Caring for natural hair between protective styles

So, I got tired of my “winter hair” and took out the braids two weeks ago. I had the protective style for about three months and it was time for a change. I’ll be doing another protective style some time this month to safeguard my twa against these harsh Edmonton weather. I’m thinking of doing two-strand marley twists with kinky extension and that should last me until the end of spring. But for now, I’m taking care of my hair as I normally do until I sport my next protective style.  Here’s my regimen!

1.    Taking out the extensions/braids

My schedule can be a bit hectic so I really have to plan well whenever it’s time to take out my protective style. I like to have enough time to be able to finish taking out all the braids in one sitting. Some people like to take out theirs here and there just like other people like to put in their braids over a couple of days, doing small sections at a time. That doesn’t work for me so I allocate a time, surround myself with goodies and treats, and watch senseless entertainment while I take out my braids.

2.    Detangling and removing dirt build up

If you have natural hair and have done braids, you’ll notice there can be dirt build up at the base of each hair strand after you take out the braids. Since I haven’t combed everything together, each of the hair strands from the braids are still intact. I go through each one and remove the dirt build from its base. I then section my hair and start combing through to detangle.

3.    Clarifying and shampooing

I like to do steps 1 and 2 in one sitting, but I sometimes do step 3 later on if I have a lot of errands and things to do or the next day if I do steps 1 and 2 at night. To clarify my hair, I mix: ¼ cup of baking soda and a ¼ cup of shampoo in 1 cup of water. I apply the mixture to my hair and wash it out after about 7-10 minutes.

4.    Deep conditioning

I apply a homemade deep conditioning mixture while my hair is still damp. I have different all natural, homemade deep conditioning remedies I really like. Because I wanted to detangle my hair a bit more and retain length, I used: banana, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.  The banana and apple cider vinegar made sure my hair doesn’t shrink too much, which it normally does at 70% shrinkage. I use olive oil to penetrate the hair well and keep it moist. I blend all these ingredients together and apply to my hair. I either wash it out after 30-45 or wrap up my hair nicely and go on about my day and then wash it out later.  I sometimes leave in my deep conditioning over night if I use all oils like shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil and so on.

5.    Detangling some more…and possibly trimming

Two-strand twists are the only protective styles I like, and I normally use either kinky marley brads or Xpression braiding extensions. I keep my braids nice and tidy and take care of my hair as I usually do that my braids actually last awhile, up to 3 three months. I like to trim my ends after I take out the braids. I trim at least twice a year.

6.    Moisturizing and styling

To moisturize my hair after steps 1-5, I make a thick paste using: olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, vitamin e oil, grape seed oil, and glycerin. I section my hair in small amounts and apply this paste, especially to my ends. Then I style and go on about my day or do large twists for bed.

My hair is currently in a medium-size two-strand twists. On a daily basis until I do my next protective style, I put 1 table spoon of the paste in a spray container and add 1 cup of water. I make sure the mixture is at least lukewarm and I use it to spray my hair at least once a day to keep it moist. I use the paste twice a week to feed my hair the nutrients it needs.

This is the regimen I follow for 3-4 weeks between protective styles, shampooing as I normally do along the way. I like to do an oil-base deep conditioning a day or two before I put in the next protective style.

Caring for natural hair isn’t easy. But you can make it work if you have a great regimen that works for your schedule and gets you the results you want…all while still having fun throughout your hair journey!

Happy Sunday!

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~ by omonaij on March 9, 2014.

10 Responses to “Caring for natural hair between protective styles”

  1. The ACV helps with shrinkage? First time I’m hearing about this. I think I’ll try it sometime 🙂

    • It works for me!!! I have a type 4 hair and it shrinks A LOT. I noticed when I use water mixed with a bit amount of ACV to rinse my hair after clarifying, my hair is looser, fluffier and doesn’t shrink as much. When I do a normal wash and go, my hair looks only about an inch long (but is actually 6 inches long when stretched). When I rinse with ACV, my hair looks up to 5 inches long. Banana is another natural ingredient that can also minimize shrinkage. Try the two and let me know how they work for you.

      Double 🙂

      • Thanks a lot! I will remember to tag you with my results when I do try! Maybe you could do a post about how you rock your Wash & Go? I’ve only mostly seen it on curlier hair types, and I’m a little curious. Please and thanks in advance! 🙂

      • Sure, I’ll do a Wash & Go post when I take out my current protective style (check out my Mar.23 post for dets). I could do the Wash & Go post now but I like to write my hair posts at the time I actually do the hair.

  2. […] natural, chemical-free products in my hair. Best of all, I got rid of my flat iron! Now I have a regimen I follow to make sure my extremely dry, coarse hair gets what it needs: hydration, nutrients, a good trim, […]

  3. Hello,
    Do you know where I can marley braids here in edmonton? Thank you

    • Sorry, what would you like with Marley Braids? Are you looking to buy some or are you looking for a place where you can get your hair done Marley Braids style?

      • oh sorry i meant i would like to know where i can get the marley braids style.

      • Oh I see. You can buy all kinds of hair products at Images & Shades and they have a few locations throughout the city. Another place I get my Marley braids from is Nasam Hair Fashion, it’s located on the corner of 137 ave and Fort Rd, on the side of Aqua(something) restaurant and the pool hall, across the street from Royal Bank. You can search for those two places online to find their locations. Hope that helps.

      • To get your hair done, try Ebony & Ivory on 15129 Stony Plain Road, Hair Flaire on 4516 118 Ave, or Moonlight Beauty Salon. I’ve been to the first two places and it wasn’t a good experience so I just go to the lady at Moonlight now. You’d need to call her (780.453.2367) because she relocated about 2 years ago but it still shows the old address on the internet. Good luck.

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