Natural Hair Pre-Protective Styling Dos and Don’ts

protective styling As you know from my last post, I had box braids installed in my hair a few weeks ago. I have been in love with the versatility of my hair but even more I have been spoiled by my hassle-free, no-fuss mornings and weekends. It has been nice not having to wash and style my hair (as frequently). There were a few things I did to prepare my hair for the install. Before adding additional hair for protective styling here are some of the things you should and should not do.

Cleanse
DO shampoo your hair and scalp. It needs to be clean and product-free to ensure your hair is its healthiest best before installation.
DON’T co-wash. Co-washing is fine between cleansings but your hair should be clean and co-washing doesn’t remove all product buildup and residue.

Condition
DO deep condition before an installation so that your hair has additional nutrients before you “put it away.”  Protein will help strengthen your hair to prep for all the manipulation.
DON’T rely solely on instant or rinse off formulas before an install.

Detangle
DO thoroughly detangle hair to make it easier to part and section hair during the styling process.
DON’T forget to section hair before detangling to ensure that you detangle all sections thoroughly.

Stretch
DO use your favorite stretch method on your hair to make it easier when styling. Natural hair curls and coils around itself and you don’t want your stylist pulling and tugging on your hair because it is too compacted.
DON’T use heat to stretch, if you can avoid it. This can weaken the hair.

Maintain
DO protect your hair at night with a satin scarf or pillowcase.
DON’T think because you have a protective style you don’t have to care for it the same as your own hair.

Cleanse…again
DO cleanse your hair – or at least your scalp – if you have an install more than 2 or 3 weeks.
DON’T neglect your scalp long-term because it can cause hair and scalp problems in the future.

Protective-Styling-Natural-Hair

Is there anything special you do to prepare your hair before a protective style?

Monet About Monet

Monet is a natural hair contributor to L4L and is also the Head-Curly-In-Charge at curlsandmo.com. Her main goals are to educate other naturalistas so that they don't make the same mistakes she did during her 14 month transition and to discuss new products, techniques and styles that work for her type 4 natural hair.

  • http://www.EatStylePlay.com/ Eat.Style.Play

    Yay, I didn’t know you had a natural hair section! I agree with the scalp, whenever have braids and things I neglect my scalp and get these bad scabs. I’ve making a promise and commitment to myself that once this style comes out I’m going to make more time for my hair and focus on deep conditioning and everything like I’m supposed to.

    • http://www.longing4length.com/ EbonyCPrincess

      I’m glad you “discovered” it – I didn’t distinguish in the menu bar btw the natural and relaxed haired posts before because there is so much overlap and healthy hair period is the focus. But I know the menu change made it clearer to find exactly what you are looking for – thanks for the comment!

  • Kristal P

    I’m so glad I found this post because I’m going for my first sew-in in a few weeks. I will begin now with the protein treatments. I already deep condition weekly. Thanks!

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