I am a natural hair head, but currently sporting some medium-sized braids (“extensions” to some). Braids serve a number of great purposes: they can be used as a transition hairstyle if you are trying to grow your relaxer out and they serve as a protective style from the wear and tear of the wind and cold (I loooove this). I am also pregnant at this point in time (Smile), so I can wake up with just enough time to shower and get to work (perfection!). I use extensions more for function than actual style, however there are beautiful and elegant ways you can get your hair braided to accentuate your flavor.
Before you get braids, remember to take certain precaution as to not make matters worse with your tresses.
- Do not get braids if you just put a relaxer in or got a dye treatment. I would suggest waiting at least 2 weeks before getting extensions. Hair gets very week from treatment and applying braids will add extra stress.
- Deep condition your hair before getting braids. Try to do a DT at least 3 weeks in a row in advance to your hair appointment. Braids can be somewhat drying to the hair and DTs provide plenty moisture.
- If you are all natural, or most natural, it behooves you to have a very thorough detangling session before getting your hair braided. You may want to blow dry your hair so that it is semi-straight and easy to part for the stylist. You don’t want to leave it up to them to detangle your hair because when they get done, there may not be much hair left to braid!
- Remember, not too tight! If you go to a hole-in-the-wall braiding spot, it may be difficult to get them to adjust their grip, but you do want to retain your edges.
- Once you’ve spent 4-5 hours in the chair, you want to take extra care of your hair, especially your scalp because it is fully exposed. Apply a natural, light oil to help soothe itch and stimulate hair growth. My favorites are Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut and Jojoba with a hint of the essential oil Rosemary.
- Don’t be afraid to wash your braids, your hair is still in need of water. The braids may take longer to dry but it’s very much worth it in the end.
Good luck with your protective style ladies! Leave links in the comments of your braided styles, and we may feature you on the site!