Published on:

How To Prep Your Hair For Protective Styling


Protective styling is a great way to give your hair an extra boost of nourishment while keeping it healthy and looking good. It's important that you properly prepare your hair before protective styling so that you can get the most out of the style, no matter what type of look or hairstyle you're trying to achieve. In this article, we'll go over some key steps for prepping your hair before protective styling so you can make sure it looks its best!

The first step to preparing your hair is to thoroughly cleanse and condition it. This will help remove any product buildup and dirt that has accumulated on the scalp and strands over time. Use a mild shampoo and conditioner suitable for your particular hair type; if necessary, seek advice from your stylist about which products are right for you. After washing, use a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to ensure all tangles have been removed from the hair shafts prior to protective styling.

Table of Contents

Cleanse And Condition

Your hair is like a garden that needs regular care and attention to keep it looking fresh. To get your hair prepared for protective styling, you'll need to cleanse and condition properly. This will reduce breakage and help ensure your style looks as beautiful as it should.

Start by sectioning off the top half of your head with a comb or brush, then wash with a gentle shampoo. Depending on the length of your hair, you may want to use two different cleansers -- one specifically formulated for color-treated strands at the ends and another designed to remove buildup from the scalp area. Rinse each section thoroughly after lathering up before moving onto the next one.

After washing, apply conditioner throughout your hair focusing mainly on mid-lengths down to the tips. Leave it in for 3-5 minutes so all those nourishing ingredients have time to penetrate into every strand before rinsing out completely with cool water. Doing this regularly will make sure your tresses are optimally hydrated, which is essential when protecting them against environmental damage caused by heat styling tools or harsh weather conditions.

Detangle Hair

When prepping your hair for protective styling, it is important to start with a detangling session. There are various methods you can use to achieve this; however, the most effective way is to begin from the ends and work your way up. For best results, make sure to use a wide-tooth comb or denman brush when detangling. These tools have specific bristles that allow them to move through tangles without causing damage.

To start, section your hair into four parts: front left, front right, back left, and back right. Start at the bottom of each section with your chosen tool and carefully remove any knots or tangles before moving onto the next part of the strand. Once all sections have been thoroughly detangled, gently brush throughout until all strands are tangle free.

It's also essential to use quality leave-in conditioners while detangling as they help soften knots while providing nourishment to keep your curls healthy and strong. Make sure you evenly distribute product throughout every layer of your scalp to ensure optimal hydration and protection against breakage prior to protective styling.

Moisturize And Seal

When it comes to prepping your hair for protective styling, moisturizing and sealing is an essential step. Studies have shown that over 95% of women prep their hair before protecting it with styles like braids or wigs. To ensure you get the best results from this important process, here are some tips on how to properly moisturize and seal.

Start by deep conditioning your strands with a product designed specifically for use prior to any type of protective style. Pre-pooing helps protect the cuticle layer of each strand, allowing them to retain moisture throughout the duration of the protective style. Once conditioned, apply a light oil based product to help lock in hydration while also providing shine. Pay special attention to areas such as the scalp and ends which tend to be more prone to drying out.

Apply a leave-in conditioner next - one formulated without ingredients that can potentially dry out the hair like alcohols or sulfates - then finish off with a thick cream or butter based product that will provide additional protection against environmental elements such as cold temperatures or windy days. Remember, always keep your ends tucked away when sporting any type of updo or hairstyle so they stay protected and healthy! With these few easy steps, you'll be well on your way towards achieving beautiful tresses all year round.

Apply Heat Protectant

Heat protectant is a must when it comes to protecting your hair from heat damage caused by blow drying. It not only helps keep your strands healthy, but can also help you achieve the desired style with less effort and time spent styling. To apply the product properly, start by spraying it onto damp or towel-dried hair about six inches away from the scalp. Use a comb to evenly distribute the product throughout all of your strands, making sure not to miss any sections. Once you have done this, go ahead and begin blow drying as normal.

It's important that you focus on one section at a time while blow drying so as not to create too much tension in one area and cause breakage or heat damage. Start out at low heat settings until your hair has become dry enough for styling. You can then move up to higher temperatures if needed to get the look you want. Make sure that the nozzle stays focused on just one section of your hair at once rather than flipping around everywhere; this will prevent over-exposure of certain areas which could lead to heat damage down the line.

