How to wash protective styles. Period!
Placing your hair in a protective style? Here are 4 steps to effectively shampoo and condition your hair while it’s safely tucked away.
It’s easy to neglect your cleansing regime when your hair is in a protective style. After all, a big part of the appeal of braiding your hair away is the low maintenance required. But styles such as crocheting and weaving can make it difficult to wash your own hair and gain access to the scalp. As a consequence, this can result in heavy product build-up, itchiness and dry flakes. So for a dramafree washday, follow these four steps…
Use the correct cleanser If you’re at the two-week mark of wearing your protective style and you’re starting to experience build-up and maybe the odd flake, it’s time to give your hair and scalp a good cleanse. Choose a shampoo that contains calming ingredients like peppermint or tea tree oil. You can use your fingers to gently massage and remove dirt and grime, or search for a shampoo bottle with a nozzle head to directly apply the product to the scalp. To rinse, use the shower head and run water along the lengths of the hair. Refrain from washing the hair vigorously, as this will cause it to unravel and lose its neat appearance and natural sheen.
Pamper and treat your scalp If you wear a protective style you should really commit to good scalp care during cleansing time. Doing so will ensure your natural hair remains healthy and thrives during protective styling. After shampooing, reach for a scalp care treatment containing a cocktail of ingredients like peppermint, apple cider vinegar and shea butter, which will help soothe the scalp and prevent flaking and itching.
Use the right styling products After you’ve invested so much time (and money) in your protective style, you might be concerned that washing your hair may interfere with how it looks. Because if it’s done incorrectly, there is a risk of the hair unravelling, matting or becoming extremely dry. To avoid this, follow the cleansing steps above and pay attention to the styling products you use. Gently towel dry your hair and extensions with a micro-fibre towel to prevent breakage. Once dry, apply a styling mousse to the lengths to eliminate strays and flyaways. Alternatively, you can clean the scalp without getting the hair wet by using a dry shampoo. Simply rub the product between the parts and along the braids for an instant refresh.
Go gentle when drying If you choose to blow-dry your hair after shampooing, use a low heat setting to prevent your extensions from becoming parched and low on lustre. Allowing your style to dry naturally will help keep it looking its best. Once dry, your protective style will feel fresh and revitalised. Resume with your regular styling regime and repeat this cleansing process in 10 days’ time for optimum results.