Sometimes, you just need a break! I enjoy taking care of my hair on a weekly basis, I put a lot of time and effort to care for my hair. Whether it’s relaxed or natural, I follow a simple and effective regimen. For the past few weeks, I’ve worn buns and wigs but I decided to wear a long term protective style.
I love weaves or sew-ins. I used to wear them a lot. When I was natural; I attributed most of my length retention to long term protective styles. Protective styles are great when installed and taken care of properly. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know before installing a protective style.
The tips I’m about to share apply to any protective-styles(braids, weave, twists , cornrows, weave…etc)
Step 1: Prepoo
Prepoo or ore-shampoo treatment prepares your hair before cleansing. A good prepoo will soften the hair and help with detangling.
The light or medium protein conditioners give the hair some protein but also have great moisturizing agents that help soften the hair. After it is applied , I let it sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing. As I am rinsing out the prepoo, I detangle with a big tooth comb.
Step 2: Deep cleansing shampoo and Scalp Build Up Remover
You can simply clarify your hair but I started using a deep cleansing shampoo often so I don’t clarify like I used to(Remember, it is okay to switch things up in your regimen).
These two products give my scalp and hair a clean slate. They relieve itchiness and also prevent it. Before a protective style, you want to make sure your hair and scalp is free of any build-up. Don’t ever get an install before thoroughly washing.
Step 3: Deep Conditioning
It is so crucial to have your hair moisturized before a protective style. I also got under the steamer so my strands better absorbs the conditioner.
Tip: Rinse well. All the products you use should be rinsed out completely. Any residue left on the scalp can cause scalp problems such as dry scalp/ itchiness.
Step 4: Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
If you follow me on Instagram , I posted all these steps in my Instagram stories but I forgot to share step 4. ACV has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties so doing a rinse will prevent and kill any yeasts that cause dandruff.
Which one to buy? It’s always best to use Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar because it has all the nutrients(enzymes and acids) which is what we want.
Apple cider vinegar must be diluted! I mixed 5 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water and use it as a final rinse concentrating on my scalp.
Step 5: Moisturize and seal
Scalp oiling: I learned that my scalp needs to be sealed after washing. Just like your hair and skin, it’s always a good idea to seal it the moisture. So while my scalp was damp, I applied olive oil mixed with a few drops of essential oils(tea tree[prevents itchiness], orange[for scent] and peppermint[soothing and prevents itch] ). I notice that my scalp stays healthy and moisturized when I do that. I used to have issues with my scalp getting flaky and I have dry skin so this helps.
Tip: I also use filtered water to wash my hair and shower. If you live in a hard water area, the minerals in the water can make your hair and skin dry.
Step 6: Four Plaits To Airdry
Step 7: Blowdrying the roots
Step 9: Sew-In Install
It’s so important to have someone you really trust do your sew-in. I’ve had bad experiences with sew-ins. It wasn’t the style itself but I had a setback because the person that did my sew-in didn’t care! I only trust my mom or myself when it comes to my hair. Since my mom is town, she installed it for me!
Step 10: Extensions Prep
This step should be done before a day or days prior to your install.
Please wash the hair before using it! Nowadays, there are so many types of hair extensions. From synthetic to human to virgin hair, who knows what the hair has really been through before getting to you.
Most of the hair we buy is highly processed. Most of the time, it is fiber mixed with horse hair all processed to look and feel like hair! Therefore, the hair is coated with chemicals. For examples, alkaline dye is use on primarily synthetic hair. Most of us are allergic to that chemical. This is why your scalp itches terribly after getting braids. Once I started thoroughly washing my extensions, I no longer had scalp issues.
I posted the hair I used on my Instagram and a follower informed that she bought the same hair she had a terrible allergic reaction. I decided to be careful and thoroughly wash the hair before using.
I soaked the hair in warm water and lots of apple cider vinegar. About one part apple cider vinegar and two parts water. This measurement isn’t the same as the one I use for my scalp. This is strictly for the extensions. I double soaked it for hours then I shampoo’d twice. After shampooing, I applied Silicon Mix Bambu conditioner and put the hair in the microwave for 3 minutes.
About the hair: So far so good, this is Day 3 with this sew-in and I haven’t had any problems. Three days isn’t enough to give a proper review so stay tuned. After two weeks, I’ll update this post. I only used 2 bundles.
Another tip: Always wash your tools before doing your hair especially before getting a protective style.
Short story time: Once upon a time, my sister and I went to a very popular Houston hair stylist for sew-ins. She didn’t disinfect the combs and we had bad dandruff from that. Our scalps were so sore and tender and we later learned that other clients suffered from the same setback after going to her. The end
Another tip : For a sew-in, always make sure whoever is sewing is sewing through the braid not underneath the braid. Not sewing properly (sewing underneath the braid) will severely pull the hair at the roots and can result in extra tight sew-in. It is a protective style, we want the hair to be protected not have hair loss after taking it out
One last tip: I leave my edges and napes out. Those parts should only be treated gently so I choose to not have them braided.
Step 11: Take Care Of Your Hair
The hair is attached to your hair so you need to take care of the hair underneath and of course the extensions. Just because your hair has been put away doesn’t mean you should give it some attention and care.
Fun fact: I used to never wash my hair while wearing a sew-in and although i didn’t have a setback from doing so, it’s just not sanitary or good for the hair.
As needed, you should still be washing and conditioning your hair , and I mean the hair underneath as well. For someone who is very active and sweats a lot, washing on a weekly basis may be beneficial. If you don’t sweat a lot then washing every two weeks may work for you. Listen to your hair.