With many Americans stuck in the house with the early months of quarantine, more women have experimented with protective styles. Whether it was rocking knotless braids, passion twists, or even a new lace front wig, more women were open to trying new things.
The most vital part of wearing protective styles is the maintenance. Often times people tend to forget about making sure your hair is healthy while rocking their new styles. This beginner’s guide will drop some gems for wearing protective styles:
Knotless or box braids are in my opinion the easiest option for protective styles. Besides the installation that can take anywhere from 3-7 hours, it doesn’t require a whole bunch of extra styling. Also, you don’t have to worry about your hair sweating out in the hot summer months. However, since it doesn’t require extra styling, people forget the most important step to moisturize your scalp!
Keep your scalp moist
You should be moisturizing your hair at least 2-3 times a week. You can use essential hair oils like coconut oil, castor oil, and peppermint oil because they promote hair growth and gets the blood circulated in your scalp. Do keep in mind that too much oil in this style can cause product buildup and we don’t want a dirty/messy scalp.
Keep your hair clean
The biggest myth with braids is that you can’t wash your hair. In my journey with braids washing my hair didn’t cause any damage to the style. I usually wash it with the African Pride Black Castor Miracle Scalp Cleansing Rinse after the two week mark. It’s essential to wash your hair especially if your scalp is sweaty or you start to get product buildup. You also can co wash your hair and always apply an oil to seal the moisture after washing.
Protect your hair at night
This tip is a common rule that applies to all hair styles for black women. Just like you would sleep with a bonnet or scarf with your natural hair or weave/wig, you should do the same for braids. While it’s synthetic braiding hair, your real hair can’t stand to sleep on cotton pillowcases with no silk or satin bonnet/scarf. There are braid bonnets or extra large bonnets available at the local beauty store.
2. Lace Front/Full Lace Wigs
The lace front and full lace wigs have to be the most popular style amongst the black community. Wigs give you the fullness that you desire and even extra length. But with wigs it can be extremely hard to keep up your hair underneath. It’s not as easy as tossing a wig on and expecting your hair to grow, you have to put in the work to reach your hair growth goal.
Be aware of the type of hair you’re purchasing
Ladies, we have to make sure we are buying quality hair. Often times hair companies will sell hair that is described as virgin hair, but have the same hair grade as human/synthetic. Your virgin hair should feel, curl, and dye like REAL hair. While it may be a little more costly, it’s essential to get quality hair that will last from several months up to a year. My favorite virgin hair is Brazilian hair
Trim your hair regularly to reach your hair length goal
In order for your hair to grow with this protective style, you must trim your hair before you install the wig. Also, if you plan on wearing the wig for several months you should aim to get your hair trimmed once or twice a month.
Make sure your cornrows/twists underneath are installed correctly and moisturized
It’s extremely important that your cornrows or twists underneath your wig, is as neat as possible. If they are messy not only will your wig not lay flat, but your hair will be prone to tangling and matting underneath the wig. If you’re not the best braider, I recommend asking a family member or friend to hook you up. Many hairstylists even will braid your hair down for wig installation.
The biggest mistake that many wig wearers make is they forget to moisturize and oil their braids/twists underneath their wigs. The same rules of the knotless/box braids apply to this protective style. You should at least be applying oil 2-3 times a week if not everyday. Also you should dedicate a wash day every two weeks to take your braids out, wash your hair, and re-braid. It may sound like an all day thing, but its extremely important.
Protect your hair at night
Similar to box braids its important to take proper care of your hair at night. When I’m wearing wigs, they usually aren’t sewn down so I take them off at night and sleep with a silk bonnet. I don’t prefer for people to sleep with their wig or wig caps on at night because their braids don’t get that TLC moisture that satin and silk materials provide.