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Braiding your hair makes you look more beautiful and amazing. It also protects your hair during winter. However, before you braid your hair, there are certain things you should know. With this knowledge, you will always have an exceptional braiding experience.
Let me tell you a secret… Sometimes, it’s a bit challenging to get an exceptional stylist who can handle high-quality braids. Of course, there are braiding shops in every corner, but not all stylists can give you the top-notch braid you desire.
Nothing is as terrible as meeting an inexperienced stylist to braid your hair. I have been there, and the experience is not worth having. So, here’s everything you need to know before you get braids.
#1. Carry out an Extensive Research on The Stylist Who Will Braid Your Hair
If you are planning to braid your hair, the first thing you should do is to learn more about your stylist. From experience, most talented stylists may not have a website. But they are always on social media. So, follow the stylist on social media, check out the different braids styles they uploaded online and read comments to see what people are saying about them.
The comment section of your stylist social media handle is where you will have an idea of how talented they are. If she has been doing fantastic braiding styles for people, you will surely see testimonies there. And if her braiding skills are poor, you will also have an idea in the comment section.
#2. Decide on the Style You Want Before the Appointment
Going to your stylist shop for braiding without having any style in mind is not a good idea. You will end up getting a style that you don’t desire. So, it’s advisable to browse for amazing braids style online; there are several options to choose from.
There are instances when you have no clue whether human hair or synthetic hair is better for you. All you have to do is to carry out a little research to know which hair extension is a better fit for you.
Again, both human and synthetic hair isis exceptional. But how you take care of them determines their durability. For instance, synthetic hair is cheaper than human hair, but with proper care, your synthetic hair can last as long as human hair. It’s all about moisture and personal preference.
#3. It’s Not a Good Idea to Braid After You Relax
Generally, braids are protective styles for natural and relaxed hair. However, it’s not advisable to braid your hair immediately after relaxing. The relaxer will stretch your hair’s elasticity; this will stress the pH balance. And the braid’s weight will pull and lead to breakage at your hair root. So, it’s better to wait for about eight weeks after relaxing your hair before getting braids. By this time, there will be traces of new hair on your scalp, which makes braiding easier.
#4. Ensure Your Braid Isn’t Too Tight
The purpose of braiding will be counterproductive if your braid is too tight. In my opinion, the essence of braiding is to keep your hair in a protective style and avoid the everyday wear and tear of your hair. However, if your braid is too tight, you are likely to experience moderate or severe breakage.
Always let your stylist know if you feel the first braid is too tight. Remember, you are paying the bill, and you have the right to tell your hairdresser how you want your hair to be. Don’t fall for the funny assumption that tight braids last longer. You should be more concerned about your health than the duration of your braid.
#5. Maintain Your Hair Regularly
There are several misconceptions about braiding your hair out there. One of them is that you don’t need regular maintenance when wearing your hair in braids. This is not true; you must always keep your scalp clean and moisturize. Otherwise, you will end up having a dreadlock; this will lead to a serious hair breakage when you try to detangle.
You can always use a stocking cap to shampoo and condition your hair without affecting the braids. Also, you can use shea butter to moisturize your scalp and keep your hair growing. Trust me; there’s no protective braiding style that doesn’t require you to carry out maintenance on your hair.
#6. Always Style with Caution
Braiding is not all about styling. Instead, it gives your hair a break from styling. It makes your hair undergo less stress and grow. Whatever styling you are going for, ensure it does not stress your hair. Pull your hair loosely and if you have shorter hair around the edge, don’t over-manipulate your hair. It will make your braid fall out faster and lead to possible hair breakage.
Of course, it’s fun to style your braids. But if you aren’t cautious about it, you may end up taking the braids out and stress your hair too much.
#7. Protect Your Hair While You Sleep
Most people usually fall short in this area. It’s not about styling beautiful braids, but you must be ready to give attention to your hair even while you sleep. It’s embarrassing when someone peers into your braids and picks out a piece of lint.
Most times, lint enters your hair while you are sleeping. Try to sleep in a satin bonnet to prevent lint and crumb from entering your braids. Also, sleeping in a satin bonnet keeps your braids from getting frizzy.
There’s something you should know about braids; they don’t last forever. And how long braids last is relative. It depends on how well your braids are fixed and how you care for them over time. But if you take care of your braids, moisturize, and do scalp cleansing, you can keep it up to 12 weeks. If it lasts longer than that, your hair tends to dread and break. Even though braids are an excellent way to protect your hair, you still need to free your hair sometimes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Braids
How Do I Wash Braided Hair?
It’s easy to wash and condition your braided hair. And how often you wash your braid depends on how long you want to keep it. Like I mentioned earlier, your braid can last as long as 12 weeks, depending on how you maintain them.
Here’s a step by step procedure on how to wash your braids;
- If you live in a cool environment or your perspiration level is low, ensure you wash and condition your hair once in two or three weeks.
- However, if you do regular exercise or have a high perspiration level, you should wash your braids at least once a week and condition every two weeks.
- After swimming you should also wash your braided hair.
How Do I Care for Braid After Swimming?
You can swim with your braided hair, all you have to do is to tie the braid into a ponytail or high bun before you start swimming.
Swimming pools usually have chlorine which could damage and alter your braided hair colour if they aren’t removed after swimming. So, it’s advisable to wash and rinse your braids thoroughly after swimming. Also, you can use an SLS and SLeS free clarifying shampoo to wash your hair.
How Often Should I Moisturize My Hair When Wearing Braid Extensions?
Generally, your hair requires three ingredients to be strong and healthy. These ingredients are; moisture, lubrication, and protein.
Moisture gives elasticity to your hair and prevents brittle hair that breaks. Lubrication, on the other hand, keeps your hair soft, supple, and smooth. And protein strengthens and repairs your hair.
Your hair needs these three ingredients even if you are wearing braid extensions. You should do this two or three times a week.
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