Protective styles for natural hair are a naturalista’s best friend but how can you protect your edges at the same time and sustain growth? In recent years, protective styles like braids, twists, weaves and ponytails alike have received a bit of bad press from dermatologists and even a few hair care professionals. One reason for these negative reviews has everything to do with two, nasty words –traction alopecia.
Traction alopecia occurs as a result of wearing your hair pulled in the same direction for multiple weeks or even months. This constant pulling on our hairline causes hair to weaken and snap. Eventually, your hairline begins to recede, and you are left to deal with balding.
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It’s hard to believe that in our quest for a little bit of natural hair pride, flair and fashion, we can cause severe damage to our hair, edges, and follicles.
How to Protect Your Edges While Wearing Protective Styles
Protective styles for natural hair are an excellent alternative to having to manipulate your kinks, coils or curls on a daily basis. Braids and twists, for example, can help you significantly cut the amount of manipulation between your hands, hair, and scalp down considerably. Wigs and weaves are particularly useful if you are hoping to change your look without changing your natural hair texture or color.
When wearing a protective style, you must remember to give your scalp and hair a whole lot of care at least two to three times a week. Unfortunately, we are all probably guilty of skimping on our protective hair care regimen.
Here’s the secret. To protect your edges and your hair when wearing protective styles, you must moisturize!
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Hair and Scalp Hydration
Hair moisture is an absolute must-have for the protective styling process. Hair hydration helps to ensure that your hair is flexible and strong enough to withstand the manipulation process of installing braids or twists. The same is for your delicate edges. If you are naturally curly or coily, your hair is especially prone to breakage. You can give your hair and scalp a hydration boost by using hair growth oils or hair care products like A’ FLOR Hair Growth Oil that contain argan, jojoba and castor oils which are perfect for conditioning your edges, scalp, and hair. They can also help to ensure your edges grow rather than recede during your protective styling phase. A’ FLOR Hair Growth Oil can also help to reduce your risk for developing dandruff or potentially even suffering a fungal infection. Naturalistas love shea butter products because of their ability to not only soften your hair but lock in moisture and bestow shine. Products like A’ FLOR Hair Butter which combine the best of two worlds –essential oils and shea butter gives you an option for sealing in moisture.
A’ FLOR Hair Butter is particularly useful in not only helping to seal in moisture but can relieve the symptoms of a dry scalp and dehydrated edges which are particularly prone to losing hydration thanks to their exposure to the environment.
Remember to stick with the rule of moisture during the protective styling process, and to ensure that your edges grow, not perish.