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Helpful Tips for Protective Styles

Because I love us for real, I’ve compiled a short list of the best ways to address protective style installation. Enjoy!


The internet is overrun with "information" about Black Hair and protective styling. What's unfortunate is that most bloggers & YouTubers have experience with one type of hair - THEIR OWN. This is especially concerning to me as a natural hair expert for two reasons:

  • Y’all are wasting money and energy using products that will never work for YOUR hair.

  • YouTube University can and does lead to all kinds of damage; heat damage, stunted growth, breakage. The list goes on and on!

But don't worry, Super Dope Hair is here to help. We've worked with literally hundreds of different hair types. Not just curl patterns, but varying levels of porosity, color treated hair, heat damaged hair and so on. This experience, combined with our commitment to continuous learning about the hair and scalp of Black Women, helps to inform our product formulations and the hair care recommendations we offer in our customized Hair Plans. I've compiled a list of best practices for maintaining your natural hair while wearing protective styles. These tips work well for all hair types. Lmk if you have any questions in the comments!


  1. Your local African braid shop is NOT the place to go for hair care. I’ll leave it at that because I don’t talk about my family in mixed company.

  2. Steam your hair before installation. Steaming your hair & scalp increases blood flow to your hair follicles. This practice also gently lifts the hair cuticle and allows the products you use to penetrate the hair shaft more deeply, which encourages moisture retention & healthy growth. The more moisture your hair is able to retain, the better lubricated your hair will be. This is especially important while wearing protective styles.

  3. Choose individual twist styles if you have thinning or damaged hair. Opt for twists instead of braids because they don’t exert less tension and thus, less risk for breakage. This does not mean that your hair is guaranteed to break with braids. It means that we’re taking it easy on your mane, and making decisions that will help improve your hair in the future.

  4. Keep your scalp clean and moisturized. Quiet as it's kept, oils alone do not moisturize your hair or scalp. In fact, lacing your scalp with oils can lead to clogged pores & buildup. If you notice, when you apply oil to your dry hair, it sits on top of your strands - coating & covering- never moisturizing because it cannot be absorbed by your hair alone. Moisturizing your hair is the process by which you nourish both your scalp and your strands to promote healthy growth and decrease breakage. Use our Braid Booster system for a clean, moisturized, and healthy scalp.

  5. Avoid excessive tugging and pulling. Y'all should have your fill of pandemic babies by now, so...just take it easy ok? It's all fun and games until your edges are pleading for their life. Avoid excessive high ponytails and be gentle with the low ones.


I hope this helps! I love y'all fr. xoxo

-SuperDopeKarmen