For some of us Braids are the only things keeping us from going insane while on this natural journey. It is a protective style that can be worn long term. But I guess, at times the long term might be the problem, as well as not taking proper care of the braids and installing the braids the wrong way.
In no way i’m I saying that weaves are not a protective style. I wore weaves for a long time, but the way I would do it, was I would have the leave out at the front. So that only helped 3/4 of my head.
Braids, I have had twists and box braids and I would highly recommend Box braids. Because first the way the twists are installed is not only painful but ludicrous.
So here are the ways braids can break and damage your hair.
- Dry hair is a no-no. That’s a given. Always condition your hair before you braid it. Even if you are blow drying it, make sure you run your finger coated in moisturizer through it. Can you imagine the friction from the extension and your dry hair. There is a reason why they put Vaseline on the braids.
- So this thing of, let’s use all the extensions since she came with them thing is madness. Fixing a gigantic piece of extension on a tiny potion of your hair, only weighs down your hair. Pulling it out from your root and causing breakage not only at the ends but at the root.
3. Micro braids, i don’t even understand why…. you can easily pull tiny sections of your hair from your scalp. So why reinforce that by putting an extension on it. Your hair is already fragile, unless you are Thor. Some girls told me, no I have it in a ponytail the whole time, yes and that is why your edges start behind your ears. Avoid micro braids like the plague.
4. Ponytails… refer to #3 line 3.
5. Upkeep, yes it is difficult to remember and even harder to take care of braids. Usually that’s the time you should be having it easy with your hair. It’s in a protective style and it should be alright on it’s on, right….sadly not. Moisturizing and sealing braids. This is my routine, during the week I have a spray bottle that is mostly water, some leave in conditioner and a little bit of coconut oil. This is mostly for my scalp so that it doesn’t dry when I am out and about. Then at the end of the week, with a wet flannel I squeeze water into my braids, and in a downward motion, seal it with coconut oil or an other oil in my reach. This is the thing, to avoid build up on my scalp, I only use liquid oil. That way my scalp remains clean.
6. Installing tight braids. That belief that the tighter it is attached to your head the longer it will last is a lie. What will happen is as she forces the hair, it gets pulled out of it’s roots and during take down you can welcome a bald spot. If you get a headache, bumps on your scalp that are inflamed (tingling and itching), white bulbs which are infected hair follicles around our hair line or you feel like you unknowingly got a face lift procedure, your braids are too tight. Honestly its all about the technique of the hair dresser, and yes it is at time impossible to not have the above when you just had your hair braided. But if you can’t smile, raise your eyebrows, can’t lay your head down because of pain then your braiding has been done to the extreme.
I stopped doing small braids and i now only do medium sized braids. There is this new style that has hit the streets of nairobi, lines in the front or the sides of your hair. This actually protects your hair line if down properly.
And when it comes to touch ups, if you can avoid it the better. Usually touch ups are only done to the front of the hair. This is when you notice that the front of your hair is not growing as well or does not look as healthy as the rest of your hair. Do something that can last you 4 weeks or 6 weeks without having to do a touch up. If you really need a new style every two weeks, go with lines or cornrows.
For more detailed explanation on how to install braids safely visit (K)
My song of the week comes from a K-Dram OST Scholar who walks the Night.