How I Prepare My Hair for a Protective Style

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Happy Hump Day!

Put your hands up if you have done a protective style, just to take it down to reveal extremely dry and brittle hair. I know I have and it can be quite discouraging to say the least. Although taking care of your hair for the duration of your protective is essential, preparing your hair prior is just as crucial. I have a few simple tips and tricks to help you and hopefully, this prevents some of the frustrations (and keeps your sanity intact).

  • PRE-POO (better known as Pre-Shampoo Treatment): I honestly feel like a broken record saying this but this step is very important. I think that it should be the first step in any hair routine, whether you protective style or not. It not only moisturizes your hair but prevents your (harsh) shampoo from stripping your strands. It also add shine to your hair, help with tangles and leaves your hair more manageable overall. Need I say more? Honestly, just try it out!

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  • CLEANSE: If you are going to have a long term protective style, I highly recommend that you give yourself a good wash. You want to have a clean environment for your hair to grow and to minimize any scalp issues such as flakes. I typically wash my hair during my protective styles but nothing beats doing it beforehand. It really doesn’t matter if you prefer a gentle clay wash, a shampoo bar or run straight for the chemicals! Just make sure your scalp is clean and happy.

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  • DEEP CONDITION: If you have natural or relaxed hair, it is so important to deep condition, according to your hair needs. You can either do a moisturizing deep conditioner and/or a protein one. Either way, make sure that you hair is in tip top shape before you ignore it for a month. I like to use a hair steamer – but you don’t have to. A plastic bag and your own body heat can work wonders, leaving your hair extremely soft. This minimizes breakage and help you retain growth. Let’s face it, there is no amount of protective styles that will “grow” your hair, if you aren’t taking the steps to prevent breakage.

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  • MOISTURIZE/SEAL/DETANGLE: Quite a mouthful but depending on your method, you can accomplish this all at the same. Right after I hop out of the shower, I start to detangle my hair. This is easier with moisturized hair. I work in sections and apply my leave-ins and moisturizers as I detangle. It doesn’t have to be such a chore. Just think of it as time that you are investing in yourself, for healthier/ longer hair in the future. That’s kind of a big deal.


  • PROTECT: All that is left to do at this point is to protect your hair. If longer hair is your goal, you need to protect your ends in order to retain growth. This include but not limited to twists, braids, wigs, buns etc… In the picture above, I am rocking this wig, which I love. In any case, just do something that you are comfortable with. Life is too short to be miserable.

I hope that this post is helpful, and at least give some insight into my wash day routine. Of course, consistency is key. Don’t expect long hair over night,  and be ready to put in some work. I am not so much focus on products in this post, as I feel that technique is more important. I have seen ladies achieve an unbelievable amount of growth using very few and inexpensive products.  Check out the video below, if you are more of a visual person!

Until next time, happy growing!