Are you a lover of braids but have seen breakage from what is supposed to be considered a “Protective Style”? We’ve all been there, which is why we want to help you keep your hair healthy while wearing this low maintenance style.
Here are a few Pro-Tips to maintaining healthy hair before (and after) wearing braids.
THE PROPER PREP:
Before you get braids, you want to make sure that you’ve nurtured your strands before tucking them in to rest for a long period of time.
Deep Conditioning your hair is a major prep step to make sure your hair is moisturized. If you have a finer texture, you should also consider getting a protein treatment to strengthen your hair. Followed by these steps, choose your favorite sealant to coat your hair. Two sealants to recommend would be Black Castor Oil or Coconut Oil. Black Castor Oil is on the heavier side while Coconut Oil is a lighter sealant. Doing this the night before gives your hair the opportunity to take it all in and leaves your braider from complaining about coming in with “Too Much Product” lol. Sealing your hair helps to keep moisture locked in while your hair is braided up.
Another tip would be…
Let’s start with the fact that “tight” does not mean that your style will last longer. In fact, when your hair is braided too tight it causes damage to your hair follicles so be gentle.
Being gentle starts with less manipulation as well. We all love to put our braids up like Janet in Poetic Justice, but make sure you are doing minimal manipulation while wearing your protective style. You want to be sure to avoid too much tension on your edges. If you can, leave them out. Your edges are the most fragile area when it comes to protective styling and easily break when there is too much tension. Remember, the less manipulation the better.
KEEP YOUR HAIR MOISTURIZED:
Finding the right daily moisturizer for your hair while wearing braids helps with more than you may realize. A lighter bodied spray moisturizer helps especially when it’s a mist. Also, oils aren’t just for prep! Making sure that you oil your scalp at least twice a week while wearing your braids helps with maintaining healthy hair and a healthy scalp.
Speaking of scalp…Our final tip while wearing braids you want to remember is to…
CLEAN YOUR SCALP!
To avoid sebum, product, and dirt buildup you have to clean your scalp. The worst experience to have is dandruff with your braids due to buildup. Keeping your hair moisturized and clean at the same time sounds like a task but try to find a cleanser that works for you. Sulfate free shampoos have been a top selection. Work a small amount of cleanser into your scalp and allow the water to rinse down your braids. You would then condition, rinse, and pat dry to avoid frizz. Most importantly, protect your hair with a satin/silk scarf or a bonnet protects your hair from extra friction and locks in moisture.