1. Protect Your Hair At Night
Covering your head with a satin headscarf at night not only keeps your edges looking fresh it also protects your roots from drying out when you sleep. If you find satin headscarves uncomfortable then place a satin pillowcase over your pillow for a similar type of protection. If you are really a keener – do both. Wrap your head and invest in a satin pillowcase. If your headscarf comes off in the night you still have the protection of your satin pillowcase.
2. Keep Your Scalp Moist
Giving your roots a quick spritz should take you no longer than a few minutes, 3 – 5 minutes maximum. Our hair is no different than any other living thing. It needs moisture to survive – and the best type of moisture is water. Our roots get thirsty and they need watering. Our roots do not need heavy gels and oils – those clog our pores and make it more difficult for our roots to absorb moisture. Our roots need plain old water to thrive and survive.
3. Avoid unnatural products when keeping hair moisturized
The most important ingredients to avoid are mineral oils. Please note that these are the key ingredients in most popular braid moisturizers. Instead, opt for natural oils for example coconut oil and almond oil. These oils are great for soothing the scalp and retaining moisture without building up and clogging your pores like generic braid sprays often will. If you are looking for non-greasy moisture use a natural leave-in conditioner instead.
4. Wash your braids once every two weeks (minimum) if you must
Buildup of sweat, dirt, and everything else that happens throughout your day can be damaging to your hair. Thankfully, you don’t need to hop in the shower and douse your braids in water if you don’t want to. You can always dry-wash your hair with a cloth, shampoo, and some water. Dampen a wash cloth with warm water and your shampoo of choice. Part you hair and wipe your scalp down in sections. That’s all! Follow this process once every two weeks to keep your scalp smelling and feeling fresh. No one likes braid stank.
5. Avoid constant up-dos
I love updos. Twisting, braiding, and tying my hair atop my head are ways for me to experiment with my look. However, constantly styling your hair into high ponytails pulls at your hairline. This constant pulling weakens the hair along your hairline. Be gentle with your hairline. Rock your updos – but try to limit updo styling to 3 or 4 times a week rather than every day, save those edges. Don’t pull too tightly when styling.
6. Extend your style time – Redo/refresh your edges
Often, after a couple weeks your roots have grown out and it’s time to freshen up your look. Rather than rebraid your entire head – go back to your stylist and ask her to spend an hour or so re-installing the braids along your hairline. After you take out the braids along your edges, (and before you head to your stylist) take extra care to detangle and deep condition before reinstalling your braids again. Remember that your edges are already fragile, so they need a little bit of extra care and attention.
7. Don’t leave your braids in for too long
Sometime we get busy and decide – hey four months in the same protective style can’t be that bad right? WRONG. Protective styling is meant to be short-term temporary. we recommend protective styling for a month at a time – 2 months maximum. Any longer than that and your new growth will stretch and damage; this completely negates the point of protective styling. Protective styling is to give your fragile ends a break and focus on attaining new growth.