A cold snap is upon us, and if your hair is relaxed or natural, you'll know that sub-zero temperatures and afro-kinky hair do not mix. Curls, coils and kinks are the thirstiest and most fragile of hair textures, so the winter wind will dry out not only your skin but your hair, too, contributing to breakage, frizz and lacklustre ringlets. If you're keen on preserving your coils in the chilly weather, are stuck in a style rut or just want to give your hair a break from the heat and daily brushing, then a protective style is a must.
From box braids to Senegalese twists, there are so many styles to try, but it really pays to take care of your hair. It's a good idea not to add your precious baby hair into the braids, locs or twists as it could destroy your edges. Before you go into the salon, give your scalp a good wash to remove any build-up from styling products, and follow with your favourite hydrating hair products. This will keep any itchiness at bay, as you're likely to rock the style for the next 4-6 weeks (maximum 8 weeks, to avoid damage and hair loss).
One of the smartest tips I learned from my first time in box braids is to soak hair in a bath of hot water and apple cider vinegar for about 15 minutes (or until you see the film rise to the surface of the water). Popular kanekalon braids have an alkaline coating that can irritate a sensitive scalp (in some cases, causing itchy red blisters), so this method helps to remove the coating, giving you a much more comfortable style. Hair will have a matte finish and look more natural.