How to Take Down a Protective Style Without Damage

After wearing your long-term protective style for weeks, it’s time to take it all down and let your hair go once again. This is such an important step in wearing protective styles that it warrants its own discussion. Your hair has just been twisted or braided up, protecting it from any sort of harm and you do not want to undo all of the good you have just done for it. 

Use Products to Help

Depending on the state of their hair, many people feel more comfortable using some kind of product to take down a protective style. This could potentially help to make the hair easier to undo and detangle without causing damage. 

For starters, you can apply some oil like the Hair Growth Serum to your hair along the edges to give them a lightly protective coating that can help with the stress caused by taking down your style. Since the edges of your hairline are the most delicate, you will want to be extra careful with them to avoid breakage. 

Then for the rest of your hair, you can apply some of that same oil to your hands to give your strands more slip as you undo the braids or twists.

Take Your Time

A general word of advice when taking down a long-term protective style is to take your time. By this point, you spent weeks wearing your style and likely hours installing it in the first place. You do not want to be in a rush at this stage. 

Take your time undoing the style and detangling. The purpose of protective styling is to avoid hair manipulation, which is shown to weaken the strands and make them more prone to breakage. So you don’t want to throw away all those benefits by mishandling your hair now. 

Take your time with each section of hair and detangle each as you go along since this is much more manageable than when the hair is all out at once. You can also finish up detangling by applying a pre-poo, which can provide some slip as well.

Gently Wash Your Hair & Scalp

Everyone has their own feelings about washing their hair with a protective style in, but all we can say is that this is your first time in weeks to fully have access to all your hair and scalp, so this cleanse really makes a difference. Take your time with this wash and your hair and scalp will thank you for it.

By now, your scalp and roots may already have some amount of product buildup and it’s been a while since you’ve been able to fully access your scalp and get it all cleansed. If you have been maintaining your protective style using a hydrating mist or scalp oils, there will be some amount of residue on your scalp that you will want to clear up now. 

With your hair freshly taken down from its long-term style, you want to be gentle with it to avoid any unnecessary breakage or tension to your scalp. Make sure that you massage your scalp gently as you wash with shampoo and you avoid scratching your scalp too much. Then follow up with a deeply moisturizing conditioner for extra nourishment and hydration. 

Do a Low Manipulation Style

Now that your hair is all out, cleansed, and fully detangled, you want to give it a rest and let it be. You’ve seen your hair in braids, twists, or locs up to this point, so now is the time to enjoy it just as it is. This is the perfect time to style your hair in a light and easy wash and go that lets you embrace your hair texture.

Or instead of a wash and go, you can set your hair in a low manipulation style like a low bun that still allows your tresses to relax and be in their natural state after being tied up for so long. Consider this your opportunity as well to enjoy your hair again. As fun and rewarding as it can be to wear a protective style, it still feels great to enjoy your own hair just as it is.



Try these tips the next time you go to take down your protective hairstyle and see what a difference it makes in preserving the health and strength of your hair. This should help you to keep your hair in better condition as you take advantage of the many benefits of protective styling. 

Make these steps a part of your basic routine and you should see a difference in the long-run. And be sure to add some of the N.O Naturally Organics hair products into your takedown and wash day routines. 

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