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Understanding Your HAIR

How to maintain protective hairstyles

Protective hairstyles such as braids, weaves, locs and twists protect your hair... but how do you protect them and make them last?
Regardless of the season, protective styles are a great way for naturalistas to wear their hair. Protective styles work by keeping your hair bundled together, so less surface area is prone to damage from pollution, temperature and friction. Braids, locs, twists, weaves and wigs are some examples of popular protective hairstyles. However, despite popular belief, protective styles aren't a set it and forget it situation. In fact, protective styling, when done wrong, is not that protective and can lead to unhealthy, damaged hair. Here are some ways to make sure you are reaping all the benefits of wearing a protective style.
1
Washing your protective style

Regardless of how your hair is styled, keeping it clean is of upmost importance, especially to maintain protective styles. Many start their hair journey and reduce the amount of shampoo they use or cut it out altogether. This is particularly common with protective styles since washing braids or locs can be difficult and take long to dry. However skipping wash day can cause dirt, product and sweat build-up, and even be the catalyst for infections, dandruff and a dry itchy scalp.


Cleaning your hair while in protective styles doesn't need to be difficult.


One of the best ways to cleanse your scalp while wearing a protective style is using a cleansing foam. This is a foam dry shampoo. Cleansing foam is convenient to use because it keeps the hairstyle dry while still cleaning the scalp so it doesn't require drying time which can be long if you are wearing hair extensions. Also washing your hair the traditional way while wearing extensions can cause breakage as the hair extensions ( braids, twists, etc) will be pulling your natural hair when it is in a weak state from being wet.


To use our No Rinse Cleansing Foam, apply 3+ pumps of your foam into your palms and massage directly into your scalp. This will help to remove sweat and residue as well as freshen your scalp. This is particularly effective after exercise. If there is excessive build up, use a damp cloth to wipe away any residue or dirt and oils. An alternative to dry shampoo is to use traditional shampoo, dilute it with water and apply to your scalp using a washcloth. .

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We highly recommend avoiding soaking your protective style to clean your scalp because if your natural hair does not get a chance to fully dry it can lead to infection and disrupt your scalp.
Paris Reveira
IAT Certified Hair Practitioner
2
Caring for your scalp
Since you should be cleaning your hair under your protective style you also need to make sure you are restoring moisture back to maintain your protective style. Dry, brittle hair is more susceptible to breakage, especially if your hair is weighed down by extension hair, you want to be doing your best to keep your hair soft and moisturised.

Two of the best ways to moisturise your hair under a protective style is to spritz your hair with a mixture of water and a light oil, such as our Golden Oil which is a blend of Baobab Oil, Vitamin C and Buriti Oil, on a daily basis. The second way is to apply a water-based leave-in conditioner to your hair. Remember you want to avoid heavy product build up so any product that is water based will minimise blockage on your scalp. In fact, if you apply too much oil it can have the opposite effect and dry out your hair because heavy oil build up will prevent moisture from penetrating into your hair shaft.

Avoid non-water soluble silicones to avoid typically end in '-icone'. A commonly used one in hair care products is Dimethicone.
Paris Reveira
IAT Certified Hair Practitioner
3
Protecting against friction
To maintain your protective style, you need to protect your hair against friction. A great benefit of protective styling is that it lessens the damaging impact of friction to your individual strands, preventing single stand knots and split ends. However, friction can still cause your hair to frizz and can reduce the longevity of your style. One of the most effective yet simplest ways to do so is by wearing a silk or satin bonnet at night and or using a silk or satin pillowcase. Your hair tends to tangle when tossing and turning at night. If you are using a cotton pillowcase, cotton tends to create friction between your hair and the material causing breakage and eventually thinning. The best way to maintain your style and protect your hair is with satin or silk material to avoid snags, tangles, and friction.
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