A protective style can be a fantastic way to protect your afro hair from chemicals and environmental damage. Even more, these styles can make it easier to keep your natural hair hydrated for longer, reducing the time you spend caring for it.
However, protective styles such as braids, high ponytails, and extensions can cause too much tension on your scalp and hairline if it is too tight. Often, braids are too tight as the stylist wants to make this style , which would seem to be a good value for money.
In the long term, this tension takes a toll on your hairline and scalp by resulting in excessive shedding, breakage, an itchy scalp, loss of your edges, or severe hair loss such as traction alopecia. Too much tension on your scalp can be excruciating for days and result in bumps near your hairline. If you’ve fallen victim to protective hairstyles damaging your scalp and hairline, here are five ways to minimise the tension in those areas.
Use Warm Water To Loosen These Tight Hairstyles
Warm water is good for tension in your body and scalp. Try running your afro hair under warm water in the shower to loosen tight braids. Wetting a cloth with lukewarm water and then applying it to your scalp could also help. Once this process is finished, dry your natural hair using a microfibre towel.
Do Not Wear Your Afro Hairstyle Up
When you opt for a braided protective style, putting your afro hair into a pineapple updo can be tempting, especially if you want your braids away from your face. Unfortunately, putting fresh braids into an updo can put even more tension on your scalp and its associated hairline. So, consider leaving your hair down until your roots have loosened and are less problematic to your scalp.
Choose The Right Products to Hydrate Your Scalp And Prevent Inflammation
To soothe and repair the scalp and your hairline, opt for water-based, moisturising products that can simultaneously hydrate your protective style. For instance, our Hydration Shampoo With Manuka Honey can loosen braids or extensions clean, nourish and keep your style frizz-free. Next, our Moisture-Rich Conditioner With Manuka Honey And Avocado can build on the moisturising nature of gentle, sulphate-free shampoo by treating dry scalps as well as regrowing and thinning natural hair through its hydrating properties. Finally, use a small amount of our Leave-In Conditioner With Manuka Honey & Avocado Oil to open up the hair follicles so they can receive moisture and regenerate using our lightweight mixture.
If you want to hydrate your high manipulation protective styles in between washes, you could also opt for our Curl Elongating Gel With Flaxseed Oil & Rosewater. In addition to moisturising your natural hair and releasing the tension, flaxseed oil and rosewater also contain anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which can repair the scalp as well as your hairline, especially if you have bumps and inflamed skin.
Treat Yourself To A Scalp Massage
A scalp massage should not only be reserved for a spa day out. You can learn how to massage your scalp to help increase blood circulation, reducing tension from tighter protective styles. Start by taking a medium-sized amount of our Curling Crème With Coconut & Jamaican Black Castor Oils onto your fingertips and gently massage this mixture onto your scalp for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove Your Current Tight Hairstyle
If the pain becomes too much to bear, consider removing the tight protective style. While it might be upsetting to do this after spending a lot of money on this process, having a healthier scalp and hairline should be more of a priority. Additionally, the next time you want to wear protective styles like braids or Loc extensions, ask your stylist to be gentle and not use a lot of tension when styling your afro hair this way. If a stylist cannot do this for you, they are not the right stylist for your needs
Your scalp or your hairline should not need to suffer to get afro hair that looks good. However, as tension on your scalp and afro hair can lead to more severe issues, it is best to start reducing the stress on your scalp as soon as possible. If the damage is severe, go beyond our tips in this article and seek professional help from a dermatologist or trichologist.