Hairology These protective styling tips are invaluable

To be fully initiated into the natural hair community, there are some things you need to know to become a real member.

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Protective styling play

Protective styling

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To be fully initiated into the natural hair community, there are some things you need to know to become a real member.

Protective styling is one of them if not on the top of that long list.

Protective styling involves putting your hair into a style that involves tucking your ends away from the atmosphere to protect them from damage whilst your hair grows.

The premise is that if the ends of your hair don’t break and your hair continues to grow, then you will achieve longer hair.

For some, to ‘put their hair away’ usually translates as either purely protective styling wearing their own hair in buns, twist and up-do’s and for others this means putting on a wig or weave for a little while.

For those who prefer the latter, there can be a tendency to neglect your hair while it’s “away”.

So here are some tips to remember to ensure you reach your hair goals.

Starts at the Roots

  • Look after the perimeter of your hair as this will be where the most amount of pressure is being applied – try and use a horizontal ‘anchor cornrow or plait’ at your nape to hold your wig or weave in place.

  • Do not wear cornrows that are too small – you’ll need to access your scalp when washing / moisturising your extensions

  • Do not wear cornrows that are too tight! This pressure could pull on your scalp, break your hair and prevent the growth your trying to achieve

  • If adding extensions (particularly synthetic kanekalon like Expressions) to your cornrows bear in mind that these may remove additional moisture from your hair

It’s essential that you keep your hair underneath your extensions hydrated!

  • Water is of course the most important thing to use for moisture and we recommend accompanying this with a leave-in conditioner. You can also add a light oil such as coconut oil or almond oil to the spray mixture.

  • Try not to use heavy butters or conditioners / creams that have silicones on your scalp on a daily basis – you do not want to clog your scalp / create build up as if this accumulates under your extensions you will stifle your hair growth.

  • Don’t forget to look after your leave out if you have any. Spraying a water-based mixture or using a cream on your leave out regularly works well with textured extensions but for other styles, using an oil based product will avoid your hair reverting to its natural state whilst still allowing you to add some moisture.

Keep it Clean

If you’re wearing your protective style for a long time then washing your scalp cannot be avoided.

  • This is the make or break of protective styles – build-up on your scalp can stifle growth and also reduce the longevity of your style. This is where wearing a wig has its main benefits as you have full access to your scalp. If wearing a weave, we recommend co-washing using a spray bottle and gently rubbing your scalp with your fingers to cleanse the scalp.

  • If using a shampoo to cleanse make sure you rinse out all the product, residues of shampoo on your scalp can dry out your hair.

  • Make sure that your hair is completely dry, do not walk around with a damp head it could cause mold! We recommend air drying or sitting under a hooded dryer with the temperature on cool or using a blow dryer on a cool setting. Alternatively you could wear your hair up to reduce drying time whilst air drying.

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