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How to Keep Your Braids Fresh and Fierce

Protective styles not only cut the time of your beauty routine in half; they're also a great way to protect your natural strands from potential damage. And while braids and twists are relatively low maintenance options, there are a few things you should still do to ensure their longevity. Like most hairstyles, they aren't exempt from becoming unkempt and in need of some occasional reinforcing; especially if you develop an itchy scalp or live in humid conditions that cause your hair to get fuzzy. Don’t let environmental conditions mess with your style; keep your scalp and strands in check with these 15 products. 


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By Jennifer Ford · November 4, 2016

No matter the hairstyle, a silk pillowcase is always preferred to reduce friction and keep your hair from drying and breaking. $45, nordstrom.com

Use this cruelty-free spray to lock in moisture at the root of every braid or twist. $30, net-a-porter.com

This entire line was created specifically for under hair care. Use daily to keep your scalp hydrated. $20, girlandhair.com

Dry and brittle hair is more susceptible to frizz and breakage. Before installing your protective style, apply a conditioning moisturizer to your hair to keep strands soft and manageable. $11, target.com

Prep your protective style for long wear by applying this styling gel with extra firm hold to your roots. It'll keep your braids from sliding out. This formula is non greasy, alcohol free, and doesn’t cause flaking. $4, sallybeauty.com

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For days when your protective style is lacking luster, revive and add shine with this oil sheen. $5, sallybeauty.com

Let’s be honest. We’ve all experienced tension from the installation of our protective styles. Spray your strands with this calming tension spray to soothe your scalp, prevent breakage and keep itchiness at bay. $12, target.com

Lay down fuzzy hairs after you leave the gym with this non-sticky holding balm. Rub a dime sized portion into your palms and smooth down braids from root to end as needed. $39, barneys.com

Protective styles leave your scalp more prone to dryness, causing dandruff. Apply this serum to your scalp to instantly relieve dryness and nourish your scalp. $4, sallybeauty.com

Long braids and twists can become matted at the ends when worn for longer periods of time. Keep your strands from looking mop-like by keeping them nourished with this hydrating sea mineral moisturizer. $8, target.com

To keep your new growth from breaking, moisturize your scalp with this hair oil, that seals in moisture. $6, target.com

Alleviate stale and offensive odors with a refreshing dry shampoo that won’t leave behind any white residue. $8, sallybeauty.com

Keep your protective style soft to touch with this moisturizing leave-in conditioner that can be used for daily use without weighing your hair down. $9, target.com

Wear this protective bonnet while you sleep to prevent your braids or twists from matting. $6, sallybeauty.com