What is there not to love about braids? From box braids to Fulani braids, protective styles are always in trend. They take a lot of time, money, and patience (so much patience) to maintain, but the rewards are always worth it. To keep the style safe, moisturized, and long-lasting, we sought the advice of a natural hair specialist on how to manage our braids and keep them looking as good as the day we had them done.
1) Protect Your Hair at Bedtime
WHEN YOU SLEEP, PROTECT YOUR BRAIDS
We could go on and on about why you should always protect your hair at night. In brief, unprotected hair loses moisture and gloss and is more prone to frizz. Dorsey recommends putting your hair in a silk or satin scarves to reduce friction and dryness while sleeping (or bonnet). Use a silk pillowcase for further protection (and in case you wake up with your scarf on the other side of the room.
2) Avoid Tight Hairstyles
The wonderful thing about braids is how adaptable they are. You may wear them down one second and then wrap them in a ponytail the next. However, you should be cautious about how frequently you wear these exciting hairstyles. If you wear your braids in tight styles all the time (such high ponytails, buns, dutch braids, etc.), they are more prone to frizz, breakage, and weakening at the roots and edges. We're not suggesting you should stop wearing these styles entirely, but limit them to twice a week to minimize tugging and ripping. Believe us when we say that your scalp will thank you later.
3) Have a Set Washing Day
To remove product buildup, wash your braids every 3-4 weeks. If you get them wet at the beach, pool or workout frequently you may need to wash them sooner. This will not only wash your scalp, but it will also remove any excess weight from cosmetics and dust on your strands. Go here for detailed instructions on how to wash your braids and avoid frizz.
4) Touch Up Your Braids
If everything else fails and your box braids get fuzzier than you'd like before the eight weeks are over, you may always have a hairline touch up. Because most people only see the perimeter of your braids, having your hairline re-braided is a quick and easy method to achieve a salon-fresh appearance in record time. You can book one online here.
5) Recognize when it is time to take them out.
You must remember that no matter how many tips and tactics you use to keep your braids looking good, they are not designed to endure forever. These recommendations are intended to make your braids look their best for the first eight weeks, but after that, it's better to remove them to give your hair a respite from the extra weight (fragile strands, over time, can easily snap under all that pressure). Remember to let your natural hair breathe for one to two weeks before your next braid repair.
6) Box braids should never be worn for more than 8 weeks.
This is the most egregious box braid sin. Some folks have worn their box braids for a year or longer. This is dangerous. Six to eight weeks is good, but 8 weeks should be the absolute most time you may wear your braids. Yes, it is protective style, but even that is intended to be transitory rather than permanent
If you don't want unhealthy hair, don't leave your braids on for more than 8 weeks
7) After 4 to 6 weeks, redo your edges.
Hair grows around half an inch every month on average. This implies that after 4 weeks, you'll have some new growth and the braids around your front hairline... (Edges) may start to seem a little rough. After two months, you'll feel like you're pushing the boundaries of HOTNESS...lol.
Let's fix this by just removing the braiding at the edges. Detangle and condition your hair before reinstalling the braids you removed.