I wanted to share how I maintain one of my fav protective styles.
I like to keep my hair in twists for 8/9 months out of the year, usually for eight weeks with three week breaks in between.
To reduce breakage and maintain length, I only take my hair out to rest and to get a good trim.
My hair is just as prone to dryness as it is when it is not in braids, so I still have to be diligent about taking care of it.
Below is my regime for how I maintain and moisturize my hair while it is in marleys.
1. Moisturize Twice Weekly:
This is key, especially with my type 4c hair.
I have a three part process to my moisturizing routine.
First, you'll need clips to section your hair into four quadrants. You'll also need three spray bottles.
a. In one spray bottle I just add water from the tap (I use a blue bottle to remind myself this is just plain water)
b. In a second spray bottle I add watered down leave in conditioner.
I use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. You want it watered down enough that it will spray easily through the bottle. (I use a white bottle to remind myself this one is the leave in)
c. Lastly, in a third bottle mix your oil of choice, I use coconut and a little olive, and I add just enough water to make the mix spray through the bottle ( I use green to remind myself that this is the oil)
Once all my bottles are ready I spray each section from root to where my hair ends at the braid in this order.
Water > Leave In> Oil mix.
2. Shampoo & DC Every 3 weeks
There's two aspects to my hair washing routine.
At times I wash with a loo poo shampoo that isn't as stripping, and the other times I cleanse, with a true shampoo that will get my hair as clean as possible.
When my hair is in braids, I always cleanse because it accumulates build up and scalp residue so I want it clean. A healthy scalp is a tenant of healthy hair.
I wash my hair just like I would if it we're out with a shampoo, a conditioner, and a deep conditioner.
Currently, my favorite cleanser is Eulence Moisture Balance shampoo. My fav conditioner is Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner, and my favorite DC is Aunt Jackie's Flax Seed Intensive Repair Masque.
I like to apply the conditioner and the deep conditioner in spray bottles to help penetrate the hair in the braids.
To make it even easier to mix I put the products in separate small container, add water, and microwave it.
The warmer the mix the easier it will be to spray. After is it fully liquefied I add it to the bottles and apply.
Shampoo Twice > Conditioner 5 Minutes > Deep Conditioner 30 Minutes
This step is super important because if your hair isn't protected it, that will counteract the growth
And if it t isn't growing, that defeats the porpoise of a protective style for a lot of naturals.
a. Satin scarf and/or satin pillow.
Protect your overall hair and those edges. Using a scarf also keeps the style to look 'fresh' longer.
b. Re-twist braids that are too lose.
Braids that are too lose don't protect the root and can more easily get snagged and pulled.
Around week five all my braids around my perimeter begin to loosen from wear and growth, so I just go in and re twist them in front of a mirror.
c. Re-twist braids that are too tight.
If your skin is being pulled, or you're getting little bumps around a section, or your experiencing pain, those braids are too tight, ust unravel and re do.
This is especially important around your edges. That area is very fragile and individual braids are notorious for pulling them out.