As a hairstyle age on a child especially one who is active and does a lot of “rolling around”, braids and twists become frizzier, part lines tend to fade away, curls loose their definitions, and ends start to tangle. Ode to the lifetime of a well worn protective hairstyle!
When I go into protective style mode, I really like to keep manipulation as low as possible between her bi-weekly styling sessions. We EMBRACE frizz here! This has been working fairly well to the point where I don’t get burned out by having to redo/style her hair frequently, and I am more patient when managing it at all phases (styling, detangling, washing, etc)
With that said, by the end of week 2, much patience is required for me to handle her hair and to ensure I am not to doing any unnecessary damage especially during the removal process.
When removing an old hairstyle that is riddled with fuzzies, shed hairs, and tangles, I only tools I use are:
- Water (in a spray bottle)
- Conditioner (Cheap conditioners are great for this task!)
- Oil (optional for added slip)
- A pick (from a fine tooth comb)
- Spray hair with water and liberally apply conditioner to entire head.
- This helps reduce friction by adding slip to the hair (especially the ends) and allows tangles and knots to loosen with gentle manipulation.
- Can add oil to conditioner for additional slip.
- Don’t rush this process especially with braids because you can create new knots if you try to remove too many braid stitches at once. It is best to remove one stitch at a time.
- Add water/conditioner/oil as needed to provide extra slip.
- If you come across a stubborn knot/tangle, don’t continue to pull the sections apart in order to remove it. This will only tighten the knot. Use your fingers to gently manipulate each hair strand associated with the knot until they are all loose. Usually, you will find that a single shed hair was the culprit of that knot/tangle. Go figure, right?!
- Gentle and steady preserves the hair!
What I love about this process is that the conditioner provides added slip and much needed moisture to her strands. In addition, already having the hair in manageable sections makes the cleansing session go by that much smoother. Finger detangling also aids in reducing the amount of times a comb or brush is raked through the hair. The best part of this entire process is that it reduces the time spent removing a style compared to doing so on bone dry hair.
Hope this helps!
What tips do you employ when removing well worn hairstyles?