Tag Archives: super dope hair

6 Helpful Hints for Protective Styles

The internet is overrun with “information” about Black Hair and protective styling. The unfortunate part of this fact is that many/most bloggers, YouTubers and the like, have experience with one type of hair – THEIR OWN! This is especially concerning to me as a protective styling and natural hair expert for two reasons:

  1. Y’all are wasting money and energy using ineffective products styling and caring for your hair, inevitably resulting in tears.
  2. There is a significant amount of damage being done by heeding the advice of those not well-versed in the subject of natural hair care. All kinds of damage; heat damage, stunted growth, breakage. The list goes on and on!

I see it Every. Single. Day.

I’ve compiled a shortlist of the best ways to address protective style installation. Because I love you.

Sew-Ins, Frontals, & Closures
Always use polyester or nylon thread, NEVER cotton.
Cotton absorbs moisture, expands, and increases the likelihood of developing mold & fungus during the length of wear. Cotton also soaks up dirt & oil. Nylon is strong & tangles less easily, does not absorb moisture and makes for a more seamless installation, as cotton tends to be a bit more bulky
A step further….use brown thread for sew-ins if your hair is dark to help avoid cutting your own hair during takedown.

Protective Styling for thinning or damaged hair.
Many of us – naturalistas and otherwise – haven’t always taken the best care of our hair. In other cases, it’s genetics, age, or battling an illness that causes mild to excessive hair thinning. If you suffer from thinning hair, choosing a knowledgeable stylist is especially important because you may be at risk of going bald…permanently! No shade. We need to be real about this. It’s all fun and games until you’re a meme. Here are a few ways to help be sure you’re making the right decision.

  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. Opt for twists instead of braids as they don’t exert the same level of 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 prove fruitful for your already damaged hair in the future. If you must have braids (3 strands of hair) vs twists (2 strands of hair) , definitely shy away from cornrows of any kind UNLESS you have a great relationship with a stylist that you trust, and/or don’t plan to have the style for long. Then, cornrow installation with thinning hair and edges (including feed-ins and so on) is acceptable. If not, stay away. The risk is too great. An alternative to traditional single braids is individual feed-in braids, also known as Knotless Braids. They are more lightweight and cause virtually no scalp tension. (Do y’all want a tutorial for this method so you can show your stylist what you need?) One more note on the subject, avoid high buns and puffs while regaining your hair health Unicorn.
  3. Use oils correctly! As quiet as it may be kept, oils alone do not moisturize your hair or scalp. In fact, lacing your scalp, with coconut oil, to be specific could lead to clogged pores & dangerous buildup. If you notice, when you apply coconut 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. Coconut oil, ain’t that.
  4. It’s a well-known best practice to use products made with all natural ingredients for natural hair care. Super Dope Hair is here to help you do just that! We’ve developed a proprietary blend of nourishing oils, cleansers, and moisturizers made using purifying organic fruit and seed extracts.
    1. Our Peppermint Potion is designed to target thinning, brittle hair (especially edges). It encourages healthy, rapid hair growth. Product junkies will LOVE this one, because it actually works!
    2. Rosemary Rinse by Super Dope Hair is a no-poo cleansing milk made with organic rosemary leaves, clove oil, and grapefruit extract, just to name a few of these magical ingredients.
  5. Steaming your hair 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. Therefore encouraging healthy growth moisture retention. The more moisture your hair is able to retain, the better lubricated your hair will be. This is especially important while wearing protective styles.

Dasit. I hope this helps. Feel free to ask questions below!

Your Hair Is Your Magic! We must protect it.

“Your Hair is Your Magic! We must protect it.”

–SuperDopeKarmen

DO…DON’T- 6 Ways to Maintain Your Protective Style

As we are on this natural hair journey together, embracing our awesomeness becomes challenging at times. Like early mornings, when you’re already late and your hair is being a total bitch. Or after sexy time, when you want to preserve the allure and attraction but the devil has taken hold of your hair so badly you think you need an exorcist. It is in these moments, when you decide that a protective style is best for you. Be it braids, Havana twists, Marley twists or crochet braids of any kind- rules still apply. Read and follow directions. You’ll thank me later!!

  • DO Respect your edges. Big buns are beautiful (no pun intended), but put your hair up in moderation. No need to stress your gorgeous, yet sensitive mane everyday.
  • DO Moisturize!  The importance of protective styles will only be evident if your hair is well nourished. Your scalp needs your love and affection!
  • DO Redip your feathers. The feathered tips of your protective style (braids & twists) are sure to need a refresh over the course of a few weeks. Simply bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Dip the feathers into the water immediately. Dry with large towel. Repeat as necessary.
  • DON’T Wash your braids if they are waist length or if you aren’t fully comfortable with handling all of your braids or twists while wet. Synthetic hair is notorious for holding odors, both pleasant and pungent. Wash your scalp well. Rinse. and repeat if necessary.
  • DONT Pull and tug. By all means, enjoy special time with your mate ladies. However, be mindful of slippage and potential breakage of your natural hair when too much pressure is applied.
  • DONT Apply too much product an occasional light spritzing and daily shine or sheen spray will suffice (for the actual braid) Moisturize your scalp every other day to avoid the “root caking” that occurs by overusing product.

DO enjoy your protective style and DO ask questions if you’re unsure of how to maintain your style. After all, the goal is to help, not hurt your hair!