I love protective styling because you’re giving yourself and your hair a break from the daily stress of manipulating, twisting and those sometime dreaded night time routines. Box braids and twists are common protective styles and are great options because they’re versatile. It’s easy though to forget about your natural hair while it’s braided, pinned or even tucked under a wig. The point of protective styling is to ‘protect’ your strands, promote healthy hair and length retention, you can’t do that if your hair is dry, brittle and probably breaking. If your hair is under a wig moisturizing is easy, just take the wig off, obviously you can’t do the same with box braids. Still moisturizing your hair while in braids is a must! And luckily it’s not as hard as it sounds. What you’ll need is:
- Five hair clips or ties
- Spray bottle half filled with water
- Light weight moisturizer or leave-in
- Light weight oil (ie coconut, olive or jojoba oil)
Section off your braids into 4 sections, securing them with the clips or ties. I like starting with the back, but which ever section you start with, spit that section into two, and section off one of the halves. Depending on the size of your braids, you should now have a workable section, but if not just split that section into two again.
Add a few pumps of your moisturizer to your spray bottle with water. Secure the top of the spray bottle and shake well. I like using a leave-in because they’re generally lighter weight formulas and can easily be mixed with the water and distributed through the nozzle. If you’re using a heavier moisturizer just make sure to shake really well.
Hold the section of braids with one hand and spray the mix directly onto the braids. Try your best to focus primarily on the length of the braids and not so much on your scalp. Once the braids are well moisturized (not dripping wet), rub a dime size amount of oil between the palms of your hands and run them down the length of the braids. This seals in the moisture and adds a nice shine to your braids. Repeat these steps until all of your braids are moisturized and sealed.
Just a few steps and you’re done. You can refrigerate any left over mixture and use again during the week. I usually do this about twice a week, depending on my workout schedule. Keeping your hair moisturized and protected is key to healthy hair and healthy hair grows!