My favorite protective style is by far, hands down….Box braids. I’m completely obsessed. I try to put my hair in this protective style at least twice per year, for at least 6 weeks at a time, during the Summer and Winter. During that time, I make sure to go for regular touch ups so, my edges are always fresh.
As we all may know, caring for your hair underneath ANY protective style is crucial. It should be understood that your real hair is always the number one priority. With that said, find a braider who shies away from braiding your baby hairs. Those fine hairs around your face should be avoided when braiding. You should NOT experience tension or tightness after your braids are complete.
While wearing box braids, I try to shampoo my scalp every two weeks as opposed to my regular wash schedule, since I don’t use as much product, my hair doesn’t need to be shampooed as often. I actually find it a lot easier to shampoo my scalp when I have box braids because I can put the cleanser directly on my scalp because of the parts. After I shampoo, I proceed, as usual, with a leave-in and hair oil, then sit under a hair dryer to prevent any mold or mildew from forming on my scalp. It’s very easy to neglect your hair when it’s in a protective style, because it’s hidden, but that’s the most important time to pay the most attention to your hair and especially your scalp.
Here are a few of my go – to products that are on rotation with, and without, box braids.
This particular shampoo is actually a mud wash. This wash is without any chemical detergents, foam boosters, protein thickeners and coating agents, emulsifiers, preservatives or fragrance. There are a number of fragrances (derived from essential oils), but I love the way the lavender scent smells. I typically only use it when I have braids because it’s easier to distribute and rinse completely.
I was introduced to this leave in by my hair stylist, Johari at Flowerchilds Studio Salon, and I have never looked back, nor will I ever look back. Y’all, this ish right here! This is life! (Insert Praise Hand Emojis). It’s light and smells right. It’s in a spray bottle to prevent heavy handed people like me from using too much. I use this product damn near every day of my life. Without braids, I use it to refresh my curls, daily. With braids, I spritz it on my hair after a cleaning. I purchase mine directly from the salon, but trust me you will NOT regret this purchase.
I can’t really attest whether or not this oil has hair growing properties because I have to take into consideration that my hair was in a protective style and I was taking the Mane Choice Hair Vitamins, but I really like this oil. When your hair is in box braids or twists, oiling your scalp is easy peasy. The parts are already there! This particular oil has an applicator which makes the task a lot easier. Now that I have taken down the braids, I still apply the oil to my scalp and give myself a little scalp massage. 🙂
Protective styles are a must when you need to take a break from styling your own hair, and it gives your hair a break from you! Just keep in mind that this is not a hair vacation, hair still needs to be cared for and maintained.
What’s your favorite protective style?