If you are thinking about protective styling with a weave and really want to capitalize your growth, there are a few things you can do that will help your natural hair thrive underneath the weave. The major issue when protective styling is the “set it and forget it” route that many people take because the believe that their hair is being protected. And while that may be the case, protective styling is not a means of forgetting about your natural hair. Instead it is a method to protect your tresses, give them a rest from the day every day tugging and styling, while also giving you the opportunity to have a little fun. Protective styling lets you try different styles, colors, and lengths without making any final decisions on your actual hair. The beauty is when you take down your protective style, your natural hair should be in much better condition than it was when you first installed. That is always the hope, but that is not always the case. Why? Because we don’t always focus on taking care of ways to grow, maintain and retain all that beautiful new growth, especially when it comes to weaves.
Before looking into the 5 ways to grow your natural hair while wearing a weave, check out the 10 weave commandments to keep your real hair healthy. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these crucial vital 10 commandments, dive in further to see how you can help boost the growth of your natural hair and keep it in a healthy state.
5 Ways To Grow Your Natural Hair While Wearing A Weave
1. Cleanse + Oil Scalp: It can be really tricky cleansing your natural hair, especially when you can’t reach your scalp. However it is vital that you continue to cleanse your scalp at least twice a month while protective styling. With a weave it is best to use a modified shampoo mix. I tend to mix my sulfate free shampoo with a bit of water. Use a bottle applicator to increase your reach and make it easier to get into those small to reach places/crevices. You can also use a similar applicator to gently oil your scalp ( do not douse your head in oil after you have cleansed it. That kind of defeats the purpose). Oiling scalp should be partnered with another process to ensure natural hair growth… and that leads us to step #2.
2. Scalp Massages: Again another tricky one when wearing a weave, but scalp massages are a God send when you are wearing a weave. Especially if you’ve got that darn weave itch that you cant reach so you pat the crap out of your head in hopes that it will stop. That’s unfortunately not how it works. Massage your scalp 2-3 times a week, either using your hands or any of those fancy scalp massagers I’ve been seeing pop up all over the place. The purpose of massaging your scalp is two fold. One you are helping to move debris off the scalp and preventing it from clogging your pores. This prevents hair from growing to its full potential. Also by massaging your scalp with a carrier oil (or a nice mix of essential + carrier oils) you are helping to invigorate the scalp and promote growth.
3. Do not braid hair too loose or too tight: This is usually the deal breaker when protective styling with a weave. The foundation of your protective style is everything. If your braids are so tight they are giving you headaches days after you have had the weave installed, that is a definite red flag. If you are seeing white bumps form on the perimeter of your scalp, that is another red flag. You should not sacrifice the health of your hair for any style ever. The same goes for if you think your weave still looks BOMB after 10 weeks of being installed. That is a NO NO! One… your braids have become too lose or begun to hang at this point. This is putting unnecessary tension on your hair. Your protective style should be installed for 4-6 weeks. Let us not forget the dangers of keeping a protective style in too long (Woman Leaves Weave In For 2 Years)
4. Take care of your nape and edges: These two areas are extremely sensitive and must be taken care of. Too often we don’t think about our edges or “kitchen” until it is too late. Alopecia is real and can be permanent if the damage is too far gone. Do not lose your edges, or damage your nape just because you want to make sure your style looks fresh for a longer period of time. Whenever I get a weave or box braids installed I make sure to tell the stylist to leave my edges/nape untouched. I don’t care how “unkempt” the style may appear when it is complete, at least I know that when I remove the weave that my edges will be left intact.
5. Only wear for 4-6 weeks: I don’t want to be redundant but, it is crucial to remind you that you should NOT and I repeat again should NOT be wearing your protective style for more than 6 weeks. Trust me I have pushed my protective style to its limits on several occasions because I didn’t want to go back to taking care of my natural hair, and I felt the style still had some “oomph” left in it. I’ve worn weaves for up to 10 weeks at a time, and always live to regret it. One… your hair needs to breath and being buried for more than 6 weeks causes the hair to start to weaken. It isn’t getting the real TLC it deserves therefore it isn’t going to behave as it normally would. When you do get around to removing the protective style chances are you are going to see more than just shed hair. Damage starts to occur after the 6th week. It may not be right away, and it may not always be the case but you don’t want to start getting in the habit of leaving your protective style in for so long as you are compromising the health of your natural hair.
When I’ve kept protective styles in for about 6 weeks, I notice a great amount of growth and much less shedding after I’ve had it out for a few days. As opposed to when I keep it longer and notice my hair shedding way more than usual for several days. Take it from me, not style is worth losing hair! We protective style to gain and keep our hair!
If you are considering getting a weave this summer as your protective style keep these commandments and tips in mind to have maximum growth and length retention. If you found this helpful don’t forget to share with your friends! You can also follow our dedicated Natural Hair Tips, Tricks + DIY Board on Pinterest below: