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How to Prepare Your Hair for a Protective Style

How to Prepare Your Hair for a Protective Style

It's almost protective style season and that means bye-bye to your tresses. But before you say goodbye, make sure you give them a good farewell with these preparation tips before locking in your next protective style!

Cleanse Your Scalp

Before installing a protective style, you always want to have a clean scalp. Using a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo will help you rid your scalp of any build-up or left over styling products. For a deeper cleanse, applying a bentonite mask can help draw out excess dirt and oil as well.

Deep Conditioning

After cleansing your scalp, you must add the moisture back into your hair. Applying a deep conditioner will bring the moisture back to your tresses and keep your strands strong while they’re in your protective style. To achieve the best results, leave the deep conditioner treatment on your scalp for 20-30 minutes with a plastic cap on.


Image: @winterwithay

Lock and Seal Moisture

Now that the moisture has been restored to your hair from the deep conditioning treatment, you have to lock and seal it to prevent your hair from drying out. Make sure you are using a sealant, like an oil or a light leave-in conditioner, so you don’t cause product build-up or leave your hair heavy.

Stretch Hair

Stretching your hair before you get a protective style will make your hair more manageable during the install process. You can stretch your hair with a heat protectant and a blow dryer for a blow out, or you can do it heatless with braids, twists, and other methods.

Trim Ends

Making sure your hair goes into your protective style in its healthiest state will help prevent damage. Examining your ends before you put your hair in a protective style is best practice, just so you know the state of your hair before and after your protective style. You do not always have to trim your ends before getting a new style, but it’s good practice to keep your ends maintained to prevent split ends from happening. If you don’t feel comfortable trimming your own hair, definitely seek out a professional for assistance.

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