A protective style is a hairstyle that protects your ends and relieves your hair of the stress from daily manipulation. Good examples of a protective style are buns, wigs and weave. Often times people forget to carry out good protective style practices. They feel protective styling is a free pass to set it and forget it which it is not. A mentality such as this is asking for trouble. You will likely find yourself with dry, brittle, breaking hair upon takedown of the protective style which defeats the purpose. So that this does not become your story, I will highlight 5 tips to avoid damage while in a protective style.
5 Tips to Avoid Damage While in a Protective Style
Avoid Tight Hairstyles
This tip is like the most important one of all although most of us have violated this rule a time or two. Now that we know better, we must do better. Whether you frequent a salon or are a do it yourself kind of girl, you should avoid tight protective styles by any means necessary. The tension caused by tight protective style can cause breakage and the tension on the edges will cause thinning. If it hurts or tugs to wrinkle your face, your protective style is way too tight.
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Protect Your Hair at Night
Protecting your hair should be something you do each night no matter the hairstyle. A protective style will not protect the hair from tangles and breakage caused by improper care and neglect. Protecting your hair with a silk scarf, pillowcase or bonnet will keep your hair moisturized and protected. It will also keep the frizz down and extend the life of your protective style.
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Use Moisturizing Products
Just because you are wearing a protective style, does not mean you have to and/or should skip moisturizing and sealing. Your hair has needs regardless of what style you are wearing. You can use a spray moisturizer and seal as normal or you can even use an oil mist. Whatever you decide, always use products that are moisturizing to ensure your hair remains hydrated. Using protein products will strengthen the hair, sure…but it can also dry out the hair. Maintaining a protein and moisture balance is important even when wearing a protective style. Remember, dry hair is breaking hair.
Stay Away from Product Buildup
You will have to find a balance of how much product to use to keep your hair hydrated but not overloaded with product. When you overdo it, you will have product buildup which will shorten the life and lessen the overall appearance of your protective style. Nothing is worse than seeing protective styles with flaking product and crusted/dried up gel.
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Keep the Scalp Clean and Healthy
Have you ever worn a protective style for weeks without bothering to wash and condition your hair? Well, this one is for you. A wash day regimen should be incorporated into your protective style schedule. Perhaps it is weekly, every two weeks or even monthly. Point being, you should always, always, always keep the scalp healthy and clean. Neglecting your scalp can cause major product buildup which can eventually lead to hair loss and impact hair growth among other things.
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What are your own tips for protective styling?