Photo Courtesy of Maria Antoinette

Protective styles are the go-to for most woman relaxed or natural. We use them to retain and gain length, minimize fairy knots (aka single strand knots), let our hair rest, and the list goes on. Even though your hair is up and out of the way, there are so many things you can do during this time to get the most out of wearing a protective style. I am going to share how to care for your hair and scalp prior to installing your protective style, during, and post protective style.

Pre-protective style

How you treat your hair and scalp prior to installing your protective style is just as important as what you do when wearing a protective style.

  1. Detangle to make sure all shed hair is removed and all tangles are removed.
  2. Follow with a hot oil pre-poo treatments for great moisture retention.
  3. Shampoo to ensure your hair is clean. Skip the co-washing, as it will only add additional product buildup.
  4. A protein treatment is great way to strengthen hair prior to any prolonged style
  5. Reinforce moisture with a deep conditioning treatment.
  6. Trim if necessary.

During protective style

Incorporate scalp massages u sing castor oil or Jamaican black castor oil to help stimulate the scalp.  Also, create  your own DIY brown sugar scalp scrub to remove dead skin cells, which promotes hair growth. A healthy scalp primes for healthy hair. For  supplements, add B-Complex, Omega 3, 6, and 9 to your regimen. The B-complex will
 lower stress levels, balancing your mental state, also has the components needed for healthy skin, hair and nails. The  Omega 3, 6, and 9 are h ealthy fats are a must for healthy hair.  Consider Barlean's Fish Oil and Flax Oil and Udo's Oil. H air growth supplements are optional and
 can be very helpful. 

Read more: You Need These Good Fats for Healthy Hair

For a healthy diet you want a minimum of  three healthy meals a day. Since b reakfast being the most important meal, I like to eat my bread/carbs in the morning to assure I burn them off by days end. Great h ealthy snacks include
 nuts, vegetables, salsa, hummus, and avocado. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day and forgo the soda, fast food, and fried entrees. Be mindful of your mental and physical healthy by walking, practicing y oga, doing c ardio, w eight training, and your choice of m
editation.

Post-protective style

  • Be patient. Don't rush the take down process. Start when you have time and you are well rested.
  • Detangle starting at the ends and work your way upward to removing all shed hair. This is honestly the most important step. If the shed hair isn't removed properly it can cause massive tangles similar to locs.
  • Pre-poo to soften the hair. You must apply after removing shed hair.
  • Shampoo to remove all the buildup and deep condition to restore moisture and close the cuticle.
Read more: Ask Dr. Kari: Effective Protective Styles