Protective styling is a life-saver and a game-changer for natural girls. It's the perfect low maintenance way to let your hair grow and breathe while looking absolutely flawless. One major downfall of protective styling is that it can sometimes be costly. From box braids to getting sew-in weaves, protective styling is an investment. And much like any other investment, you need to protect it and not let your hard-earned money go to waste. Depending on the style, protective styles can last you anywhere from 1-3 months without damaging your hair in the long run.
If you're looking to put your hair in a protective style this winter, what you need to keep in mind is that while protective styles are low-maintenance, you still need to maintain them in order to make them last and get the most bang out of your buck.
To help you maximize your protective styles, here are 7 tips for you to keep in mind:
1. Go with a Trusted/Recommended Stylist
Technique matters when it comes to long-lasting protective styles. Going to a stylist that can install protective styles without damaging your hair or compromising the style in itself is key. Specifically, when it comes to braids and twists, you need to ensure that the styles are done neatly so they can last. If you need help finding a stylist, try heading to StyleSeat, where you can see their work or, ask for a recommendation from a friend.
2. Wear a Scarf at Nighttime or Sleep on a Silk or Satin Pillowcase
This may be a no-brainer for some, but covering your hair at night is a major key if you want your protective style to last. This will cut down on frizz and keep your style in tact.
3. Manipulate Braids or Twists with Oiled Hands
From high buns to half up-half down dos, we all know how fun having braids and twists can be. Before you manipulate, them rub a lightweight oil between your palms to cut down on friction. Absolute game-changer.
4. Limit Washing between Styles
Washing your protective style too much will not only cause frizz, but it will also potentially loosen the style due to all the manipulation from washing. Instead, use products like no rinse shampoos to gently cleanse your scalp between styling.
Products To Try:
5. Moisturize Using the Spray Bottle Method
Low-manipulation is the name of the game when it comes to making protective styles last. Instead of moisturizing your hair with moisturizers that you need to massage through your hair, opt for using a spray bottle concoction instead. You can put water and an oil of your choice in a spray bottle to moisturize your hair with little to no manipulation.
6. Re-do the Perimeter if Needed
This specifically pertains to braids and twists. Usually the perimeter is the first of your protective style to look a bit old. If this is the case, try just re-doing those parts instead of re-doing the whole style.
7. Weave-Wearers, Get your Hairdo Tightened to Get More Bang for your Buck
If your weave starts to look loose, go back to your stylist to get it tightened. Typically, they also do a scalp treatment to ensure you're getting the most protection out of your protective style. It will come with a fee but not nearly as much as paying to get the whole style redone again.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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Originally published on January 15, 2019