When we created our Protect Your Hair in Style content (round one and round two), we wanted to showcase the endless amount of opportunity there was to find a look that works for you. Protective styles set the hair up for success during hotter months and are a great way to incorporate new forms of textures around the face.
But looks run their course, including the protective style itself—so we created a system for your at-home removal process. Whether taking a break from a braided or sewn-in look, or simply ready to unveil your natural cut, we understand that it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
Here’s the first—and most important—part of the process: DO trust us. We always have your best interest at heart.
DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN TAKING OUT PROTECTIVE STYLES:
DO GET A GOOD DETANGLING TOOL
A good detangling tool will make the process of removing protective styles like braids or locs much easier to manage. You can also use a detangling tool to separate tightly bound hair that becomes tangled in the removal process.
DO DAMPEN HAIR
Curly and coily hair is much easier to detangle when wet—this also includes protective styles. We suggest using a spray bottle so you can target certain areas.
DON’T JUST START CUTTING
This may seem self-explanatory, but we still want to speak on it. PLEASE don’t start cutting your protective style out of your head. There’s so much new growth that can’t wait to be seen. You can be patient.
DO USE A GENTLE, DEEP-CLEANSING SHAMPOO
Shampooing is an essential part of the post-protective style process. It’s great to clarify the scalp of buildup while moisturizing those new hairs—and the scalp massage feels amazing too!
DON’T SLACK ON DETANGLING
Detangle time is focus time. To ensure the whole head of hair is worked through, sectioning out the hair in smaller size chunks will be most beneficial. Once you’ve finished detangling, work conditioner throughout your strands to provide it with necessary moisture.
OUR REC: The Golden Milk Fortifying Conditioner
DO DEEP CONDITION AFTERWARD
Every shampoo needs a good deep conditioning to follow. (Your natural hair will thank you!) The weight of protective style can be overwhelming for some hair strands, so a deep conditioner to recover any weakened hair follicles will make your hair extra happy.
OUR REC: The Golden Milk Intense Recovery Treatment
DO LAYER ON LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
Now that you’ve detangled, conditioned, and deep conditioned, your hair is ready to go, right? Uh, not just yet. A leave-in conditioning cream for your specific hair type is essential for locking in moisture, and equally essential for keeping your waves, curls, and coils smooth and frizz free.
DO THINK ABOUT SERUMS AND OILS
Taking out protective styles puts a lot of focus on the top part of your head, but your ends need love too! A good serum or oil that you can spread throughout the hair—starting from ends and working up—will seal in all the nutrients your hair is soaking up.
DON’T RUSH THE PROCESS
Last but not least: Trust the process. Don’t rush the process. And of course, relish in that post-protective style feeling. You made it.
We love how our community embraces protective styles—from crochet looks to wigs, braids and locs, updos, and more. No matter the goal of the post-protective style, be sure to give yourself grace along the way. (Though a photoshoot to celebrate the outcome is equally warranted.)
While this guide is a great resource for protective styles, it can also be utilized as a step-system for your hair care routine. The focus is still the same: preparation, dedication, and care. You got this.
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