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Congratulations, you’re a hair pro! Well, not quite. But by the end of this article we’re hoping that with our help your stylist will think you’ve been to one. How you install, upkeep, and remove your protective style is critical for hair health and longevity. So do yourself and your stylist a favor and jot down our favorite tips for protective styling prep.


Shampoo like a Pro


Dirt, excess product, or any sort of buildup are a big no-no when it comes to protective styling. Because your hair is going to be away for an extended period of time, you want to ensure it’s in the best possible condition. To make sure your hair is ready to be put away, look for ingredients that will hold it over until you see it again. Hydrating ingredients that soften and moisturize the hair, in many cases, will also prevent breakage and protein loss because of the vitamins they provide. Before going into a protective style, always assess the condition of your hair and look for products with suitable ingredients for your hair type and needs. 


Up Your Conditioning Game

Deep conditioning your hair should be a regular part of your hair care regimen, especially if you have chronically dry hair. However, that doesn’t mean a deep conditioner is necessary every wash day. Instead of layering on heavy products one after the other, try locking in your moisture with a high quality oil that fits your hair type. Avocado, coconut oil, or argan are all good places to start nurturing your scalp and hair strands 1-2 weeks before your next install. 

Dust Those Ends

If your hair has become unusually frizzy,  detangling is difficult, or your ends appear thinner than the rest of your hair, throwing your hair into a protective style shouldn’t be used as a catch all remedy. Unhealthy ends will not be cured by tucking them away, and may even have the opposite effect of any progress you’re hoping to see. So, don’t be afraid to trim a little off.


Oil Your Hair and Scalp 


Contrary to popular belief, oiling your scalp isn’t only for promoting hair growth or locking in moisture. If you’re not on a consistent wash schedule or misting your hair regularly, it’s likely that your hair isn’t getting all the moisture it craves. Many think that oil is complementary to wash day, or that it’s only effective when combined with other ingredients in a fully fledged product. That’s not necessarily true. Oil alone can be a great nourishing agent for your hair and scalp when used regularly. Oils like coconut and olive oil, as well as the oils derived from Ucuuba butter have all been documented to penetrate the hair shaft, activating and protecting any moisture found within the hair.

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