17 Hair Products For Protective Styles To Help You Maintain Your Mane
by Summer Arlexis

Every now and then a girl's gotta switch up her 'do. Giving hair makeovers without disturbing the integrity of your strands, protective styles are a kinky-curly girl's go-to. You've got to be on your P's and Q's though, using natural hair products for maintaining protective styles every step of the way.

One of the most common black hair myths is that you don't have to do anything to your mane underneath a protective style. That couldn't be further from the truth, considering an out of sight, out of mind mentality puts your hair at great risk. Failing to treat your scalp and strands can have disastrous consequences for your hair, including thinning, breakage, and dandruff. While a typical wash day routine isn't necessarily ideal for preserving a protective style, that doesn't mean you can't nourish, deodorize, and cleanse your braided extensions, twists, and sew-ins. There are plenty of no rinse cleansers and hydrating oils on the market that can defunk your 'do in a pinch.

From hydrating leave-in conditioners to natural hair refresher sprays, these 17 haircare gems make preserving a protective 'do a breeze. In fact, they just may stimulate your hair growth in the process.


It's A 10 Dry Oil Spray

Dry Oil Spray Plus Keratin with Argan Oil, $11, Amazon

Add moisture and high shine to lackluster twists and braids with this finishing spray infused with an argan oil blend.


Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Calming Tension Spray

Mimosa Hair Honey Calming Tension Spray, $11, Amazon

An itchy scalp is bound to happen when you're rocking braided extensions. Relieve the itch with this scalp spray that prevents breakage while soothing tension.


Shea Moisture Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter No-Rinse Foam Cleanser

Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter No-Rinse Foam Cleanser, $10, Walmart

A mild shampoo alternative, this foam cleanser refreshes cornrows, box braids, and weaves without using water. Jojoba oil hydrates, ucuuba butter helps improve elasticity, and carrot seed oil moisturizes to promote health and shine.


Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave In Conditioner

Lemongrass Leave In Conditioner, $13, Alikay Naturals

This lightweight conditioner deeply penetrates to lock in moisture, soften, and strengthen each strand. Use it prior to doing a protective style to infuse hair with essential oils, aloe vera, and silk protein amino acids to prevent dryness and damage.


Girl + Hair Under Hair Care Clarifying ACV Rinse

Clarifying ACV Rinse, $17, Girl and Hair

An organic apple cider vinegar rinse and rice water based clarifier to remove product buildup without stripping hair of moisture, this cleanser features a precision nozzle perfect for targeting roots hidden underneath weaves and braids.


Camille Rose Naturals Cocoa Nibs & Honey Ultimate Growth Serum

Cocoa Nibs & Honey Ultimate Growth Serum, $16, Camille Rose Naturals

Camille Rose Natural's Growth Serum uses virgin amla oil to strengthen hair follicles, jojoba oil to lock in moisture, and brahmi to naturally thicken, a cocktail that combats thinning and breakage while wearing protective styles.


Uncle Funky's Daughter Defunk Hair Refresher Tonic

Defunk Hair Refresher Tonic, $12, Amazon

You'll likely experience buildup and odor if you don't take the necessary precautions while wearing braids, locs, and twists. This herbal hair and scalp cleanser saves the day by removing product buildup, neutralizing odors, and soothing an itchy scalp.


Mane Choice Multi-vitamin Scalp Nourishing Oil

Multi-vitamin Scalp Nourishing Oil, $12, Sally Beauty

Improve your overall hair quality by stimulating your scalp with Mane Choice's nourishing growth oil. It uses a blend of multi-vitamins and essential nutrients to leave your scalp feeling revitalized and conditioned.


Shea Moisture Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter Tract & Tension Itch Relief Serum

Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter Tract & Tension Itch Relief Serum, $10, Shea Moisture

Featuring a dropper for precise application, Shea Moisture's Itch Relief Serum alleviates the scalp tension and discomfort that can come along with tight braids and weaves. Ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and aloe leaf juice make it a grade "A" hydrator, too.


Oyin Nourishing Herbal Leave-in Hair Tonic

Nourishing Herbal Leave-in Hair Tonic, $14, Target

Prevent damage and hydrate your mane while you're at it with this juices and berries hair treatment for deep repair. It moisturizes without weighing hair down and encourages growth by stimulating the scalp, making it the perfect pick-me-up for cornrows, twists, and loc styles.


Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Hair Sheen

Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Hair Sheen, $10, Amazon

Keep your 'do looking fresh with this sheen spray, set to give your protective styles long-lasting shine. With shea butter, sweet almond oil, and jojoba oil infused into its formula, it strengthens and nourishes your strands, too.


Girl + Hair Under Hair Care Restoring Hair Balm

Restoring Hair Balm, $20, Girl and Hair

Designed for restoring and maintaining the health of your natural hair, this botanical oil fortifies and protects dry, damaged strands. A blend of castor, shea, abyssinian, and olive oils softens hair cuticles while promoting growth when you're wearing wigs, weaves, and braided extensions.


Canviiy Scalpbliss Itch-Calming Dipstix Set

Scalpbliss Itch-Calming Dipstix Set, $13, Canviiy

This scalp relief set features serum cups and spearhead foam swabs to directly target itchy areas. With powerful natural botanicals like aloe vera, lavender, peppermint oil, and manuka honey at work, it's guaranteed to provide long-lasting, soothing results.


Shea Moisture 100% Pure Jamaican Black Castor Oil

100% Pure Jamaican Black Castor Oil, $10, Ulta

A nutrient-rich oil that deeply hydrates, this exotic ingredient will help maintain the strength of your strands. Use it relieve tension and stimulate your scalp while rocking protective styles.


Darcy's Botanicals Peppermint Scalp Elixir

Peppermint Scalp Elixir, $9, Naturally Curly

It stimulates follicles while soothing the scalp, a definite must-have for braid and twist lovers. Massage it into the scalp and prepare to feel all of the calming benefits of peppermint, lavender and rosemary oils.


SheaMoisture Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter Odor Neutralizing Mist

Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter Odor Neutralizing Mist with Carrot Seed Oil, $10, Walmart

Just a few spritzes and you can instantly deodorize braids and weaves. carrot seed oil, jojoba oil, and ucuuba butter are it's key ingredients, a blend that's great for soothing an itchy scalp as it neutralizes funk.


ORS Shealicious Moisture Mist Leave-In Conditioning Spray

Shealicious Moisture Mist Leave-In Conditioning Spray, $6, Walmart

Soften and hydrate your strands with this shea butter and honey infused conditioning spray. It'll prevent dryness and breakage while your hair is secured within a protective style.


Just because your own hair is covered by weaves, braids, or wigs, it doesn't mean you can completely neglect your mane. Work the proper tonics, tension sprays, and stimulants into your routine, and your strands will look better than ever upon the removal of your protective style.