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How to Prepare your Natural Hair for a Protective Style

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

It's summertime and I know we all want to be #summertimefine with our braids and protective styles, but please make sure to prep your natural hair first! Protective styles are great for retaining length and reducing breakage from daily styling, but it does you no good if your hair is dry and damaged before the style.

Here are some steps you can take to prepare your hair for a protective style this Summer!

1. Cleanse

First and foremost, you do not want to start a protective style with dirty hair. With any style you plan on leaving in for over a few weeks, buildup is a given, but not washing your hair before a protective style encourages excess buildup which clogs your hair strands and makes growth difficult to happen. This defeats the purpose for many who get protective styles to encourage hair growth and length retention.

Use a cleansing or clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup and ensure that your hair and scalp is clean. Doing so will help your style to look better and last longer.

2. Deep Condition

If you plan on having your style in for a while, make sure to prep your hair with proper nutrients. The purpose of a protective style is to promote hair growth and hair health by tucking or covering the ends of your hair and reducing manipulation from daily styling, but a protective style does you no good if your hair is dry and damaged going into it. Deep conditioning is so important for hair health because it prevents breakage, restores shine and moisture and improves the elasticity of your hair.

3. Moisturize

Moisture is so important because if your hair lacks moisture, it can become brittle and start to thin or break off. Faux hair has a tendency to absorb moisture from your hair has well, so moisturizing your natural hair before installing braids or twists is a necessity. After you have washed and conditioned your hair, you can use a little bit of butter or leave-in cream to add some extra moisture and a little bit of oil to seal it in.

4. Stretch

Stretching your hair before a protective style reduces the time it takes to complete the style and helps to reduce breakage by lessening the tension from styling. There are so many ways you can stretch your natural hair. You can blow dry it which is one of the quickest ways to stretch it or you can put your hair in four big twists or braids and sit under a hooded dryer. If you have more time and would like to stretch your hair without heat, you can do the twist method and air dry. How do you stretch your natural hair for protective styles? Share it with us in the comments.

I hope these tips were of great use to you for prepping your gorgeous crown for a protective style. Protect those crowns, secure those edges, and slay all summer my natural queen sisters!

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