Image Source: Sinuous Magazine

Image Source: Sinuous Magazine

It’s that time of the year again… back to school! For young women who went off to college or graduate school, this time of the year may also mean wearing a protective style so that your hair remains healthy during a hectic semester. Regardless of whether your choose to wear extensions or braids/twists,  there are key things to remember in order to guarantee that your hair maintains optimum health during a stressful semester.

PRE-INSTALLATION PRODUCTS

Before putting away your hair–whether it be braided underneath your hair extensions or for braids/twists–make sure that you add products that will keep your hair moisturized for the duration of your protective style. While you should steer clear of products that cause buildup on your hair, you should make sure that the product is thick enough to do its job, such as Creme of Nature Argan Oil Moisturizer.

In addition to moisturizing your hair, do not forget to oil your scalp! Yes, a majority of all of your scalp may be covered if you choose to wear hair extensions; however, your scalp also needs moisture and TLCDo not use a heavy oil, because a buildup of oil prevents your scalp from “breathing” and may also contribute to bacteria buildup.

AVOID TIGHTNESS

Even though you want to prolong your protective style, tightening your hair underneath the style is not a viable solution. Tightening your hair causes one of the things we hate most… BREAKAGE! (Ahhh!) Should you go to a stylist to get your extensions or braids/twists installed, make sure to communicate that you do not want your hair braided too tightly. If it is painful to make facial expressions after the install, then your hair is too tight!

Tightening your braids becomes a bigger issue as the braids get closer to your edges. There is less hair around the circumference of our heads; therefore, wearing tight braids in those areas can lead to heavy breakage. Instead of sacrificing your precious locs, smooth down  the edges to blend into your extensions or around your braids/twists with products like ORS Olive Oil Edge Control.

REGULAR WASH & CONDITIONING CYCLES

Don’t neglect to wash your hair while it is in a protective style. Your hair and scalp still need to be cleansed and revitalized after product buildup in order to absorb and retain moisture. If your scalp becomes flaky, then it’s also time to wash your hair.

You may refresh the look of your braids/twists with shine revitalizing products.Africa’s Best Organics Cornrow & Braid Revitalizer is great for reviving dull braids/twists.

DEEP TREATMENTS FOR EXTENDED WEAR

If you have a problem with dry hair, then you may want to consider using a deep treatment. I (Samantha) personally like to do at least one deep conditioning treatment while wearing extensions if I wear them for a longer duration (2.5 – 3 months). I only deep condition my hair that has been left out, because I am aware that while my hair that is braided and put away is protected, the hair that is left out still has to endure the daily elements.

PROTECT YOUR HAIR WHILE ASLEEP

Last, but definitely not least, make sure to protect your hair with a satin scarf, bonnet, or pillow! Protecting your hair at night will (1) prevent your extensions from tangling, (2) keep your braids/twists looking fresh, and (3) help your hair retain moisture.

WE HOPE THAT YOU LADIES FIND THESE TIPS USEFUL AS YOU EMBARK ON ANOTHER SCHOOL YEAR. NOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR HAIR CARE ROUTINE DOWN, GO AND SHOW THOSE CLASSES WHO IS BOSS!