Now Lifestylers, I think you know by now that we live for wigs and bundles! Why? Because they provide variety, vacation, refreshment, and slay — all at the lay of a lace. While installs allow you to be all that can you can be, it’s important to remember that the hair underneath the extensions needs just as much TLC as your unit does, if not more.
We wanted to tackle something which many women fail to give its deserved attention — the status of their natural hair when it’s not visible. Protective styling is beneficial in that it reduces the amount that you’re pulling, stretching and manipulating your hairs, it protects your coils, and ends from harsh heat or cold, and encourages uninterrupted growth. Despite these benefits, many women still experience hair loss, dryness and breakage during a time that is supposed to be protective of your tresses.
Make Sure Your Scalp is Clean
It’s essential to keep your natural hair and your scalp clean and moisturized during this time.One useful thing to do prior to braiding your hair is to make sure it is clarified – a wash can go a long way. Without it, your scalp may become dry and itchy under your wig, leaving an environment for dirt to fester. Sis we don’t need you doing the head pat all week. Along the way, don’t be afraid to alleviate an itchy scalp by utilizing oils, moisturizers and treatments of your choice. Droppers are particularly handy here, as they can reach the spaces between each braid.
Some things you can do to stay moisturized is to do a deep condition, right before you protective style. This will treat your hair and make it easier to manage as you prep for an install. To moisturize after your install I like to use some good ol’ coconut oil in a bottle with a nozzle. Get inbetween those wefts and apply the oil directly to your scalp, but be careful not to get any oil on your bundles as this can weight them down (no one likes a greasy weave). While wearing wigs be sure to use an ample amount of your favorite moisturizer on your own hair weekly, this is essential because I found that wig caps have a tendency to remove moisture from your hair.
Mind Those Edges
Another sensitive area for women are their edges and the nape of the neck. Some people use oil where their wig clips will be, while others leave a bit of wiggle room on their edge-line to avoid the lace laying right on top of it. That choice is yours but don’t forget about those delicate little things! Braids that are too tight, or caps that create too much tension can also result in breakage so listen to any discomfort!
Air it Out Sis!
Another tip? Let that thing breathe! Its recommended to continue washing and moisturizing your natural hair weekly, if your install allows – allowing it some air to – be – is recommended too! Particularly if your wig isn’t sewn down, take advantage of the evenings as an opportunity to remove your unit and let your scalp get some fresh air.
Ladies remember, a protective style can’t do any protecting if your hair isn’t being nourished during the hiatus. Your tresses will thank you later!