​Here’s How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

by admin

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As we get into the thick of summer, it can only mean one thing: It’s time to get my hair on a strict schedule. I’m a braids girl all year round; I find that they’re the most flattering on me, and are the easiest to take care of when it starts to get swampy in New York City. But if you’ve been experiencing the phenomenon that is protective hairstyles not lasting as long as they used to, well, you’re not alone.

When I was young, it felt as if my braids stayed in for months. Through road trips, beach days, field trips, you name it, my braids would remain intact. But now, I find myself wanting to take my braids out after four weeks. I went searching for the best ways to take care of my protective hairstyles so they last as long as possible, especially in the summer heat.

These are the tips and products I’m relying on to help me maintain my protective hairstyle in the midst of a hot girl summer.

I’m washing weekly

Hello, my name is Lacey, and I am a wash day delayer. Any wash day for people with textured or super coily hair is going to take a significant amount of time. I always have to do it on a weekend, and during the day to give my hair ample dry time. And while I am a delayer, I know that if I try to put off washing my braids due to laziness, it can lead to excess buildup and breakage down the line.

The nice thing about braids and other protective styles is that they help to make wash day a little more manageable. I switch between using a hydrating and clarifying shampoo to help keep my scalp free of buildup. I also try to wash my hair over the sink or bathtub to avoid getting the ends too soaked. Using a pitcher or bowl really helps with this (as does a spray handle if you have one). The point of having low-maintenance hairstyles is to have to do as little work as possible, but staying on a washing schedule while you have them is vital.

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​Here's How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

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​Here's How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

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​Here's How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

MOROCCANOIL Moisture Repair Shampoo

I’m focusing on hydration

Hydration, hydration, hydration—this is one of the most important parts of preserving protective styles. Protective styles make it so your hair isn’t entirely exposed, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still benefit from the products you put on it.

I follow up every hair wash with a lightweight, hydrating leave-in conditioner. I love Amika’s Hydro-Rush Leave-In Spray, but any lightweight leave-in conditioner will work. I apply the product beginning at the root of my hair, then down the length of my style to where I believe my natural hair ends. Between washes, I also use a hydrating serum. I used to rely on oils and creams, but like they were weighing down my naturally dry hair. Serums give me the benefits of increased hydration, without any pesky buildup or heaviness.

​Here's How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

AMIKA Hydro Rush Leave-in Conditioner

​Here's How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

PATTERN By Tracee Ellis Ross Scalp Serum for Dry Hair & Scalp

​Here's How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

TPH By Taraji Cooling Curly Hair Serum

​Here's How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

Source: @menzabolamba

I’m wrapping my hair at night

For as long as I can remember, I’ve put my hair in a bonnet or silk cap at night. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also invested in a satin pillowcase to double-up on nighttime protection. But there was one step I was skipping out on: Wearing a satin scarf underneath my bonnet.

When you have a fresh protective style in, laying down a scarf like you would a silk press before putting your bonnet or silk cap on can help to keep your edges in check. In the long-run, it’s helped disguise new growth that pops in (which is a telltale sign of a style being on the older side), and has helped my braids look fresher, longer.

I’m taming flyaways

My final step in preserving my protective hairstyles is taming flyaways. One of the biggest benefits of a protective style is that it helps with hair growth, but with that comes a bit of frizz. A lightweight, curly mousse has helped me tame the flyaways at the top of my head. I apply one pump, and smooth it from my roots to the middle of my strands (similarly to the way a stylist would as they’re wrapping your braids). Doing this 1-2 times per week has helped my protective style look shiny and smooth—even in the summer heat.

​Here's How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

PATTERN by Tracee Ellis Ross Curl Mousse

​Here's How I Plan to Keep My Protective Hairstyle Fresh This Summer

AMIKA Plus-Size Body & Volume Mousse

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