Image: CreateHER Stock
I see it way too often: women run to get protective styles like box braids or kinky twists, thinking every day for the next month or two will be a quick get up and go. All actual hair care goes out the window… especially moisturizing.
But the point of a protective style is just that — protection. So for the duration of the style, you gotta keep your hair and scalp moisturized to get the most out of it.
Over the years, whenever I install cornrows, Marley twists or crochet, I whip up a moisturizing protective style spray of my own consisting of some simple ingredients. If you’re something of a mixtress yourself and like to create your own concoctions at home, here’s something you can try:
Water: THE moisturizer.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO): Moisturizes and thickens hair making it strong from the inside out. It’s been known to increase blood flow to the scalp sending nutrients to hair follicles which, in turn, boosts hair growth.
Coconut Oil: Penetrates the hair follicle, contains Vitamin E and helps build hair strength by building protein. Also gives hair a great shine.
Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ): Balances hair’s pH. Soothes dry, itchy scalp. Great moisturizer.
Peppermint Essential Oil: Smells great! The cooling effect leaves scalp feeling refreshed. Stimulates blood circulation to the scalp, promoting growth. Antiseptic.
Rosemary Essential Oil: Antibacterial. Improves circulation to the scalp to encourage growth.
Tea Tree Essential Oil: Treats many scalp issues like dandruff, psoriasis and lice. Prevents itchy scalp. Antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic.
Leave-in Conditioner of choice: One of my faves is Karen’s Body Beautiful’s Sweet Ambrosia but, of course, use what you like!
How to Do It
Using an 8 oz spray bottle, mix (measurements approximate):
- 4-5 drops of each essential oil
- 1 ounce of AVJ
- 1 ounce of each oil
- 2 ounces of leave-in
- fill the rest with water
Shake it up and that’s it! You’re free to subtract or swap out ingredients as you see fit depending on your hair texture, density, porosity, etc. If you try it, let me know how it works for you!