Sunday, 28 February 2016

How to Avoid Wash Day with a Protective Style (shhh)

It's so GREAT to not have to comb my hair!

I have been thoroughly enjoying having this Protective Style in my hair. Like most protective styles, there are seemingly endless benefits to having them in.  Aside from the hair health benefits, it makes life so much easier.  
Short on inspiration to style -- throw it up in a high pony, high bun, or top knot
Short on time to style -- throw it up in a high pony, high bun or top knot
Short on life -- throw it up in a high pony, high bun or top knot! HAHAHAHA...if only.  
In all seriousness, these Senegalese Twists have been a dream.  I can hardly believe they've been in a MONTH already....a FULL month!  Where did the time go? ...flying, flying I say! 

I do have a confession though, in this month (that when by way too quickly) I haven't washed my hair...not once!  
...or maybe not.  
I have been taking great care for my protective style, which, I would say, has saved me from having a wash day.  
The point of installing the Senegalese Twists were to give my hair (and self) a break (not that I needed one, but moreso for convenience as explained in Different Me, a while back) that would support and boost it's health and my ability to achieve strong strands and retain length.
Let me share with you how I've evaded Wash Day over the last month.

Keep Scalp Clean

Scalp health is essential to hair health. A dirty scalp can lead to all sorts of problems, and is just plain dirty.  All scalps are different - Knowing and understanding your own is important to determine cleaning requirements and intervals.  Some people can't go a full week without washing, so pay attention to your scalp.
Exposure and environment also play a role in how often the scalp needs cleaning.  
To keep scalp clean, especially while in a protective style, and one such as Senegalese Twists, which leaves the scalp accessible and open (good and bad), 
  • Limit environmental exposure - Keep hair covered as much as possible to prevent environmental dirt.
  • Use lightweight hair care products, to reduce build-up.
  • As necessary, dry shampoo can be used to rid the scalp of oils (if an oily scalp is experienced) - easy to apply with Senegalese (Havana, Marley, Box Braids extensions etc).
I have been keeping my scalp clean by keeping covered ALL of the time, and using a lightweight daily moisturizer.  I've never used a dry shampoo as I don't experience an oily scalp.  Which mostly likely has been the main reason I have been able to go a month without a wash day.

Keep Hair Moisturized

One thing not to be forgotten while protective styling is that hair still loses moisture...every minute of every day.  Therefore ensuring that the hair that is your own is sufficiently moisturized is key to avoid breakage and worst, causing irreversible damage to strands when removing the protective style from hair.
To ensure hair is moisturized
  • Use a moisturizing spritz.
    A lightweight formula that provides hair with moisture, and as a bonus also seals moisture in.
    Don't saturate hair, to avoid weighing hair down.  If hair is too wet, there is also the possibility that it won't dry properly, leading to a host of issues that nobody wants on their heads - mildew and mold.
    Choose a lightweight formula, especially if using daily.  A medium formula may  be used every other day or a couple times a week.  But it would also need the ability to seal to retain the moisture for that period of time.
I have been using Jane Carter's Hydrate Quench with Rosemary and Sage.  "A daily hydrator that restores and seals moisture.  A water-based leave in conditioner, made with Soy Protein and panthenol that strengthens hair and adds moisture."
It has been amazing for my hair!

Keep Protected

It sounds like overkill - Protect Your Protective Style.  It is however necessary.  Just as you would protect your very own hair without a style, it still requires protection while in a protective and any style.
  • Ensure to cover hair at night to keep it neat, prevent frizziness and help the style to last longer. Cause we all know it takes quite a while to install, and the point is to give hair a break.  So you want it in as long as it can possibly last.
  • Covering at night, also serves to protect hair from moisture loss.  So I suggest the use of a silk/satin scarf or bonnet just as you would with your very own hair.  Having a protective style (extensions or weaves) do not serve to create a barrier between your hair and and other materials.  If anything, depending on the type of fibers used (kanekalon, yarn), hair has the potential to lose more moisture quickly.
I've found it easiest, and best to put the hair in a bun and use 2 scarves to cover.  One around the bun, and the other around my head.  This stays secure and in place. hair is styled and ready to go at any time.


That's it!
These 3 'tricks' have helped me to care for my own hair, and the protective style for a month WITHOUT washing.

But a month is as long as it lasts...I'm off to get a good wash in right now! 

~ Josie Jo ~

What tips do you have to Caring For Protective Styles?

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