When finished blow drying, use cold air setting (if available) on each section as a final step before moving on - this will help seal in moisture and provide an added layer of protection against damaging effects of hot air styling tools. With these steps implemented into your routine, you'll be able to enjoy healthy looking locks without worrying about compromising their health!

Style As Desired

Once you have chosen a protective style, it's time to make sure that your hair is prepped for the look. Start out by selecting products that will help keep your natural hair healthy while in the protective style. Consider using leave-in conditioners and oils to ensure that all of your strands are hydrated and fully nourished while they're away from view.

You can also accessorize with clips, headbands, and other decorative items to improve the aesthetic of your look. This can be especially beneficial if you plan on keeping the same hairstyle for an extended period of time—adding accessories changes up the appearance without having to take down the style itself.

When styling as desired, remember not to pull too tightly or use heat when setting your hair into place. Doing so may cause undue stress on delicate roots and breakage over long-term wear. Instead opt for gentler methods such as braidouts or twistouts which provide a more flexible hold without compromising health of your tresses. Taking these steps now helps guarantee healthier looking hair once it's time remove the protective style!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Cleanse And Condition My Hair For Protective Styling?

When it comes to protective styling, deep cleansing and scalp stimulation are essential for optimal hair health. Deep cleansing should be done every 2-4 weeks depending on your individual needs; however, a gentle conditioner can also be used in between deep cleanses to keep the scalp clean. Additionally, using a stimulating treatment such as an exfoliating scrub or massaging brush can help promote blood flow and increase the effectiveness of deep cleansing shampoo. By incorporating these practices into your routine you will ensure that your hair is properly prepped for protective styling.

What Type Of Heat Protectant Should I Use?

When it comes to heat protectant, product selection is key. When applying any type of heat styling tools like flat irons or curling wands, you should always use a good quality heat protection product to guard your hair from thermal damage. Look for products that include ingredients such as avocado oil, argan oil and shea butter which provide additional nourishment and help keep the strands looking healthy and shiny. Make sure to read the label carefully so that you can choose the best product for your specific hair needs.

Is It Necessary To Detangle My Hair Before Protective Styling?

Deep conditioning your hair before protective styling is like giving it a warm hug - it's necessary to ensure your locks stay healthy and strong. A weekly deep conditioner should be applied, especially if you have split ends or prone to breakage. This helps prevent further damage while locking in moisture so that the style will last longer. Don't forget to detangle as well; this will help reduce any knots which can cause more breakage when wearing protective styles such as braids or twists!

How Do I Know When My Hair Is Sufficiently Moisturized And Sealed?

When prepping your hair for protective styling, it's important to ensure that your strands are sufficiently moisturized and sealed. Deep conditioning is a great way to do this; when you've finished the process, be sure to check for split ends or any other signs of dryness before moving on with styling. If necessary, add an extra layer of lightweight oil or butter to hydrate and seal the moisture in. This will help protect your hair from damage while keeping it healthy over time.

What Is The Best Way To Make Sure My Protective Style Stays In Place?

Whether you're rocking a braid-out, twist out or braided style, it is important to make sure your protective style stays in place. The best way to ensure this happens is by prepping the hair beforehand with proper moisturizing and sealing. This includes using products that are light enough for daily use but also provide adequate moisture throughout the day. Additionally, applying a good hold hairspray after styling will help keep flyaways at bay while giving you long-lasting results. All of these steps combined will give you the perfect foundation for any protective style you choose!


Protective styling is an excellent way to keep your hair healthy and looking its best. With a few simple steps, you can make sure that your protective style lasts longer and looks great! First, cleanse and condition regularly so that the scalp remains free of buildup. Second, use a heat protectant before applying any hot tools for styling. Third, detangle the hair thoroughly before beginning with the protective style. Fourth, moisturize and seal your hair properly afterward so it stays soft and hydrated throughout wear. Finally, secure your protective style firmly for maximum hold - I recommend using bobby pins or clips for extra security! Now enjoy rocking those gorgeous styles!