As my 90 days of living that braid up life comes to an end, I would like to leave you with the last of my tips for having a fruitful braid up season. So get your natural notebooks out and let’s get into it.
Now this is something I KNOW a lot of people overlook but maintenance during your braid up is very important. You still need to care for your natural hair underneath your protective style otherwise you’re defeating the purpose of protective styling. Instead of length retention and growth, you’ll get nothing but damage. The braid up does not mean neglect your hair o’ clock so even during; continue with your hair regimen. I’m really tired of seeing dusty ass, unattended to braid ups because y’all ain’t doing what you suppose to.
Now taking care of your hair underneath a protective style might sound like a lot of work because you not only have to make sure that your natural hair is good but also that your braids stay in good condition. However it’s really simple tings.
When I have braids my regimen in terms of moisturizing pretty much stays the same. I base my scalp with oil daily or every other day depending on how dry my scalp is. I spritz daily with a simple oil/water mix (usually something lightweight like avocado/grape seed oil) twice a day also dependent on what my hair wants. What I also like to do is spritz the length of my braids stopping at the point where my natural hair ends just to give that part of my hair some moisture as well. Also pay extra attention to your edges. Make sure they are well moisturized because dry edges + tension from braids = goodbye edges and you don’t want that.
YOU. STILL. HAVE. TO .WASH. YOUR. HAIR!
- you don’t want your hair to be smelling like weeks of dirt.
- dirty braids don’t look cute.
- just take care of your hair please!
- cleansing also helps keep your braids looking good, fresh for longer.
As much as washing your hair while with braids might seem like a mission it has to be done. You need to get rid of that dirt and build up so that you provide your hair with a clean environment to flourish. My braid up wash regimen goes as follows:
- I wash my hair every two weeks.
- Apple Cider Vinegar rinses are key and this really helps cleanse your scalp and get rid of build up (the less the better). So when dealing with an ACV rinse with braids, pay special attention to the point where your braid has been planted because that is where you find most build up. I know it may be a bit messy but try leave it in for at least 10min in order to get a good cleanse.
- After my ACV rinse I do a co-wash. I prefer to put my conditioner in a spray bottle and mix it with a little water so its easier for me to distribute it on my hair. Make sure you also do the length of your braids.
Okay as much as I can’t do my 1 hour deep conditioning session because wet braids = a mess. It don’t mean we don’t condition. Again I make use of a spray bottle to make distribution easier and leave in for 10min before thoroughly rinsing out.
side note: even with braids you still need to wear a doek or make use of a satin pillowcase. This ain’t no holiday, the rules still apply.
Taking Down Braids.
I usually wear my braids for 2 months maximum because the growth starts looking crazy however with my recent braid up I managed to pull a full 3 months.
Keeping your braids longer than 3 months can really do more harm than good to your hair. If you think the longer you keep your braids in, the more length you’ll be able to retain – you better kill that thought quick fast. You’re going to lose more hair due to damage so don’t play yourself like that. I would suggest keeping to 2 – 3 months maximum in order to have your hair come out of braids good.
- The day I take my braids down, I first cut my braids to a shorter length and then do a mini wash just to get rid of build up which will make the take down process easier. Making those knots easier to deal with as well.
- Undo your braids in sections. What I like to do is undo a section of braids, apply conditioner and put that section up in a twist.
- Once your whole head is done, do a young rinse out and go about your normal wash day regimen.
side note: give your hair a break in between braid ups, your hair needs time to recover.
Natural peace, love & light,