Lately, I’ve been talking about protective styles a lot here at PON. Last week, I covered hand coordination and dropped a link to my favorite braiding tutorial maven on YouTube. Now, what about maintenance? Particularly, staying moisturized.
If water wasn’t your curlfriend before, you’ll be BFFs in no time with protective styles. Mist it, mix it, soak it in. Your regular products won’t distribute well without help. If they aren’t liquid, liquefy them.
Grab an empty spray bottle from your stash and test some ratios. I like to water down my leave-in conditioner and apply oil separately, but you could mix them all into your own special concoction. Test the mixture on your skin to see how it feels and how it dries. If it feels and dries exactly like water would, you’ve diluted the product too much. Adjust the ratios.
As I said, I apply my oil separately. This is to ensure I pay special attention to my ends and the scalp of my parts. Finally, after I’ve thoroughly misted, I baggy and finish my morning routine. If you don’t have time to baggy, sealing with an oil is even more important. I’ve found that just adding water to my hair and letting that dry makes my hair feel even drier. Hard water is most likely the culprit, which is all the more reason to properly apply my products.
How often to moisturize your protective style depends on how your hair feels. At the very least you need to remoisturize mid-week between washes. It’s tempting to avoid the task because it would cause frizz and shrinkage. That may keep your hair looking cute but there ain’t nothing cute about all the breakage you’ll see when you say goodbye to that dry, old style.
To mitigate the unavoidable frizz, I prefer to press and lightly squeeze products in, gently smooth a little, and never rub or agitate my hair too much, especially those roots. I also give myself time to let my hair dry stretched, pinned down, and tied down to combat shrinkage. Also, also? I plan a way to wear my hair towards the end of that style’s run, so that my frizz and shrinkage are concealed (wide headbands, beanies and bangs for the win!)
How do you maintain your protective styles? Comment below. If you’re a fan of The Pursuit, like this post, subscribe, and follow me @edinPON!