Anytime I’m asked how I grow my hair I always say I just make my hair and make sure it’s always moisturized. Now when I say moisturized I don’t mean applying oil or hair cream to my hair or the actual LOC or LCO(leave in conditioner, oil and cream) method but that’s a whole separate story.
Today we’ll be discussing on how protective styles can do more harm than good to your natural hair. But before that you should know that I protective styles are really good and I swear by them. Why?
It reduces knots and tangles in your hair and keeps it more manageable.
It gives your hair a break from frequent styling or manipulation.
Protects your hair from harsh weather.
Reduces hands in hair syndrome.
Helps retain length.
Allows you to easily switch up your style.
Now if they do these great things for your hair how can they still damage your hair?
It’s too tight.
Do we still make styles that snatches away our edges in 2021? No ma’am, miss me with that. Your style can be neat without it being tight, don’t believe that lie we grew up with that tight hairstyles last longer. If it’s too tight, it causes too much tension on your scalp and can damage your hair follicles causing hair breakage or worse, hair loss.
You don’t prep your hair properly.
Since your hair is going to be tucked away for a while you need to make sure that it’s clean, deep conditioned and properly moisturized. Do not put away dirty or dry hair in a protective style.
You abandon your hair.
I know protective styles give you a break from your hair but it doesn’t mean you should totally abandon your hair. Leaving your hair dry in protective styles is doing more harm than good. You need to regularly moisturize your hair, oil your scalp and clean your scalp every 2 or 3 weeks.
Sleeping without a satin/silk scarf, bonnet or pillowcase.
With natural hair, we’re trying to avoid dryness at all cost and this is a good way to do so. I’ve recently started wrapping a satin scarf around my pillow because I sometimes get lazy and sleep without my bonnet or scarf. Protecting your hair properly also prevents your protective style from getting frizzy early.
You leave it in for too long.
It can be very tempting to leave your protective style for long because it’s easier to manage but that’s not a good idea. If you leave your protective style for too long your hair would be dehydrated and extremely tangled when you want to take your hair down. Your protective style should last you anywhere between 2-6 weeks. 8 weeks is okay but that’s a stretch for the brave.
You’re not gentle when taking them out.
Now that you can feel the new growth through your braids and it’s time to take it down, if you’re not gentle with the process you’ll be losing the length you were able to gain while your hair was tucked away. Your hair is going to be fragile since it has been away for a while so you have to handle your hair with care.
Are you guilty of any of these? In my next post I’ll be sharing how to take down your protective style properly and retain all the length you gained.
Dry season is upon us and it’s a perfect excuse to get that protective style saved as a screenshot in your phone. And Christmas is approaching so we need to make our Christmas hair. Is anybody too mature for Christmas hair? Not me sha.
Anyway, I’m bringing you a protective style lookbook to inspire your next hairstyle.
If you’ve not had knotless braids done yet, you totally should. Don’t let 2020 pass without you doing this hair. I can’t overemphasize how much this style is beautiful and actually protects your hair. I gave all the tea on knotless braids here.
This is the trending hairstyle right now and I’m not mad because it’s such a cute hairstyle. Perfect for harmattan season because your hair s locked away.
This was the craze of 2019 but the hair is here to stay. I prefer it over regular Senegalese twists. It’s a really beautiful hairstyle.
A hairstyle that takes your hair off your shoulders. But this hair is so hard to sleep with. It’s cute though, so if you can forfeit your comfort while sleeping then go ahead.
Feed in Braids
This hairstyle always gives me a Chic vibe. It’s so beautiful when properly done.
Another beautiful hairstyle. It’s a half feed in, half box braid hairstyle.
Are you getting a protective style this period? Or have you done on already? Let me know which look is your favourite.
First of all, my hair is still in the short hair category right? I’m like my hair’s last fan when it comes to recognizing it’s length because I’m all about my hair being healthy right now.
Anyway, I did knotless goddess braids on myself last week and it was my first time trying the goddess thing and it was quite difficult because I didn’t have any curly weave to add for the curly strands especially since I wanted to do red braids and not black or brown like I’ll normally do but I got to work around with just the extensions and still got a pretty good result.
I used 3 packs of X-pression extensions in colour 35. The braids are very long; they got very well past my butt before curling and after curling they’re just at my waist, above my butt. This is my first time doing braids of this length and they’re not even heavy because I did it as knotless braids. I won’t stop raving about knotless braids because they’re really very protective to the hair.
