How to Properly Take Down Protective Styles

How to Properly Take Down Protective Styles

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Wearing minitwists, weaves, braids, or twists with extensions can be a great way to protect your natural hair from the elements, or just to give your triceps a break from doing your hair. But after wearing these styles for over a month, especially if you wash your hair while in the protective style, the takedown process can be a nightmare. Here’s how to take down long-term protective styles without losing all your hair:

Set Aside Time

The biggest mistake you can make before taking down a protective style is having somewhere to go. It ALWAYS takes much longer than expected, and failing to set aside adequate time to undo, detangle, repair, and style your hair will result in you attacking your poor strands with a comb, which will leave you with way more hair on the floor than necessary. Get yourself a movie or two, pick a Netflix marathon, or even invite a girlfriend to help the time go faster!

Arm Yourself


  1. Kachi
    November 30, 2016 / 2:37 pm

    Hello. So I have been transitioning for 8months now. Carrying a protective style( faux locks) for 3 months now. I am about to loose it, but I am scared I might loose a lot of hair especially from the root cos of the amount of products basically oils I have put .. how do I detangle my hair without causing it to remove from the root 😭😭

    • December 6, 2016 / 9:13 am

      It’s not only product that’s built up at the root but shed hairs, so your best option is to saturate it with conditioner and use the end of a rat tail comb and your fingers to try and separate out the roots. But it is natural to lose some hair after taking down a protective style because all the hair you shed over the past 3 months had nowhere to go. Good luck!

  2. Mamatred
    March 5, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    I have just taken down my kinky twists. I had them in for 4 months. Been natural with the big chop since 09/2014. What tyoe of leave in conditioner would yiu recommend for hair type 4C?

    • March 5, 2016 / 9:22 pm

      I don’t hair type so I can’t recommend based on that, but here’s a list of some of my favorite products:

  3. gise
    January 5, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    Hi! How long should i keep my tiny senegalise twits.been having them for since september..and how should i do or be carefully with when takin them out? Love your advices

    • January 7, 2016 / 8:20 pm

      I don’t think anyone should keep any protective style in for more than two months. Your best bet is to take your TIME taking them down and detangle with your fingers before washing

  4. Jenii
    September 23, 2015 / 7:26 pm

    Do wash your hair right after takeout.

    • September 25, 2015 / 9:22 am

      I detangle and then wash

  5. Charlotte Roberts
    June 1, 2015 / 2:36 am

    I definitely do a protein strengthen treatment. I tried Apogee but didn’t like it. I’m using Mille organic deep treatment and love it.

    • Candace
      December 22, 2015 / 9:52 pm

      2 part coconut oil 1 part raw honey. Completely natural strengthening and conditioning mask. Apply to clean towel damp hair. Allow for 20 min then rinse 80-90% out. Love and style.

  6. Shameka davis
    January 30, 2015 / 7:49 am

    What is the style thst you have in the middle with the striped shirt, it’s pretty and i want it

    • January 30, 2015 / 8:14 am

      It’s a twistout from my havana twists. Click the box below the photo for how I got the style!

  7. Willisa
    October 3, 2014 / 11:18 pm

    I’ve heard you should wait to wash hair after taking out twists that have been in for a while. How long should I wait and is just the deep condition enough?

    • Klassy Kinks
      October 5, 2014 / 1:36 pm

      I haven’t heard this advice. The only thing you should wait for in my opinion is time to properly detangle

  8. Boma
    June 25, 2014 / 7:54 pm

    can i just say you are soooo cute!!! especially with the havana twist out, great mistake 😉 rock that smile, pretty. Can’t wait to try!

  9. ThegirlcalledRita
    June 14, 2014 / 2:07 am

    How Exactly do you maintain moisture CORRECTLY while in protective styles? I just took down my box braids and deep conditioned and the whole 9 my hair just doesn’t feel the same and I’m sad I think ill try a protein treatment

    • Klassy Kinks
      June 17, 2014 / 8:38 am

      I spray a mix of water, conditioner, and oil (aka leave in conditioner) on my braids/twists every day or every other day, and then sometimes take a shea based product, melt it in my hands and kind of pat the braids/twists down where my hair is. I also massage my scalp with oils to keep it nice and lubricated. Protein treatments after protective styles are helpful too!

  10. February 17, 2014 / 11:36 pm

    i have relaxed hair which i protective style by plaiting it up fine for up to one month. when i pull it out it feels very thick healthy and it looks very good but the breakage is heavy and .. sigh… very disheartening… please advise me on what to do. my hair is nearly mid back length and i’m trying to get it past this ‘growth plateau’ but its getting so much harder with this happening… any adivce?

    • Klassy Kinks
      February 17, 2014 / 11:47 pm

      First, you have to make sure what you’re seeing is breakage – it could very well be shed hair which is natural. If a hair is broken, it tears in the middle. If it is shed, it comes out from the root. Shed hairs are often longer. In terms of your growth plateau, I honestly can’t make any educated recommendations since I’m not as in tune with relaxed hair care, but you can try optimizing your scalp and ends health by keeping the scalp clean and moisturized and the ends nourished; that may encourage less breakage and more growth.

  11. October 2, 2013 / 6:20 pm

    I like to do a good DC treatment with the steamer after taking down a protective style. I usually keep my hair well moisturized for the length of time that I have it in so it’s never super dry. That’s key to having an easy take-down. Like you said, I always give my hair a break in between protective styles. After these Marleys, I’m gonna enjoy my fro for about a week then move on to an easy protective style like cornrows w/a roll n tuck situation.

    • Klassy Kinks
      October 2, 2013 / 8:08 pm

      A steamer is seriously lacking in my hair care routine. But you’re right about the importance of maintaining moisture while the style is in, that helps a lot as well!