Protective styles can be a great way to give your natural hair a break from daily manipulation and environmental stressors. However, it's essential to care for your hair even when it's in a protective style to promote its health and prevent damage. Here are five tips to help you take care of your natural hair under protective styles:
- OIL YOUR SCALP: Apply a lightweight oil to your scalp to nourish and seal in moisture. Use an applicator tip or your fingertips to distribute the oil evenly. This helps prevent a dry, itchy scalp and promotes a healthy environment for your hair.
- PROTECT YOUR EDGES: The hair around your edges (hairline) is delicate and prone to breakage. Be gentle when styling and securing your protective style to avoid unnecessary tension.
- GIVE YOUR HAIR BREAKS BETWEEN STYLES: While protective styles are great for minimizing manipulation, it's important to give your hair breaks between styles. Avoid keeping the same style where leave out is required for an extended period to prevent breakage to that specific area especially when using heat normally. Switching sides where you do your parts or have leave out can also help.
- TAKE CARE OF YOUR HAIR BETWEEN STYLES: Regular maintenance of your natural hair between styles is a must. Keeping your hair conditioned and moisturized as well as keeping ends trimmed will help promote healthy hair growth.
- MAINTAIN NIGHTTIME CARE: Use a satin or silk scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase to protect your hair at night. These materials help reduce friction and prevent moisture loss, preserving the integrity of your natural hair. Consider wrapping your hair with a satin or silk scarf or using a bonnet with a satin liner to minimize friction on the extension hair.
Remember that everyone's hair is unique, so it's essential to pay attention to how your hair responds to different products and practices. Adjust your routine as needed and consult with a professional stylist if you have specific concerns about your natural hair care.