5 tips to protect your hair while protective styling

There are lots of people who say that you shouldn't keep a protective style (sew-in) in your head for more than 2 months at a time. This may be true for some, but for me, I believe that you can keep a protective style in longer IF you know how to take care of your hair while doing so.

This is month 2 that I've had my sew-in and I wanted to share with you all my top 5 tips for maintaining your hair under that protective style. 

  • Make sure that you leave out your edges (front, side & back) to prevent breakage. These areas are the most sensitive part of your hair and excessive stress can prevent growth.
  • Get a protective style that matches your hair type/texture as close as possible! If you are a natural and leave out your edges and you install silky straight hair, you will tend to flat iron your natural hair so that it "blends in". Excess heat will cause breakage and minimize growth. Remember the point of a sew-in is to PROTECT your hair from damage.                                                                          

 If you want a specific type of texture that your natural hair doesn't match, try a lace closure (that's what I have), works perfectly!!

  • Moisturize your hair (and new growth as it comes in) with natural oils and/or liquid moisturizers (leave in conditioners are great). Make sure that you use a spray bottle and distribute evenly with your fingers.
  • Wash your hair at least twice a month with a clarifying/hydrating shampoo (Giovanni has a great one). Make sure to take your time and go through each braided section. Make sure that you rinse thoroughly to ensure that your hair is free of shampoo and sit under a hooded dryer (to help minimize the chance of mildew in your natural hair).
  • As you would do with your natural hair, protect your install at night by using a satin bonnet, scarf or pillow case. 

Every one knows their hair and what works for them..... These are things that I do to my hair every night to ensure that my natural hair is taken care of and to preserve the life of my install.  For me, this keeps my hair healthy every time I take down my sew-ins.


My Top 7 Hair Products for moisturized and healthy hair

I have very dry hair and when I started this natural journey, my hair became even drier! Mostly because at the time (1.5 years ago exactly), I was still using products that I used when my hair was relaxed and I *thought* they would still work the same. Well needless to say I was wrong and my hair quickly told me that. 

Fast forward to January 2014, I have found my "go-to" products that work great to keep my hair moisturized, hydrated, shiny and healthy.

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1. Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo. As a natural, it is important for me to use a clarifying shampoo because in-between my washes, I use a lot of products. This clarifying shampoo helps to remove product build up and is also sulfate, laurel and paraben free so it does not strip my hair. What I love most is that it contains certified organic ingredients like Rosemary and Lavendar and after my initial wash, I can feel that my hair is clean but not dry like other shampoos.

2. Shea Moisture, Moisture Retention Shampoo. This shampoo is amazing and my hair absolutely loves it. When I wash my hair with this product, I make sure that I do a section by section cleaning to insure that each curl is getting the moisture that it needs. This product is gentle on my hair, contains oils like coconut and shea butter to hydrate and reduce breakage. My curls are elongated and defined with this shampoo which makes it easy to style.

3. Miss Jessies Leave-In Condish. A leave-in is a MUST for me! It is like the mediator between the wash/deep conditioner and the styling products and this one works perfect. It gives me additional moisture so that I don't have to constantly apply products throughout the week.  It also works as a deep conditioner and helps to eliminate frizz.

4. Miss Jessies Curly Pudding. For stylers, I need a product with a firm hold. What that means is the peak of the product (ex: if you shake it and open the top, the tips will fold back on themselves) will hold and the ridges are be distinct giving you more hold and definition. This curly pudding makes my styles last long and elongates my hair.

5. Miss Jessies Super Sweetback Treatment. I tried this product when I first went natural and I am glad that I revisited it. I use this deep conditioner EVERY TIME I wash my hair and sit under the steamer for about 30 minutes. It adds more moisture to my hair from the shampoo process and makes sure that my curls are elongated and after I wash it out, I can finger comb my hair. Love it!

6. Design Essentials Curl Enhancing Mousse. When even I do wet styling (braid out or twist out) I use this mousse because it defines, elongates and reduces frizz for my curls. It dries quickly and leaves my hair bouncy and soft.... No crunch!

7. Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel. I love this product for my wash and goes. After I shampoo and condition, I will apply a little of the gel to small sections of my hair and finger comb and it will really bring out my curl pattern. This product does not flake or make my hair hard or crunchy.


It is important to make sure that you are using a really good shampoo, conditioner (deep and leave in) because this is the most important step of the process. It sets the tone for how your style will hold up and your hair will look/feel.

What are your "go-to" products?