Preparing your hair for protective styles is a fantastic way to keep your hair healthy and growing, all while reducing the stress on your natural locks. These styles allow your hair to breathe, encouraging hair growth and minimizing exposure to environmental factors. Whether your hair is in its natural state or relaxed, preparing your hair for protective styles is beneficial for everyone. In this blog post, we will walk you through 5 steps to prepare your hair for a protective style.
What is a Protective Style?
A protective style is a hairstyle that can be maintained for an extended period without needing constant restyling. These styles protect your hair by keeping the ends tucked away, shielding them from exposure to sun, heat, and excessive manipulation. Since the ends of your natural hair are the oldest and most fragile part, reducing split ends and knotting is equally important for retaining length. Some popular protective styles include box braids, wigs, cornrows, twists, pigtails, buns, updos, Bantu knots, crochet braids, and weaves. There’s a world of possibilities to explore to find the style that suits you best.
How to Prepare Your Hair for a Protective Style
First, before you reach out to your friend or stylist for that stunning protective style, it’s essential to ensure your hair is in the best condition possible. Here’s a comprehensive guide to preparing your hair for your chosen protective style.
1. Cleanse Your Hair
Begin by using a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo to cleanse your scalp. This step is crucial to remove dirt and any product buildup from your hair. Although some people prefer natural alternatives like apple cider vinegar or baking soda, a good clarifying shampoo can effectively cleanse your hair. Here are some recommended clarifying shampoos to consider:
- Hesh Naturoriche Ayurvedic Shampoo: Known for its natural ingredients and effectiveness.
- Sulfur8 Medicated Shampoo: Often used for treating dandruff and scalp conditions.
- Marini Naturals Shampoo: A Kenyan brand known for its natural hair care products.
- Palmolive Shampoo: A well-established international brand with a presence in Kenya.
- African Black Soap Shampoo: Popular for its gentle cleansing properties.
2. Deep Condition Your Hair
After cleansing your hair, apply a moisture-rich deep conditioner to restore essential moisture. Cover your hair with a plastic cap and let the conditioner sit for 20-30 minutes. Here are some recommended deep conditioners to try:
- Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Quench Moisture Intensive Leave-In Conditioner: This brand is known for its moisturizing products.
- Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream: Widely used for its deep conditioning properties.
- Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Hair Mayonnaise: Often used for deep conditioning and repairing damaged hair.
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner: Known for its natural and nourishing ingredients.
- TRESemmé Conditioner: An internationally recognized brand with a presence in Kenya.
4. Seal Moisture
Seal in the moisture with a product suitable for your hair porosity. If you’re unsure about your hair’s porosity, thicker oils or butters are safe options to lock in moisture.
5. Stretch Your Hair
Stretching your hair is an important step in preparing for a protective style. This minimizes breakage and makes your hair easier to manage. And you can stretch your hair using a heat-free technique like African Threading or the night before with flat twists, flexi rods, or cornrows.
Incorporating protective styles into your hair care routine can help you achieve stronger and longer hair. Follow these five easy steps to ensure that your hair thrives while in a protective style.
Incorporating the 5 steps to prepare your hair for a protective style into your hair care routine is a fantastic way to maintain healthy, growing hair while minimizing damage.In addition, by following these five simple steps, you can ensure that your hair is in optimal condition for a protective style. Remember, taking care of your hair is a journey, and these steps will help you reach your hair goals faster and with confidence. If you have any additional tips or questions, please share your thoughts in the comments below. Your hair care journey is unique, and we’d love to hear about your experiences and insights!