Braided hairstyles are an excellent style choice to give your natural hair a break and to protect it from damage.
There are a few principles you must know before getting braids in order to retain your hair’s length and moisture in order to attain optimal results.
By: Diena Diallo
6 Things You Absolutely Must Do Before Having Your Hair Braided
Step 1. Prepare Your Hair
If your hair is mostly dry, breaks easily, and has a hard time staying moisturized, it is important to co-wash or oil your hair before getting braids installed.
Use a conditioner that has proteins to help strengthen your hair. You can also oil your hair with a mixture of extra virgin oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil a few hours or the night before you wash your hair in order to strengthen and revitalize your it. If your ends are split or damaged, clip or trim your hair before installing braids. Doing so will prevent added damage.
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Step 2. Wash Your Hair
Give your scalp a good scrub using a sulfate-free shampoo, apple cider vinegar, or a wet baking soda mask. This will take out dirt and remove any residue that might be in your hair. The vinegar will also help to close your cuticles to keep moisture in.
Step 3: Deep Condition Your Hair
Deep condition your hair using any conditioner of your choice. Allow conditioner to sit in your hair for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing out with cold water. If you use heat, you can also sit under a dryer for the same amount of time. This will give your hair strands extra slip and aid the braid installation.
Step 4: Balance Your Hair’s PH
Rinse your hair and scalp with an herbal infusion. This will not only give your hair it’s correct pH balance but also increase blood flow and stimulate the growth cycle of your hair. Some herbal infusions are rosemary, catnip, lavender, chamomile and peppermint.
Step 5: Detangle Your Hair
Much of the pain experienced during and after African hair braiding is caused by tangled hair. It is important that your hair is thoroughly detangled before all braided hairstyles are done. For braids, it is not enough to finger-detangle your hair. You will want to use a medium tooth comb and detangle your hair from the tip, working your way up to the roots.
Step 6: Go Get Your Braids
The last and one of the most important things you must do is find a good stylist to install your braids if you are not doing them yourself. Make sure you use someone that you can trust wit caring for your hair and who is experienced with braiding hair. Do not enlist a hair stylist that is heavy-handed or braids too tightly.
With good installation and proper maintenance, you can rock your protective braids for up to 8 weeks.
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About The Writer: Diena Diallo is an author and the founder of Diena Simply Natural. As a hair stylist and health coach, she helps women looking for a change to feel beautiful so they can live confidently through life and stay healthy enough to achieve their dreams.
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