I hope your week has gone swimmingly, and that your weekend will be bright and easy. I'm supposed to be getting Crochet braids done today (it's my second time this year - the first time was here). I've been over-manipulating my natural hair a lot lately, and I think it needs to be in a protective style for a considerable amount of time - at least 2 to 3 weeks.
Of course, while your hair is hidden in a protective style (like crochet braids, or sew in weaves), it can be very easy to forget to stop caring for your natural hair and scalp. This of course will lead to product buildup, dirty and/or dry hair and scalp, which can lead to dandruff, itching, breakage, and more. So it is imperative that you know how to properly care for your natural hair while it's hidden in a long term protective style.
Different people have different ways in which they take care of their natural hair in this kind of protective style. There is no ONE way to do it. You may choose to use diluted shampoo or cowash only or ACV. It's your choice. However you cleanse your natural hair, is what you can apply here.
- Put whichever cleansing product or mix you typically use, in an applicator bottle. This is the bottle with a tip, that you can use to easily apply products to your scalp. You can use diluted shampoo, or a clarifying conditioner, or an ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) mix.
- Using the applicator bottle with your chosen product, apply it throughout your scalp, in between the cornrows.
- Spray some water (if your cleanser mix doesn't include it) onto your scalp.
- Use the pads of your fingers to gently massage the product in, and get some cleansing action going.
- When your hair is sufficiently clean, rinse off thoroughly. Ideally the suds from washing your scalp will run down your crochet braids or sew in weave. Alternately, you can choose to wash or cowash your braids or weave (read the instructions of your hair brand to confirm IF it's recommended).
- When your scalp/hair is damp, use your applicator bottle to apply a mix of little leave-in conditioner and your choice of oil(s). You may finish up with a light cream or butter. Beware of product buildup though, so don't overdo it.
- If you don't want to get your entire head yet, you can clean your scalp and hair with a dry shampoo, or a mix of ACV and water (or even use witch hazel).
- Using cotton wool, dip it in your mixture (or better yet, apply the cleanser to the cotton ball using an applicator bottle).
- Gently use the cotton wool and rub your scalp in between the cornrows.
- Afterwards, make sure to apply your leave-in and oils (tea tree or peppermint oil is good if your scalp is itchy).
And voila! You can do this weekly or biweekly, but be sure to keep your hair moisturized in between washings.
Have a nice weekend :)