is important to give your hair rest of at least 2 weeks. This will allow you to take care of the hair similarly to how you did before the protective style was installed.