Tips to undo your protective style without damaging your hair

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Darling stylists share some tips on the process of taking down your protective hairstyle without damaging your own hair… 

Before taking down your braids

  • Spritz the braids with some warm water. Then follow up with your favourite product which will allow your hair to feel slippery so that your braids come off easily
  • Start from the bottom upwards. If your braids are much longer than your natural hair you can cheat by cutting the bottoms, but still leave enough space to where your natural hair ends, keeping in mind your natural hair is now stretched and has probably grown. Simply trim the ends and use a comb to unravel the first few sections of the braid. Apply more detangling spray to your fingertips and slowly unravel the braids.
  • Once you have unraveled the braids to the root, you will be able to slowly remove the extensions and feel your hair breathe  

After taking down the braids

  • Use a detangle spray on the braids if the hair has developed knots and leave it on the hair for 10 minutes
  • Take your time and use your fingers to split tangled hair
  • Finger comb your hair as much as possible before using a wide tooth comb
  • Comb your hair from the tip to the root
  • Wash the hair using a hydrating shampoo and then condition
  • Invest in a hydrating scalp treatment to nourish the hair and scalp

How long should I wait for my next hair style?

  • Two weeks is a recommended waiting period to ensure that the hair has a good ‘breather, that’s if the scalp did not experience any scalp irritation during the process of taking down your braids
  • Four weeks is recommended if you experienced breakage of the hair during the process of taking down your braids.
  • You can only resume braiding when your hair has fully recovered and is in a healthy state. This can happen only if your hair and scalp are given proper attention by cleansing, conditioning and nourishing it

How long should I wear a protective hairstyle for?

  • Each style has different characteristics. Some styles last longer, while others don’t for example, you can leave Braids and Twists styles in for up to 8 weeks.
  • During this time your own hair and scalp health remains a priority.
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