Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Removing (Long Term) Protective Styles

The time has come, after 10...yes TEN weeks of wearing my Senegalese Twists, I'm finally gonna take them out.  Just like in Preparing to Install, Maintaining, and Washing a (Long Term) Protective Style, care has to be taken to Remove (Long Term) Protective Styles.

I have defined 10 steps, which may seem like a lot. However, they are not, nor do they all have to be done in one day.  Also, all 10 steps are required, but I believe I'll provide a strong case on why to include each step in your removal process.  Each step has a role in ensuring you reap all the Benefits of Installing A Protective Style, and minimizes the occurrence of causing damage to your own hair.
Accessorizing & Styling Long Term Protective Styles
A Couple Days Before...
1.    Wash hair
Carefully and gently wash hair, focusing on scalp and roots.  A Co-wash can be completed to reduce stripping and retain moisture in your own hair at this time, as a full wash will be completed once the extensions are removed.
You can follow the steps outlined in Wash Day | Maintaining Your Protective Style, which would minimize frizz and allow you to wear your PS for the next couple days before removal.
Day of Removal…
2.    Cut length
If your extensions are significantly longer than where your hair ends, cutting the extra length would reduce the time you spend unravelling the hair. 
Locate where your hair ends and cut 2 inches below that point (to be sure you don’t unintentionally cut your own hair).  Remember, length retention is a great benefit to having the PS installed, and you want to keep all that you gained.
3.    Use detangler
Using a detangler provides your hair with added slip to assist in easily unravelling the extensions, preventing knotting and, protecting your own hair.
You can use a store bought product, or create an easy DIY mix containing water and cheapie conditioner with great slip, and even add a few drops of oil.
4.    Section hair
You can do this before applying the detangler, while you do, or as you begin to remove the protective style.  Working in sections allows you to work through your head in order, helps to keep hair out of the way and, avoids tangles.
Now, Carefully Remove Extensions.  If you come across any snags or knots, add more detangler and take your time, using your fingers to work through.
Once all extensions have been removed from a section, or when all sections are complete (keeping in sections) add a generous amount of conditioner with great slip or oil to saturate hair, and let sit in hair for a few minutes.
Then begin the process.  Take your time and be very careful.  Using fingers, carefully work through hair to detangle. This will allow removal of shed hairs that can cause matting and knotting in the wash process if not done.  If comfortable, use a wide tooth comb to run through detangled hair once complete.
      Begin the Wash Process
6.    H.O.T
With hair in sections you can choose to either Pre-Poo or conduct a Hot Oil Treatment to ensure your own hair would not be stripped during the wash process.    
If conditioner was used to detangle, add more conditioner and cover hair to complete a pre-poo.  Because hair is already covered in conditioner, an oil treatment would not be effective as the oil will not penetrate the hair.
If oil was used, add your chosen oil or mix to complete a hot oil treatment.
This process can also be used to treat the scalp. This can be done with heat for 15-30 minutes, or overnight.  Whichever time is chosen, continue with the following steps to complete the wash process. 
Day After Removal…
7.    Shampoo
A clarifying shampoo is highly suggested as hair has been in the style for 2-3 months.  Even though there was washing, it was very gentle and within the extensions, so that your own hair was not fully cleaned.  A clarifying shampoo would remove all build-up and residue and allow hair to return to natural pH.
8.    Protein Treatment
This step should be included to help restore hair strength because it was in a long term protective style and strands would be weak after such a time.  Keep in mind your hair’s response to protein, and use a light protein treatment if unsure of your hair’s sensitivity.
9.    Deep Condition
Following any protein treatment a moisturizing deep conditioning must be completed to restore the moisture and balance hair.  You can use a store bought or DIY a very effective DC with ingredients from your kitchen.
10.  Style
After your DC you can proceed with your usual styling.  I suggest low maintenance styles that would allow for minimal manipulation immediately following your PS.  Try to avoid heat, and allow hair to air dry.  Styles such as up-dos, (flat) twists/braids, curls – all which can be air dried overnight, or with indirect heat are great options.  I would avoid wash n gos as these leave the hair exposed to the elements. 
You want to give your hair time to gain its strength and retain moisture before heavy manipulation, including another install.
 These 10 simple and rewarding steps will allow you to enjoy the hair health benefits of having a (long term) protective style.  And gives your hair the best chances of the damage and breakage experienced by some post protective styles.  Also, having properly prepared your own hair, and maintained the protective style while in, helps in achieving the benefits as well.

~ Josie Jo ~

Do you currently have a protective style installed? 
Getting ready for removal? Share your steps below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I enjoy your comments, questions and feedback, as do the TNT community. They're are welcome and truly appreciated!