Protective hair styles provide many women with convenience. It’s also a way to experiment with new looks and, when utilized properly, induces hair growth.

But whether you’re utilizing protective styles for convenience, hair growth, transitioning or simply to evade Old Man Winter, it’s also important to maintain a healthy haircare regime for your hair underneath.

Here are three simple and easy tips on how to keep your natural tresses healthy while using protective styles.

Keep Hair Moisturized
Even though your hair may be under a wig, sew-in or braids, it’s important to know that hair still thrives off moisture so make sure you’re massaging the necessary amount of oil, such as tea tree and Coconut oil to your scalp that it needs.

Don’t keep styles in too long
Leaving your hair in a protective style for too long can be detrimental and cause breakage and damage, particularly around the hair’s crown. To avoid hair loss, pay attention to edges that appear stressed and opt to make larger parts around edges (box braids, Twist, Faux Locs etc.). No style is worth losing your hair.

Protect Your Scalp
Though you may not be washing your hair as much as you normally would with a protective style, it’s important to note that a dry itchy scalp may be a sign of an overgrowth of buildup and bacteria. Applying a small amount of shampoo to your scalp is vital to sustaining healthy hair and can keep your scalp feeling clean and refreshed.