Have you ever wondered why your hair isn't retaining length after months and even years of protective styles? Well, protective styles aren't really protective styles if you're not doing "YOUR PART". Getting wigs or braids isn't an excuse not to do your hair. It certainly does assist with not worrying about doing your hair every single day, but there are still steps you have to take to help maintain the health of your hair. There are few factors to consider while wearing styles (protective).
Cleansing the scalp: Sweat, excessive oils, dirt and product buildup easily attaches itself to the scalp. This blocks the follicle and can cause inflammation, itching and dandruff just to name a few things. When the hair is braided it is easy access for dirt and product to build on the scalp because the scalp is exposed. The best way to cleanse the scalp is to shampoo the hair (yes while the braids are still in). You also have the option for dry shampoo (but thats more product build up), and dabbing the scalp with witch hazel which is an astringent.
Moisturizing the hair: You all know what it feels like and what it looks like to be "dry". If your skin isn't moisturized or your lips get very chap it can be uncomfortable. The dryness rubs against the other dry parts of you and friction or scratchiness (is that a word?!) starts to happen. This applies to your hair as well, especially curly/coily hair. When the hair is dry it tangles with the other curls, it can create friction and rub against one another. If you hair is locked into synthetic hair or under a "cap/wig" with no ventilation for long periods of time it gets dry, thats why it is important to keep it moisturized and hydrated by applying refreshing hair mist, water, shampooing and conditioning or some type of moisturizer at minimum 3 times a week.
Notice the material of the wig: Getting an allergy test is important no matter your age. We can have reactions to products, ingredients even thread or synthetic fibers from wigs. It is possible that you could have (without knowing) or currently are experiencing contact dermatitis which is very common. This happens with there is something that has irritated the scalp (usually an ingredient in a product) and you have a reaction. That reaction could look like several things: rash, bump, blisters, cracked scalp, inflammation tenderness or discolored patches on the scalp. Be conscious of what you are feeling and experiencing on your scalp during your protective style period. The best way to stop these reactions and get help is to discontinue use immediately of the product, style etc and find a dermatologist, licensed stylist or trichologist (you can email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org for recommendations and treatment).
Start thinking a some alternative or healthier styles that fit best with your lifestyle for 2024. Don't wait, your health hair journey starts now! :-)