Admittedly, I am a lazy natural. Yet, somehow I am also a curly hair product junkie. If you have been following me @gerilynhayes , you already knew that.

What you may not know is that when I like something, I go all in. I talk about it, dream about it, and even spread the word that I love this thing. My latest thing is protective styles! Yes, I know - I'm several #BlackGirlMagic-decades late, but I have no shame: I am absolutely pumped about the beauty and ease of maintaining protective styles.

NOTE: At this point, I will find any excuse to get my hair braided - #BoxBraids #Fanatic

One of the key reasons why I decided to get another installation of box braids is because I am going to be traveling. Where? Well, to Afropunk in Brooklyn, New York, of course! It is the one event I have been wanting to attend since watching the Afropunk documentary in the early 2000s.

Being a punk-rock enthusiast myself, this is right up my alley. Seriously - I scream my head off on a regular basis with my @SugarPillATX band mates.

Proof: Yep... that's my thumbnail via @sugarpillatx

If you are a self-proclaimed lazy natural, and you also like to travel, you should consider getting a protective style. If you are preparing for your first traveling-while-braided experience, you might need a bit of guidance in terms of hair care maintenance. Take note of my recommendations for curly hair products that will keep your braids looking so fresh, so clean, and so neat!

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Curly Hair Products You Need to Maintain Your Protective Style

While there are a multitude of protective style-specific products in the market, I wanted to see if curly hair products would be effective on my box braids. The following were! Take note of my favorite curly hair products that I use to maintain my box braids.

TIP: If you prefer to fly versus roadtrip-it to destinations, the following items can be poured and stored in 4.0 oz travel bottles:

  • Naturally Smitten Black Soap Shampoo - Girl. I am not kidding when I say that this shampoo saved. my. life. When my scalp was itching beyond belief after a few days post-braid installation, I was nearly driven to tears. Fortunately, I had my Jamaican Black Castor Oil-rich shampoo on hand to help cleanse my scalp and braids. #Fan4Life
  • Groganics On the Spot Itch Relief Scalp Medicine Drops - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this medicated itch relief and scalp treatment. The back of my neck, you know - where the beady beads are - was on fire for a day and some change. I applied a few other serums that offered temporary relief and are best used overnight. However, this serum is best for daylight hours when you absolutely must leave the house and function. That's right: this is my new boo, right here. We go together, now.
  • Rich Argan Oil De-Frizz Shine Mist - Glossy and floss-y is the name of the game, here. I am so with this shine mist. First of all, it smells like angel feathers... whatever angel feathers smell like, it has been bottled. Second of all, if you need your braids to look shiny and new on day 12, spray this shine mist on your roots and the braids themselves.
  • Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-In Conditioner (in a 2 0z. Spray bottle) - As recommended by so many of you via YouTube and Instagram, it is imperative to not put product after product on your scalp and braids. I took heed, friends... but I was losing moisture!!! So, I reached for this leave-in that was lightweight, smells divine, and that I could use as a root refresher. I especially love it because it is in a spray bottle so the application is easy peasy. Perfecto!

Non-curly hair products:

  • Silk pillow cases - Although I do not have a favorite brand, I will forever be indebted to April Bingham for (quite literally) forcing me to get a silk pillow case. I highly recommend that you pack your pillow case with you. There will be nights where you are simply too tuckered from traveling and/or fun times to wrap those braids. You will be ever so thankful for your silk pillowcase.
  • Toothbrush - All this I am going to say: Baby hairs.

NOTE: The beauty of this list is that all the curly hair products share moisture-rich ingredients! From argan to coconut oil, these curly hair products will have you and me splashing in moisture while traveling from sea to shining sea!

Bonus Tip: The primary concerns of women with curly, textured hair is dryness. Even when traveling with protective styles, dry scalp and hair is an issue. The solution to this is packing the right travel-friendly curly hair products so that your curls can adjust to the environment. Take it a step further by researching the weather prior to arrival.

Traveling soon? What curly hair products are you taking with you to maintain your protective style?

Share in the comments!

If you are in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, 27, come find me and the NaturallyCurly Editorial Team at Afropunk!

Get your ticket because you cannot miss this!

As ever, stay braided up!