Hair Care

Long-Term Protective Style Maintenance | Braids


As stated in my Protective Style Prep post, I plan to wear my hair in braids for four weeks. I do not intend to wash my hair, but I still have a maintenance routine. The goal for maintenance is to keep the hair looking good. To keep my hair and scalp moisturized, and to prevent buildup.

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Take A Look!

When my scalp is as exposed as it is in the braids, I try to give it a bit more attention than normal. As a result, I am moisturizing my hair daily, oiling my scalp twice a week, and clearing out debris once a week. Check out the video for a closer look:

The Long Of It – Protective Style Maintenance

Every day I spray my hair with either Aphogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer or the Mielle Organics White Peony leave-in conditioner. This is basically a rotation of moisture or strength.

Mid-week I oil my scalp with a mixture of oils that soothe the scalp and encourage health. Rosemary essential oil and Tea Tree Oil have anti-fungal and anti-septic qualities that promote healing. To get the benefits, these oils must be mixed with a carrier oil before application, thus Jamaican Black Castor OilJamaican Black Castor Oil is known to prevent dandruff, as well as dry and itchy scalp. My mixture contains:

The Bergamot oil is for fragrance, and does a great job of masking the pungent scent of tea tree oil. The rule of thumb is 12 drop EO to 1 ounce carrier oil. Massaging my scalp with this mixture a few times a week will promote blood circulation which helps with growth. I apply this mixture again at the end of the week.

wash day

Once a week, on Saturday or Sunday, I use the Cantu Dry Co-Wash. I then follow it up with the oil mixture, and lastly apply a small amount of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to the length of the hair. Coconut Oil is full of good fats, and easily seeps into the inner portions of the hair. Thus, by the next week the coconut oil has disappeared.

Preventing Build Up

The key to preventing build up with this oil heavy regimen is time. The scalp is exposed, so the oil I put on my scalp will go away fairly quickly. The oil I place on the length of the hair is soaked up by my natural hair, while providing sheen to the synthetic hair.

Plans change, but for now I’m sticking with this routine.

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