I hope what I’m about to explain would be able to give a good mental picture. I’m going to try to be as explanatory as possible.
I started by prepping my hair then the extensions.
How I Prep My Hair
So I have a really detailed post on what my washday is like before I get a long term protective style to prep my hair but after the washday and I took down the thread used to stretch my hair, I did the following;
1.)I divided my hair into 2 horizontal sections, the front being smaller than the back.
2.) I clipped the front away and started working with the back. I started sectioning my hair into smaller horizontal sections and by the time I was done with the back section, I had 7 horizontal sections at the back of my head which I wove to keep them separated from each other.
3.) I started working with the front section next. I divided my hair with a vertical part in the middle of my head to give 2 equal sections on the left and right.
4.) I clipped one section away then started working with the other one. I made 5 vertical parts on each section and flat twisted each section to keep them separated from each other.
By the time I was through, I had 10 vertical sections on the front of my hair and 7 horizontal sections on the back of my hair.
This sectioning before braiding method made me faster because I tend to take a lot of time to part my hair which makes me waste unnecessary time while braiding my hair.
How I Prep The Extensions
I used 3 packs of extensions like I said earlier on and they come very long so I cut the hair into just 2 equal halfs because I wanted my hair really long.
Next, since the ends were blunt I had to start stretching them to give feathered ends which are more desirable for the look I was going for. I stretched them to be pretty long. It’s important to note that if you stretch your hair to be very long, they wouldn’t be so thick. So you’re trading volume or thickness rather, for length.
After stretching the hair which is quite a process, I had to arrange the hair then brush it and if you’re not careful you’ll loose so much hair in this process.
After I’ve brushed for a while, I added Shea butter to the hair because I don’t have any hair grease that’s usually used in the salons and Shea butter still got the work done. After applying the butter I brushed the extension again until I was satisfied with how it looked and felt in my hands. You can work with as small sections as you’re comfortable with so you don’t end up wasting part of the extension.
I don’t think there’s it’s possible to explain how to do knotless braids without actually seeing it so I’ll just be deceiving myself. But I started with my hair then gradually added the extension. When I got to the point where I want the curly hair to hang from, I’ll drop some strands of the braiding extension and keep it separated from the hair I’m braiding so it doesn’t get mixed up.
This was a very tedious process so I didn’t bother bringing out any strands to be curled at the back.
When I was finally through with braiding my entire head which took like an entire day with a lot of breaks in between, I curled the ends of my hair with threads and soaked in hot water for some seconds. It’s a very popular way to curl hair in Nigerian salons so it was quite easy to do but you can use flexi rods or perm rods and get the same result.
For the curly hair strands, I said earlier on that I left some straight braiding hair so I gathered the straight strands in about 3 braids which were close together and wrapped around a flexi rod then soaked it in boiling hot water too.
After unraveling all the curls, my knotless goddess braids were done and I was super happy. I was so drained I won’t even lie. I did my sister’s hair on Monday and Tuesday that week and I started my own the next day so best believe I was exhausted. I was using residual strength to do my own hair but I had to because we had a wedding to attend that weekend and we had to look ghen ghen😂😂 so I had to go through all that stress but it was worth it at the end.
I still think my sister’s hair is prettier than mine but I just console myself with the fact that I’m the one who braided myself and I did a badass work at that. I was threatening my sister when she was helping me with the curls for my hair where my hand couldn’t reach that if she doesn’t get them right that I’ll cut off her own hair when she’s sleeping😂.
I didn’t get to take good pictures of the hair until 2 days ago and the curls have already started frizzing up because I forgot to fully separate all the curls while they were still wet. This is my first time doing any curly hairstyle so I didn’t know that but I’ll still recurl my hair in few weeks time to give it a refreshed look.
Little life update: I finished reading the book ‘daughters who walk this path’ and it’s such a great read. Morayo got a happy ending which made me happy too. I just finished ‘the smart money woman’ by Arese Ugwu and it’s another amazing read about finances and the African woman. I loved when Tami said she wants to be a ‘new trophy wife’😂. I really feel her. I want to be a boss lady, independent but still spoiled because I’m still a baby girl😂😂. I want to be indespoiled😂. You get what I mean right?😉
Thanks for reading😊.
