• Crystal Aguh

Caring for Your Hair While Protective Styling


Protective Style Hair Care

The seasons are officially changing and for me that typically means a change in hairstyle. My normal protective style is a low bun, but three times a year I put my hair in crochet box braids for about 3-4 weeks. If you are like me and enjoy the occasional braids (or weaves) as a protective style, here are some things to keep in mind: Maintaining your hair 1. Maintain your hair the same way you would if your hair was not braided down. Just because your hair is in weaves or braids does not mean it suddenly does not need its regular TLC. It requires regular washing and moisturizing to keep it healthy. While it is nearly impossible to deep condition or protein treat hair while it is braided, you can still wash your hair regularly. This time around I will be using products from Girl + Hair, a dermatologist-owned brand that caters to hair care while braided but I also like Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. After rinsing my hair, I spray a  leave in conditioner and follow with a light oil. I also use the leave in conditioner on dry hair 5-7 times per week. 2. Make sure your braids aren't tight- this goes without saying. Tight braids lead to hair loss. If your favorite braider just can't help but be "heavy-handed", find a new braider. Keep your protective style in for 6 weeks, max! There comes a point when the benefits of your braided hairstyle are outweighed by cons. I generally think that the less time your hair is braided down the better, but hairstyles can be expensive and it may not make sense to take your weave or braids out quickly. However, after 6 weeks, your hair suffers more from not getting intense moisturization in the form of deep conditioners and is more likely to become matted and break when the braids are removed. Remove your braids carefully Removing braids can be somewhat of an art form. If you're not careful, you can break, tear or pull out your hair when it is removed. This is especially true if you have had your braids in for a very long time. To try and avoid this, the night before you plan to remove your braids, lightly spray your braids with water then apply conditioner all over the braids. Cover your hair with a cap or scarf overnight. When you take the braids down they should be more moisturized allowing for easier removal of the braids. Have any more tips to keeping your hair healthy while in braids? Shoot me a message and let me know!

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Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology,

Baltimore, MD

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