First, let’s talk about protective styles and what exactly qualifies as one. If you or your child has natural hair, a protective style can be your very best friend. Any style that keeps the hair’s ends secure, and can be left in for a week or longer with very little daily handling is considered a protective style. This could mean box braids, cornrows, box twists, flat twists or a combination of any of those styles.
Give your baby girl’s hair a break with a cute braided updo, or, you can do one of my personal favorites, (simply because I can’t cornrow worth a darn) some super cute twists–>
We’ve determined that protective styles are great, but be aware that putting your child’s hair in a protective style doesn’t mean that you’re free from dealing with your child’s hair completely until it’s time to uninstall. The hair and scalp still need to be taken care of. This way you can insure maximum growth while your baby girl’s hair is tucked away.
Here are 4 tips on how to take care of braids and twists along with how to get the most out of your child’s next protective style.
1. Want to keep the fuzzies away? You’re going to have to commit to wrapping up the style every night…
Whether it’s a satin bonnet, a satin scarf, a satin pillowcase (or a combination of the three – because let’s face it – most kids won’t keep a scarf on all night) you’re going to have to commit to finding some way to protect your child’s hair every night. This applies whether your baby girl has in a protective style or not.
My little one has been using a satin pillowcase since she was a teeny weeny thing and it’s really paid off. The reality is that cotton pillowcases absorb all of the good moisture from hair and catch easily on hair strands which can ruin a fresh hairdo, and can even lead to breakage.
2. Watch that hairline!
It’s a fact that if braids are installed too tightly around the hairline they can cause breakage and, in some instances, can even cause permanent hair loss. Edges are fragile given that the hair there is naturally thinner and pulled the tightest most often. Keep hairline breakage to a minimum by making sure to tell your child’s stylist to not be so heavy-handed around the edges. Also be sure to keep edges moisturized along with the rest of the hair – which leads me too…
3. Continue to keep hair moisturized…
As I stated earlier, you still need to continue to keep your child’s hair and scalp moisturized while it’s in a protective style. If you haven’t gone out and bought a spray bottle yet, this is the perfect time to get one. Fill the bottle with a moisturizing cocktail of water, and a few drops of your favorite conditioner. Spray it on your child’s hair every other day (or nightly if your child is prone to having dry hair) and then seal it all in with a bit of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) or any oil or butter.
If your baby girl has in a style that she’ll be wearing for an extended amount of time (two weeks or more) you’ll want to cleanse the scalp with a dry shampoo or astringent. A clean scalp will make for an optimum environment for your child’s hair to grow.
4. Don’t be afraid to extend the style… but not for too long…
Want baby girl to get a little more wear out of those box braids. Don’t be afraid to take out the first row or two of braids and re-braid for maximum wear. You can make a protective style look brand new just by doing a little maintenance around the edges. After redoing the front braids, have your child rock a ponytail or half updo and no one would ever be the wiser. 😉
With that being said, if your child’s style is creeping towards the 2 – 2 ½ month mark, it’s probably time to take the braids down and let the hair breath. Uninstall the style, and have your child wear a braid-out or puff for a week or so to let the hair “do its thing”; and then feel free to put another protective style in if you desire.
Follow these tips and be prepared to see some amazing growth!
Check out this awesome video that goes along with this post! Get a few more great tips, and more!
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