The most protective styles are those that cover your scalp. For example, when choosing a style based on lines (cornrows), go for the style that packs lines closely together and leave no part of the scalp showing rather than lines that are set widely apart that expose the scalp and hair roots to the elements.
The tension of braiding hair can cause stress to hair roots and breakage of hair if not braided by a hair care expert.
Cornrows -Unfortunately these lines do not generally stay neat for more than a couple of weeks even with protection. They are great style option when created by an expert. Always moisten with your choice of spray every morning and seal in the moisture with a light oil. Wear a scarf or stylish hats/ head gear to extend the wear of the hairdo but you will likely have to re-style within two weeks.
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Twists and braids -Do not keep braids in your hair for more than two months – at three months they begin to form dreadlocks which are in effect permanent knots. Hair is more difficult to undo once these knots begin to set in and you will lose a lot of hair due to breakage as you try to remove these knots when you eventually take the braids out – not to mention the terrible damage to your hair and scalp from pulling the knots out! While your hair is in braids, wash/ cleanse and condition your hair as you would if your hair were open; do not give your hair less care while it is in braids.
Removing braids – especially the tiny little braids – will ALWAYS cause breakage. Take ultimate care when undoing smaller braids. Make time! Only braid or undo your hair when you have adequate time. Never rush as you will most likely end up with damage.