How to take care of your hair in Braids

Linda Hanson (Hair APT)
4 min readApr 13, 2022


A protective style gives you a break from the daily manipulation of your hair.

However, this does not mean, you will abandon your hair in your style.

If you abandon your hair in your styles, then be ready for breakage.

I cannot say exactly what you should do while you are on a protective style because there are a lot of variables. These variables could include

  1. Type of style
  2. How long you are carrying the style.
  3. Are you using extensions are not?
  4. What hair issue are you having?

To properly guide you, I will tell you what the internet says you should do and what I do.

This will help you decide what works for you and the rules you should break.

Note: Whatever you see here applies only to braids, locs and twists

What the internet says you should do for your daily/weekly routine

  1. Spray water on your scalp and the full length of your hair in the protective style.
  2. Then oil your scalp and hair.
  3. Massage after moisturizing.
  4. You can do this daily or every other day (i.e 2–3 days a week) or once a week.
  5. Use a bonnet or a satin/silk pillowcase to sleep at night. You can also use a satin/silk scarf .

What I do not do

  • I do not spray water on my scalp daily because I have an itchy scalp and I am not ready to wash weekly.
  • Since I also have low porosity hair, Moisturizing daily means I will get product buildup faster and my scalp will itch. I only moisturize properly on wash days.
  • I only oil my scalp on wash days. I don’t oil again till the next wash day because my scalp itches and flakes when I use oils regularly on my scalp.

What I do

  1. Once a week or biweekly, I spray water or a liquid leave in conditioner on the full length of my natural hair in the style.
  2. I massage my scalp at least 3 times a week.
  3. At night, I use satin bonnets to protect my hair. On most days, I tie my satin material on my pillow. This option was a DIY I came up with since I couldn’t get a silk pillowcase yet.

My protective styles do not exceed 6 weeks. Currently, that’s the range my scalp can go without itching.

However, if I will exceed 6 weeks (exams period) the highest I go, is 8 weeks.

What the internet says you should do when your scalp itches in a protective style.
If you are not ready to take down up your style, you can do any of the following.

Method 1

  1. Apply the shampoo to the scalp. Use your hands or scalp massager to massage dirt off your scalp. Proceed to rinse off using enough water.
  2. Apply your deep conditioner on where your natural hair starts and stops in the style. Don’t put it on your scalp. Sit for 30mins then rinse off. (This step is optional depending on how long you intend to carry the style after the wash).
  3. Dry off excess water from the extension.
  4. Apply your leave in conditioner and oil on the full length of your natural hair in the style.
  5. If your scalp doesn’t itch when you apply oil, then oil your scalp.

Method 2.

  1. If you don’t like getting wet you can use baby wipes with an Anti-itch scalp spray to clean your scalp.
  2. When you are done, spray water and massage your scalp.
  3. Both methods will only provide temporary relief as you cannot effectively clean the parts that are braided. This relief usually lasts for a week.

What I do when my scalp itches in a protective style

When my scalp itches or gets dirty while on my PS, I always take down the style and attend to it properly.

I do not wash my hair in protective styles. It doesn’t work for me.

Dirt always clump at my roots. This makes it even harder to detangle when I take down the style.

Both methods work. What the internet said is correct. What I do is also correct.

I was able to discover all these because I tried the rules first. So if you are confused, experiment with the rules first.

It’s your hair journey. The rules are guidelines and if your hair and scalp doesn’t agree with it, then break it or bend it.

Write out how your hair and scalp behaves when you try each thing.

If the rules do not work then you can try out my routine.

An even better option is sending a direct message to me. I tried navigating the world of skincare and I was so lost. Then, I discovered how important a guide is in a person’s life.

I am available to review and draft your regimen if you are reading. All you have to do is send a message to the link below



Linda Hanson (Hair APT)

JW. Healthy Hair Expert. Do you need help with your hair or scalp? Send a message here