How I Prep My Natural Hair before Protective Styling

With the onset of the harmattan, aka dry season, i knew that i did not want to leave my hair out as the dryness will just drive me nuts. I m...

With the onset of the harmattan, aka dry season, i knew that i did not want to leave my hair out as the dryness will just drive me nuts. I made the decision to install a protective style and i happen to see a couple of marley twists on instagram which served as the inspiration i needed.
So whiles prepping my hair for the twists i decided to briefly document how i prep my natural hair before getting an installation. I realized most ladies do not do this and sometimes failing to do so causes more harm than good. This post also doubles as my wash day post.

Here are the steps briefly outlined below:

Wash Hair Day Arsenal:
Shampoo: Creme of nature Sulphate-free Moisture &Shine Shampoo
Deep Conditioner mix: AfroRiri Luxe Detangling Conditioner, Creme of Nature Intensive Conditioning Treatment, Sheabutter Cottage Avocado Oil &  Pure Honey (not pictured here)
Deep Conditioning Tool: Hair Therapy Wrap
Hair & Scalp Butters: AfroRiri Luxe Hair Butter & AfroRiri Luxe Hair and Scalp Conditioner
Hair tools: Wide tooth comb, Hair grips & Spray Bottle from AfroRiri
1. Detangling
I part my hair into four sections. I do a bit of finger detangling and then follow later with a large tooth comb to further detangle. Be sure to file your nails smooth as the rough bits can pull out strands of hair. Depending on how tangled my hair is, I do dry detangling or I will put some water in my spray bottle and slightly mist my hair. This helps to easily detangle. I do this section by section and will divide each of the four sections into about three, twist it and secure with the hair grips or clips.

Hair sectioned, finger detangled and twisted up and held with clips
2. Wash hair in Twists
I have found that washing my hair whiles in twists prevents me from loosing extra hair. My hair is weakest when its wet and i tend to loose some hair even during the wash process after thoroughly detangling. Whiles keeping in the twists i loose less hair and washing is such a breeze. I simply direct the diluted shampoo unto my scalp and give it a good massage. I make sure to thoroughly rinse the twists very well to remove any traces of shampoo and lather.

Applied the shampoo to scalp and gently massaged it. 

Shampoo rinsed out and unraveled one twist to apply deep conditioner mix
3. Deep Conditioning
This is the essential part! I do a protein treatment before i get a protective style installed because during the installation your hair will undergo some sort of stress and the protein treatment helps to strengthen the hair. Simple! I did a mixture this time round and i loved it! (See product list above)

Added my deep conditioner mix

trying for the first time the Hair Therapy Wrap

I also used for the first time the Hair Therapy Wrap i got during the Sankofa Meetup. Lord! Why have i not been using this! A cordless steamer that allowed me to deep condition with some heat and at the same time do other things! If you would like to see a review let me know in the comment section.  I wore the wrap for 15 minutes and the proceeded to rinse the conditioner mix out.

Hair is cooking! Lol! love this Wrap and will be using it more often for my deep conditioning

After the conditioning process

4. Sealing in the Moisture
I allow my hair to air dry for few minutes whiles its still in sections and twisted up. By this time the hair is not soaking wet. I unravel a section of twists and parting with my fingers apply the scalp conditioner to base my scalp and for the rest of my hair apply the hair butter. After i put the hair back into twists again.

Couldn't fully capture how shiny my hair was even for i added the butter
5. Stretching the Hair with thread aka African Threading
This is also the 2nd most crucial part of prepping your hair before installing your protective styles. Oh gosh! I wish i had known this earlier, would have saved me the trouble of going to the salon and having them blow dry the heck out of my hair and loosing chunks of hair. Totally defeats the purpose of protective styling! Threading your hair will not allow it to shrink, gives it the blow dried effect without the damaging heat and allows the stylist to freely part your hair. I'm telling you plus you can almost do any style you so wish because your hair will be near straight.

Getting my hair threaded at the AfroComb Natural Hair Salon
Look at the shrinkage before 
For the threading i simply went to the salon to have it done because i was tired from detangling, washing and deep conditioning. I kept the threading overnight and removed them the next day during the installation.

I know its much easier to get it all done at the salon but there are times you really want to do your own hair. I mean who takes care of and knows your hair better? YOU!

To end this post, i will summarize:
1. Section and detangle
2. Wash in twists
3. Deep Condition
4. Seal in the moisture
5. Stretch out your hair by threading it.

Jumbo Marley Twists
In another post i will talk about different types of protective styling and some do's and dont's. I hope this was helpful although rather long.
How do you prep your hair for protective styling? Do you have any tips to share? Would love to hear them. Also feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

Until the next post,
Love and protect your hair!

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I would love to hear from you, pls feel free to comment, contribute or ask questions xoxo Annette