Braids, locs, wigs, weaves and bantu knots are all examples of protective styles. They give us a chance to express ourselves and showcase our creativity. The reason they are called "protective" styles is that they allow the ends of our hair (which are the oldest and most fragile) to stay tucked-in and protected from constant manipulation and harsh weather conditions, which can cause dryness and lead to breakage. These styles allow curly hair strands to stay separated so that they are less likely to form knots.
What to do before installing a Protective Style
If a protective style is going to be worn for up to 2 weeks, it is important to shampoo and deep condition your hair before styling. Starting with moisturized hair makes it easier to create clean parts without struggle. People with kinky hair often do not realize how much hair they lose when their braids and other hairstyles are being done. You should never have to fight hard to get a styling comb through your hair. If you are doing that, it's not because you have bad hair, you have just not prepped it correctly.
After rinsing off the deep conditioner, moisturize with a slippery leave-in detangler or conditioner and detangle thoroughly with a flexible detangling brush . The Organic Beauty all-natural Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm Leave-in Detangler gives a lot of slip which instantly releases any knots and tangles. After these steps, seal the moisture with oil and you are ready to begin styling.
To prevent breakage, ask your stylist to avoid pulling your edges too tight or breaking small kinks roughly. It may not be possible to weave through natural hair as smoothly as chemically or heat- straightened hair. If there is a knot, you or your braider should finger-detangle through it gently.
After the style is installed, it is important to keep the hair and scalp moisturized. Our Intense Growth Serum contains tea tree oil and rosemary which have antiviral properties that keep the scalp nourished and free of dandruff. You will never have flakes in your styles again and the best part is this serum will stimulate hair growth allowing you to see some new inches when you take down the protective style. If you only install protective styles on moisturized hair and are able to keep the hair and scalp moisturized the whole time, this process is the best way to retain length.
Taking down Protective Styles
Another step that is often ignored is the process of taking own protective styles. When done incorrectly, it can also cause a lot of hair to be lost unnecessarily. 2 things you need when taking down a protective style are Patience and Slip. You need patience because you cannot rush through the process. Apply a light oil or serum to your fingers and gently undo your style. I have found that it could be really easy to detangle the hair as you take them down from each section. Just spray water, apply a slippery detangler/conditioner and work it in by slightly finger-detangling. After that, use a flexible brush to gently brush out the knots on the ends and work your way up. Secure each detangled sections in a twist or use a hair clip. If this method is too time-consuming, you can also take down the hairstyle completely before splitting into sections and then detangling.
Another method is to finger detangle while washing your hair. Water pressure from the shower helps to temporarily loosen tight curls allowing shed hair to fall off easily. Applying a conditioner after this step will provide slip and allow the flexible brush to glide through easily.