I miss Grace. It’s not the same not having her free to touch and hang out with. I am aware that I sound crazy but truly I miss having my hair loose. Thing is, I have recently started doing Bikram yoga and I have about 2 more weeks to go of the classes so I am going to try and hold on till Saturday 8 June and then she is coming out!!!!!
Due to my depression of not having her free to hang out with me, I started neglecting the braids. It’s a very bad habit but one I am sure a lot of people are guilty of where they basically forget about their hair whilst it is in a protective style particularly if the style is braids or a weave. I had to check myself and resolve to do better so here are some tips for that I have found useful for maintaining hair in a protective style:
It is really easy to just forget your hair regimen and established routines and just go with the flow. But just because your hair is in braids or a weave does not mean it suddenly does not need moisture – heck no! Grace was crying out for moisture by the time I got back from Rome. Having started Bikram, she’s probably choking from the amount of moisture she is currently encountering in terms of sweat so yeah gone the other way in terms of extremes haha! She doesn’t need moisture now so much as a cleanse which I am coming on to next! I do still spray her every couple of days with my SheaMoisture Moisture Spritzes and I also dab on a bit of SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie every couple of days.
I have definitely fallen off the wagon with this one because I had not cleansed once since I got my braids. Again, given that I’m doing Bikram every blessed day, Grace has probably been crying out for a wash and I have literally just answered her cries! I will try and be better and get back on the weekly wash tip, so there is not so much buildup (product and dirtwise).
As mentioned above, your hair still needs moisture and conditioning despite it being in a protective style, so make sure you keep up your DC treatments. Again, I’ve been pretty remiss with this, but I should be back on track having just DC-ed Grace. I am doing all sorts to get back into her good graces haha!
Continue with your oils regimen.
Once you have sprayed your hair, seal in the moisture with your regular oils. I have been sealing my hair with Moroccan argan oil which has given my braids a nice shiny sheen. Coconut oil and castor oil are also good sealants for Grace in her braided state.
Don’t keep the style/braids for too long.
Don’t be that person with the braids or weave where your hair has grown out so much and you’ve had the style in for so long that where the braid actually starts is a distance from your head showing the growth. On one hand, yay for the growth, we want growth, love growth woo! On the other hand, that’s just manky! Take out the braids or weave, let your hair breathe and then install another protective style in if that’s what you want to do. The last thing you want to do is cause your hair to break and lose all that wonderful growth, especially because the braids will be pulling at the roots and the new growth may not be able to handle the weight of the braid pulling on it.
Generally, when Grace is in braids, I generally keep the braids in for a maximum of 8 weeks, but usually not up to that. As a general recommendation, I would say do not keep braids in for longer than 10 weeks but everyone and every head is different so assess your hair and your growth and then you make the decision on whether the braids or weave have gotstago!
Use the opportunity whilst your hair is in braids to do different styles, experiment with colour and shapes and just have fun. If you’re not very creative like me, then youtube is your best friend. Have a look at different videos and look at what people are doing with their braids. Personally, I definitely need to get more creative with my braids. I have another wedding this Saturday so I hope I will be able to exhibit a new funky style with my braids. Watch this space!
Don’t get too comfortable in the style or use it as a crutch.
Seriously, I am the worst with this. I told you that I literally put Grace in braids and forgot all about her. Yes so I have an extra half an hour in the mornings or before I go out when I don’t need to do anything with the braids and can just go out but where’s the fun in that? And besides, if you are being creative and trying out different styles then you won’t have the extra half hour because you’ll be back doing your hair again. Protective styles, whilst good for your hair and achieving growth, can be extremely bad in terms of consistency of regimens. People (me!) lapse and get lazy, and then slowly, but sometimes surely, start to regress in their hair journey and start to see their natural hair when not in a protective style as a hindrance or a burden. Don’t be that person. Enjoy your hair both in its protected state but also in its loose state too, so don’t get too comfy in that protective style, don’t!
Wrap your hair at night or sleep on a satin pillow case.
This is to avoid drying your hair out even whilst its in its protective style. As mentioned above, you don’t want to lose all your new growth to breakage due to dryness when you take down the style.
Finally, last but not at least:
Miss your hair.
As I said at the start of this post, I miss Grace. I want her back. Whilst I truly appreciate my sister’s efforts putting in these extensions, I miss Grace and I don’t feel like me right now. Maybe it is because I am not a huge fan of extensions. I don’t know. What I do know is that 8 June can’t come fast enough!
Hope these were helpful to someone. Feel free to share your own tips in the comments or drop me a line!