What’s your opinion on getting your hair done yourself?
If you’ve been keeping up with the blog then you’ll know I’m on braids. Knotless braids in particular. And braids and are great but after a while, your scalp will begin to get dirty and my scalp has gotten used to being cleaned at least biweekly and I may be able to stretch it to 3 weeks depending on the style I’m wearing but that’s the most. Once it gets past 3 weeks I’ll start having itchy scalp which is not nice at all.
It’s important that you’re taking care your hair while in braids, especially cleaning your scalp because nobody likes stinking braids.
Currently, I’m on knotless braids and it’s so easy to get access to my scalp so I’ve cleaned my scalp twice and I’ve had the braids for 4 weeks now. You don’t necessarily need to get your whole braids wet, especially if you don’t have a blow-dryer or hooded dryer so I’ll be sharing 3 ways you can clean your scalp without getting your whole braids wet.
Method 1: Using Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Rinse.
A mixture of apple cider vinegar and water will clean your scalp effectively and remove all the build up that would have accumulated on your scalp. The only downside of using this method is that apple cider vinegar has a weird smell but the smell wears off after a few hours to a day max. If you suffer from itchy scalp, this is a very good way of getting rid of it.
How to use
Mix 2 parts water and one part apple cider vinegar in a bowl. If you have tea tree oil or peppermint oil feel free to add a few drops.
Soak cotton wool balls in the acv mixture and squeeze out the excess liquid.
Rub it gently between the parts your braids to get to your scalp.
Change the cotton wool balls as they get dirty and continue till you’ve completed your entire scalp.
You can leave it to dry in your hair or rinse it out by using another cotton wool ball soaked in clean water to prevent getting your braids wet.
Method 2: Using Shampoo Without Getting Your Braids Wet.
So if you don’t have access to apple cider vinegar you can also use your normal shampoo but in a way that you won’t get your braids wet.
How to use
Divide your hair into sections
Wet a clean cloth, preferably white or a bright colour so you know when your scalp has gotten clean.
Spray a section of your hair with water.
Pour a small amount of shampoo on your wet cloth and rub it between the parts of your braids.
You’ll see the build up coming off your scalp, so continue the process with different parts of the cloth till you clean your entire scalp.
Leave the shampoo in your hair for about 5-10 minutes.
Wash off the shampoo from the cloth or use a clean cloth that’s damp to clean your scalp again to remove any trace of shampoo in your hair.
Then leave your hair to air dry.
Method 3: Using Shampoo And Getting Your Hair Partially Wet
This is the method I use when I want a somewhat thorough cleansing. With this method I’m able to give my scalp a very good cleanse. And since I have a blow-dryer I don’t mind getting my braids kind of wet but not soaking wet because it would be too heavy and would take long to dry.
How to use.
Divide your hair into sections.
Dilute your shampoo with warm water in a clean spray bottle or applicator bottle This way the build up comes off easily.
Spray a section of your hair with water.
Apply the diluted shampoo to your scalp and use the tip of your fingers to rub your scalp and the roots of your braids in a massaging motion. Be gentle so you don’t cause unnecessary frizz and make your hair get the old look fast.
Continue till you’ve finished your entire hair.
To be sure I’ve cleaned my hair properly, I usually go in with a white wash cloth and clean between the braids randomly till I’m satisfied.
Leave the shampoo in your hair for 5-10 minutes.
Tie all the braids in a loose ponytail, wrapping the ends up then rinse just the roots of the braids where you applied the shampoo. This way you’re not drenching your whole hair with water.
Wrap your hair with a towel to squeeze out the excess water.
Remove your hair from the ponytail and blowdry your hair, focusing on your roots then the main braids.
These are the three ways you can get your scalp clean and itch free. And most importantly stink free. I hate smelling hair. One day I was in a bus and the lady that was sitting somewhere around me had smelling braids and I was so uncomfortable. I was lucky that she came down few minutes after I entered because I don’t know how I would have managed that journey.
I typed this post directly instead of writing it down first like I’ll normally do so I had to type in lists so the work is not all over the place and I go straight to the point and so that I’m not ranting and then get tired then leave the work halfway like I’ve been doing for the past 3 days. Yes it took me 3 days to finally get this over with.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading this. Have you tried any of these methods?