My last few posts have focused on prepping for protective styling natural hair and hairstyle inspiration for the winter months. I am happy to say my protective (box braids) style is STILL going strong seven weeks after installation. I was planning to take them out this past weekend but they look great and I still receive compliments. I have cleansed my scalp while they were in so I haven’t had any irritation and my scalp is in good condition.
When it comes to hair growth the state of your scalp is one of the most important factors. We say “wash hair” but when washing your hair the main focus should be cleansing your scalp not your hair – which can actually dry it out. While a protective style is installed it’s important to remember to maintain a healthy scalp.
Here are some ways to clean your scalp while protective styling – focusing specifically on long term styles like braids, twists, cornrows, and weaves. Buns and updos are great but do not require any special washing techniques.
Dry Shampoo – Dry shampoo usually comes in a can and resembles baby powder. This is one alternative I have heard works really well to absorb oil from the scalp and extend the life your style. I think many African American women dismiss dry shampoos as not being suited for “our hair” and although I have not personally tried it, I know black women who loved using them for braids. You can find higher end dry shampoos in stores like Ulta and Sephora but there are even a few drugstore options these days from Suave and Tresemme. Be careful not to use too much to avoid a white, powdery residue or appearance though – not cute!
Shampoo Bar – Shampoo bars are one of my new favorites! If you are unfamiliar, they are exactly what they sound like – shampoo in a bar form. They are convenient, easy to use and last forever! My current favorite is the Coconut Shampoo Bar from Obia Naturals. You can easily control how much you use and where the shampoo is applied which is what I like the most.
Liquid Shampoo – Good old-fashioned shampoo is great but can be hard to manage especially if you’re washing your hair in the shower. But, of course it’s convenient because you can find liquid shampoo at anywhere and probably already have a staple in your stash. Make it easier to reach your scalp and rinse by diluting it with water in an applicator bottle.
How do you ladies maintain your protective styles and installs?
What do you do to keep your scalp clean, healthy and happy?
Please tell me below!