Phase 2: The Take Down

Posted on September 25 2019

Phase 2: The Take Down


Your protective style has lasted a few weeks, but now it's time to take down and unravel. It can be a little over whelming when taking out a protective style as you have to unravel, detangle weeks worth of shed hair which can be very time consuming, then prepping your hair for a pre poo and wash routine.

The whole point of a protective style is to have low manipulation, protect and give your natural hair a break, therefore you need to make sure you remove your braids with care. When taking down any protective style, you need to know where your natural hair ends. You can normally feel the different textures of your hair and the braid hair, or see the frizz from where your hair ends within the braid. Use scissors to cut a few inches below your natural ends - this saves on the unpicking time. Especially if you have long braids. 


After a long time tucked away, your hair will be in a fragile state, so it is best to detangle before washing. Detangling after you wash will only make the tangles worse. Start by finger detangling when working through knots and tangles. This ensures you gently work through your strands removing any shed hair instead of tugging through any knots and tangles. Finshing of with a wide toothed comb or bush should glide through more easily. Which ever your choice of detangling tool, you want to make sure the teeth are wide apart and not harsh. Lots of shedding after wearing a protective style is normal. You shed around 100 hairs per day. If your hair was braided for 6 weeks that’s roughly 4200 shed (from scalp) hairs that you’ll finally see once you remove your braids. Again this is not a cause for alarm. 

There are many products you can use to help ease the detangling process. There are many pre poo braid detangling aids or using a watered down slippery conditioner in a spray bottle will do just the trick.

Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse

This is time to really give your curls a detox using a clarifying shampoo, bentonite clay or ACV rinse. Clarifying your hair at this stage is important. Why? Because even though you may have washed your hair with the braids in, a proper cleanse is needed to freshen the hair and scalp getting them to clean state. Your hair is free and you can use your fingers to really work the product into your scalp. Don't forget to cleanse your edges too. With all the constant slicking down, they also need some TLC.  

As clarifying shampoos can be stripping on natural hair, I would suggest doing a pre poo first. This will create a barrier, minimising the stripping effect a shampoo has.  

Deep Condition

Ok, so your hair needs some SERIOUS TLC. You want to restore moisture and bring back the strength and structure to your hair. A rinse out conditioner just won't cut it at this stage sis. 

If you've been wearing your style for a good few weeks, then your hair maybe weak and in need of a mild or moderate protein treatment. Remember to always follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner after using protein. 


We all know triming is an importnat part of a healthy hair regime. If you were not able to trim before, now is the time to do it. You don't want to be hanging on to dead ends, it will only do more damage than good. Recovery mode is important and your hair WILL grow. 

Bianca Renee shows us her take down process and wash day post protective style.

How do you remove your protective style?

~ Love Uniqurl ~




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