Hello my Curlies,
Since it is summer time, I know that many of my natural headed sisters are avoiding the dry heat on your hair and using alternative options to maintain the curls. If you are curly then you know about protective styling. For those of us naturals that are trying to achieve length, retain that length, and reach a goal, you will at some point try a protective style. Whether it is a,
or some other style. The premise around protective styling is to allow your hair a rest period without pulling, twisting, and manipulating. Much of why we cannot retain length is due to an over-doing of one of these practices. But do we put our hair in a protective style and forget about it? The answer is absolutely not! Hair grows best when the scalp is clean so if you’re planning on wearing a protective style such as a weave, and you plan on wearing that weave for a month or more, you will need to cleanse your scalp at least once every 3 weeks unless you sweat a lot in your head then you may need to do a light rinse every other week. And depending on what type of weave you have and the size and tightness of your braids will determine how easy this task will be. But not to fret, I have an easy and affordable solution for you:
- Make a mixture of 1 part shampoo and 2 or 3 parts water. You want the shampoo to be very diluted in order to avoid leaving any shampoo buildup on the scalp which could lead to irritation and itching. An alternative to shampoo can be aloe vera gel mixed with tea tree oil.
- Shake! Shake! Shake the mixture and begin to introduce the mixture to your scalp. As you apply the mix, massage the braids to loosen dirt and oil build up from your scalp. You can also use a toothbrush to brush between each track. Trust me whichever way you choose, it will feel like heaven.
- Once you have gotten it worked in good use another applicator bottle or rinse out the shampoo filled one really good and replace with clear tap water and repeat the same process with the water.
- Hop in the shower or turn your head down in the sink to complete the rinsing process.
- You can let the hair air dry but you need to make sure that the hair dries completely. This step is VERY important. Braided hair has little space to breath so if the hair is left wet too long, it may mildew and that could result in hair loss. If you want to be sure your hair underneath the weave is totally dry, you can sit under a hooded dryer. I would suggest separating the hair with clips to open up the partings and expose your braided hair.
- After your hair is dry, I recommend applying an essential oil to the scalp with the same applicator. I like to use a mix of grape seed, rosemary, coconut, and Castrol oil on my scalp.
- Repeat the oiling process every couple of days to make sure the braided hair stays moisturized.
If care is taken while hair is in a protective style, the results can be gratifying when you see how much length you retained during the process.