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Expert Advice: Removing Your Protective Style with Minimal Damage

Experts show you how to remove box braids, locks, and other protective styles without damaging your natural hair.

What You Should Know

The Key to Hair Greatness is...

You may be ready to change up your look after weeks of wearing it, but the secret to removing braids, twists, and yes, even locks is patience. In most situations, it will take a few hours, but with the correct tools, you can get them done without sacrificing the advantages that are meant to come with adopting a protective style in the first place.


A protective style is intended to do exactly as the name entails: protect hair from damage and loss. But when protective styles are done incorrectly, it can actually do the opposite and cause massive damage. Too much jam, tight styles that pull on edges, using the wrong braiding hair, and even wearing a style for too long can destroy hair. Most people know this, but what they don't know is the way you take these styles out can be just as damaging.


Before you even braid the hair in, you may get a jump start on making your takedown a lot simpler. "Apply Jamaican Black Castor Oil lightly to your hair. "It makes removal so much easier when you're ready to take out the style," explains Annagjid "Kee." Taylor is a hairdresser and the author of Every Hair Is Good Hair. "...It will also assist to hold moisture in while you wear your style, resulting in fewer breakage." she adds.

Collect the Necessary Materials

The manner you remove your style is determined by how it was installed. You'll need two types of combs for braids, twists, and locks done without added hair: a rat-tail comb and one with medium-sized teeth. You'll want to utilize them whether your braids are thick or tiny. The tiny tip will allow you to unravel the ends of your style with minimal straining. While most rat-tail combs have fine teeth on the head, do not use them to comb through your hair. Instead, use the tail to carefully pick out the ends of the braids or twists before unraveling and combing through with a larger, medium-sized tooth tool. If these options are not available, don't be afraid to use your fingers, which will work as well.


If you added hair to your braids or twists, trim the ends before unraveling. It will assist to expedite the procedure. You'll want to cut at least two to three inches below where your hair ends so you don't cut your own hair. If you're not sure where your hair begins, ditch the scissors and instead comb out from the ends until you reach the root.

Soften and Detangle

To avoid tangles and damage, moisten your hair before removing the protective style. Remember that even if you're using extensions, your natural hair is still growing and going through its normal phases while you wear your braids. When you remove a protective style, there will be some shedding because the style has been in place for some time and has collected dead hair. When removing braids and twists from the hairline and edges, use extra caution. This hair is extremely fragile and should be treated with caution.


To avoid breakage and unnecessary tangling, go slowly and apply a moisturizing product. Making sure your hair is excellent and slippery prior is beneficial. Hydrate with a leave-in conditioner or a spray bottle filled with water and regular conditioner. Moisture is your best friend if you like your hair healthy.


Before starting, generously coat and massage conditioner into the braids or twists. When dried, the tighter the curl in the hair, the more delicate it is. Detangle and separate each braid or twist extension as you remove it. We advocate finger detangling and using brushes sparingly since they can damage your hair. When detangling, use your fingers as much as possible. Hair is at its weakest while damp, so avoid straining and over-manipulating the locks.


Using a medium-tooth comb, detangle as you go and remove any debris. This step is critical since you don't want your hair to become matted. Re-spritz before combing through if some pieces dry out as you work.



Loosen Locs Gently

The smaller portions used to produce two-strand and even flat twists make those styles more easier to unravel with your fingers than braids. You just twist them out the way they were put. Keep your twists moist and comb through to detangle as you proceed. This will save time and make washing your hair simpler.


If you want to remove locks, it is possible, but it is time-consuming. Most people end up cutting [their] locks off since it is such a tedious procedure to remove without cutting. It also depends on how long your locks are. Shorter locks may be simpler to maintain at home. "You should consult a specialist if you've had them for years and have longer ones. Some people prefer to comb their locks out rather than cut them to retain the length, but this is a time-consuming procedure that can take days.


You'll need your locks to be well moisturized with an oil like Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Use the end of a rat-tail comb to start to break out the loc, then very gently work to loosen and detangle one by one. This process will take a few days and is not suitable for most, so you may want to consider professional help,


Use Appropriate After-Care

Just keep in mind that the goal of your braids, twists, and locks is to keep your hair strong, free of breakage, and growing. When taking it out, be patient. If you don't believe you'll have enough time to finish everything in one sitting, start at the rear and work your way to the front. If your arms tire or you need to pick up later, you may conceal it with the front half by dragging it all onto a pony until you can resume or give your hairstylist a call. We believe in your hair journey!


Before you can even say a word, the way you conduct yourself, will either construct boundaries or break boundaries for you. Because of this our crown will forever be a symbol of Black Power, Black Excellence, and the undying promise of favor our crown holds from the creator.




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