FTC: This post is not sponsored but does contain affiliate links All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m a big protective styler… I’ll admit that. It isn’t because I’m too lazy to do my hair. It’s because I just love the freedom of changing my hair all of the time with out damaging my actual hair. Protective styling can be fun, refreshing and help give your hair a much needed break. This means that your hair will retain more length if you protective style properly.


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I’ve had crochet box braids in for the last four weeks and in order to keep it looking fresh for that entire time I didn’t have to do a lot of major up keep. There are three simple steps I used to refresh my protective style whenever I felt it started to look a little “old. These steps won’t take up much of your day which is an added bonus!

steps to refresh your protective style

3 Simple Steps To Refresh Your Protective Style

1. Sleep with a head scarf or bonnet (every night): I know the theory/thinking is when you are protective styling you no longer need to follow your nightly hair regimen. That is slightly true, with a bit of non truth in there (huh!). Well… you may not have to follow your full natural hair regimen while you are protective styling but there is still one thing you definitely should still be doing. You should 100% still sleep with your head scarf or silk bonnet on. If your protective style makes it almost impossible to put on a scarf/bonnet (my box braids or faux locs always cause a bit of an issue) then invest in some satin pillowcases. You can get them for a fairly affordable price on Amazon and 2day delivery with PRIME will have you properly protective styling in no time.

The best part is when those fly aways and unruly hair strands start acting up, a hair tie and a good nights rest will put them to bed! That… and some edge control and your protective style will back in the game and you will proceed to slay.

2. Spritz or Wash Your Hair (1-2 times a week): Now … this step is on an as needed basis as everyone’s hair is different. You want to keep your tresses moisturized underneath your protective style. Different protective styles allow for different levels of access to your scalp and your strands. With my crochet box braids I had full access to my scalp and my braids. For spritzing purposes I used Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave In Conditioner on my scalp and on my braids. You can also use water with aloe vera juice if you’d like to take a DIY route. Whatever you choose to use make sure it is light as you don’t want to cause build up under your protective style.

Spritzing the hair helps to keep it moisturized which promotes growth and length retention when you take down your style. Besides spritzing, you can also wash your hair/protective style (depending on what it is). If you have crochet braids that are not box braids or faux locs… I don’t suggest washing your hair the traditional route. Instead you can use dry shampoo to cleanse your scalp. I recommend “washing your hair” once every two weeks. Especially if you are keeping the protective style in longer than four weeks. If you want to completely forego the washing route… spritzing with water/aloe vera juice and sealing that moisture in with the Alikay Naturals leave in conditioner is your best bet!

You can also get 15% off of all your Alikay Naturals purchases!! (We’re new Alikay Naturals ambassadors… you’re welcome!) 

refreshing your protective style

Key Ingredients:Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(Aloe Vera Juice) , Cetearyl Alcohol(Coconut derived), Stearalkonium Chloride(Coconut derived), Silk Amino Acids(Natural protein), Vegetable Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Cymbopogon Flexosus ( Lemongrass) Oil Extract, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (Natural Detangling Agent), Sorbic Acid(Food Grade Preservative), Fragrance (Parfum), Color Additives, Botanical Blend

3. Oil Your Scalp (1-2 times a week): This is my fave part while protective styling. Giving my scalp the TLC that I always tend to forget or never have time for after spending time washing and twisting my hair. Choose your favorite oil (make sure it is light- I usually go with Avocado or Jojoba) and massage your scalp 1-2 times a week. If you are prone to oily scalp then 1-2 times every other week should suffice as you don’t want to have an oil slick of buildup. Make sure you massage the scalp in circular motions as you apply the oil. (don’t scratch or rub too harshly). This will increase blood flow and help with the growth and retention of your hair.

BONUS: Apply head ties, head scarves or hair accessory to refresh your hair when you’ve only got a few weeks left wearing it. This way it’ll look like you’re giving the hair a bit of jazzing up and you will still get “oh my god your hair is so cute” compliments even at week 5 or 6.

What methods do you use to help keep your hair flourishing and stay refreshed as you protective style? Share your thoughts with us below.