Protective styles are the gift that just keeps giving, from protection to style to peace of mind. Protective styles don’t just give you a new look to slay in but they’re also great for growth. Can we also talk about how protective styles like twists and box braids give you so much freedom to show off your creativity? We love protective styles! And quite frankly, it would be weird if you don’t.
It’s hard to go wrong with a protective style but if you’re going to get box braids, twists, nubian braids or something similar, there are a few things you should NOT do and we have a list for you.
1. Do not use non-water based products
Hairdressers love using a moulding gel at the root of your hair to keep the roots looking fresher for longer when braiding. Because of this, it’s really important to use water-based products to minimize product build-up. Protective styles like twists or box braids (even knotless braids) hold onto residue oils and moisturizers. And we all know how heavy built-up oil is on hair. In conjunction with using water based products, wash your hair and protective style.
2. Do not keep a protective style in too long
How long you should keep a protective style in is a topic for debate but the general rule is 6 - 8 at most! Some people argue that keeping your protective style in longer helps with hair growth but it doesn’t. When you keep your protective style for longer than 8 weeks, you start treading on thin ice because from that point, your braids start to apply pressure on your new grown hair. You will also need to start manipulating it more to keep it neat. So just rather take it out and give your hair some time to breathe!
3. Do not immediately get another protective style
Raise your hand if you’ve done this before? Most stylists advise that once you take out a protective style, you should wait at least a week before putting another one in. This is mainly so you can really care for your hair during that time - think deep conditioning - as well as just to let your scalp breathe with minimal pulling. We recommend listening to the experts.
4. Do not avoid wrapping your hair up at night
Just because you have a protective style doesn't mean you can stop wrapping your hair up at night. If you don’t want lint in your hair, wrap it up. If you want to keep your pillowcase cleaner for longer, wrap up your hair. If you want to keep your protective style looking neater for longer, wrap it up.
5. Do not rush while taking your protective style down
Taking off a protective style is our least favourite part of having a protective style and perhaps this is why it is also the most neglected. But whatever your feelings are about it, taking out a protective style can really make or break it for you. When you rush to remove a protective style, the pulling and excessive force can lead to breakage and scalp irritation. If you want to retain any length after a protective style, you need to untangle your hair gently and this means having patience.
Next time you have a protective style, do better in protecting your hair and the new hair do.
Let us know which one of these 5 no-no’s are you guilty of committing.