Biracial Hair Care Tips: Protective Styling

Protective styles help prevent damage and over manipulation of the hair. They can be left in for several days to weeks with the proper maintenance. It gives the hair a break from combing daily and being subjected to the elements while still retaining moisture. Make sure you shampoo and deep condition, following with the L.O.C method (see moisture retention methods piece) prior to doing a protective style. A moisturizing spritz can be used while in the style to keep it from getting dry. Here are a few DIY (do it yourself) recipes for a good homemade spritz.

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3-4 parts water
2 parts aloe vera juice
1 part coconut oil
1 part olive oil
A few drops of essential oil (optional)

¼ cup coconut water
2 tsp. aloe vera juice
2 tsp. jojoba oil

4 parts water
1 part leave in conditioner
1 part coconut or olive oil

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Eventually, I will do a DIY recipes piece, but I wanted to share a few for now. When learning about protective styles, there are three types to know…
• Completely protective. Ends are hidden. This is great because your ends are the oldest part of your hair and gets the most damage. Examples of a completely protective style are tucked in and pinned up styles, buns and up-dos.
• Low manipulation. You have ends exposed, but it cuts down on day to day styling and manipulation. Examples are twist outs, braid outs and roller/rod sets.
• Completely protective, low manipulation. This is a combo of both. Examples are braids, twists, corn rows, flat twists, wigs and weaves.

If you are unfamiliar with any of these styles, it’s a good idea to research them. Watch tutorials and practice. There are countless styles you can do if you learn the basics. Start off with learning how to do a rope twist or braid, then go from there. I like to do her whole head in twists and leave it for about 4 days, depending on how well they hold up. I use a spritz (or submerge her hair in warm water) and then undo them and re-twist after applying products (L.O.C) and lightly detangling. I do this one by one to make sure I keep the hair parted. This hairstyle gives her scalp a break from tension caused by some other hair styles. I typically don’t use hair ties, but you can to keep them neat and tight either at the roots or the ends. Twists and braids are a great way to keep the hair detangled and moisturized.

I try to keep my daughters hair in a protective style most of the time. If I let her wear it out, it will dry out and become very tangled, possibly causing breakage and a long detangling session. Protective styles are a great way to keep your child’s hair happy and healthy. Please stay tuned for next week!

-Sherry Ulvick
two strand twist

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