Wearing protective styles can be a great way to grow longer, healthier natural hair. When properly maintained these styles can help reduce: exposure to the elements; mechanical damage caused by manipulation when styling; and friction caused by rubbing against scarves, coats and other rough garments. Protective styles include braids, weaves, wigs, twists, and buns. Simply put, any style where the ends of your hair are tucked away.
Whether you wear wigs, weaves and clip ins whilst transitioning or simply for a different look, it is important to look after your own hair underneath. Here are 3 top tips to keep your hair in tip top shape:
1. Keep it clean
Whilst wearing weaves/wigs there can be a tendency to put off washing hair for extended periods. Washing the scalp once every 7-10 days is ideal for naturally curly hair types. Using a gentle yet effective SLS-free shampoo such as Swish allows the removal of dead cells and styling products from the hair and scalp and promotes the healthy growth of new hair. A dirty scalp can lead to the hair follicles becoming clogged which can slow growth and lead to bacterial or fungal infections. Regular washing is healthiest and also allows for easier maintenance of your own hair: moisture and oils are able to penetrate a clean hair shaft more easily than a dirty one. Regularly washed hair is soft, pliable and easy to manage.
2. Keep it conditioned
Deep conditioning restores lost oils and moisture to the hair. If you have very dry hair, we suggest that you deep condition weekly for healthy hair. We recommend applying your deep conditioner to freshly washed hair before covering the head with a plastic cap and indirect heat from a hot head or hooded dryer for least an hour before rinsing out with cool water.
Remember to keep your scalp in good condition too. When there is excessive tension on the scalp from wigs, weaves and cornrows, the scalp needs extra care. Massaging Soothe into the scalp once every few days not only feels good but also prevents itchiness and – by increasing blood flow to the scalp – can even stimulate growth.
3. Keep it moisturised
Moisture is necessary for healthy growth and easy styling. Before installing a weave/putting on a wig, using a good water based moisturiser such as Smooth will impart moisture. We recommend sealing in the moisture by coating your hair lightly with a good quality oil blend like Seal. Simply pump a little oil into your hands, rub together and smooth down the surface of your hair.
If your hair is in a weave use a water based moisturising spray such as Sheen to spray between the tracks daily.
How do you care for your hair when wearing protective styles?