It’s only a few weeks before Christmas, and I’m sure many of us already have events and even vacations all planned out!! Personally, I want to sleep!

I know some of you already have your Christmas hair planned out! I will not nag you this year. Please do your thing, but don’t ruin a full year's work for Christmas hair!!

Unfortunately, we still have very few healthy haircare practitioners in the UK. By that, I mean those who will prioritize the health of your hair over styling. Most of the people who sign up for my hair course sadly have to drastically reduce their salon visits to see great results. And yes, one bad trip can set you back. This is not to suggest that there aren’t great hair salons in the UK, there are a few! But there are still too few! Too few that balance healthy haircare with great styling.

So, these tips are for your Christmas salon visits. You can have your cake and eat it too if you abide by the following tips:

1.      Pre-Soak your added hair if you are allergic:

If you are installing braids and you have experienced an allergic reaction in the past, then soak the hair you’ll be using in a vinegar and shampoo mixture. This process helps to remove the alkaline Lye coating on the artificial hair which causes irritation for some people. For this to be effective it must be done before installation. But you know what … I actually question why those who are allergic continue to use these products at all, I just do not think it's worth the risk to your scalp and the stress.

2.      Detangle properly:

Our Ori gang gang already know that the success of most protective styles depends on adequate detangling. Just last week, we posted a video on how to detangle properly. It’s advisable to detangle thoroughly at home, I’d even suggest you blow-dry yourself, see below, because, let’s be honest, only a few hair stylists actually have the patience to properly detangle natural hair, especially if you have thick, dense hair!

3.      Wash with a clarifying shampoo

Wash your hair and scalp properly, not with clays or a sulphate-free shampoo this time, but with a clarifying shampoo! Your hair is going to be tucked away for a while so you want it thoroughly cleansed. Not clarifying your hair is creating room for chronically dry and limp hair and worse still, it will compromise the health of your hair while it’s in a protective style.

4.      Deep condition your hair:

This is an absolute must! Your hair is about to undergo a bit of manipulation and it needs all the extra strength it can get – a good deep conditioner deposits a film over your hair, thereby providing extra strength and even acting as a heat barrier. Combining your deep conditioner with our heat cap really does wonders for your hair and makes the process even more effective.

5.      Blow-dry your hair at home:

This helps to stretch out your natural curls, making the process much easier for your stylist and more bearable for you and your scalp (i.e less tugging on your scalp). And of course, do not forget to use a heat protectant before you blow-dry! Make sure to oil your hair generously after blow-drying. Your hair will need all the lubrication it can get as it gets pulled and twisted into position, and it will be in a protective style for a while. This is not the time to be prudent with your products, so please apply more than enough of that Khalila or olive oil.

Stay in control at the Salon:

And when you do get to sit on your stylist chair, stay in control! Make sure they are not using a small tooth comb, I find many of them lapse into this even when they start with a wide tooth comb. If you have blow-dried your hair, tell them no more heat!! They will insist on just passing it through once, say no! Ensure the style is not too tight! and please resist this new craze of applying a copious amount of gel or holding product to braid or cornrow! it is literally a cake product in your hair till you take the style down. Just say No!!

Also, the part where they dip your hair in boiling hot water …… Would you do that at home?

Can you imagine the impact that is having on your hair which is fragile - if they are dipping in hot water the ends that do not include your own hair, this is fine, but if that boiling hot water is coming in contact with your own natural hair!! I promise you it's storing up split and shattered ends.

Still in the spirit of giving, here are some Christmas hairstyles!

Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments!

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