Braids are a go to in the cold months. Do take care of your own hair while you wear your braids. Follow these few steps to make sure your hair under the braids stay in good condition.
How long to wear your braids:
Do not plan to wear your braids for longer than 8 weeks. By week 6 your own hair will have grown out and the pull of the heavy braids can lead to traction alopecia.
Taking care of your own hair under the braids:
Do not neglect to take care of your hair under the braids. Your hair is still somewhat exposed to the elements and you still need to take care of it. Your scalp will still produce oils and you have to wash it. Be careful not to leave any suds in between the braids as these can lead to massive tangles during take-down. Do shampoo your scalp and make sure you rinse it out well. Do apply a conditioner and with braids you have to rinse it out to make sure you don’t leave a residue that will cause a lint ball mixed with oils that can mat your hair.
Cleansing your scalp/ hair while in braids:
This is a very important note on washing braids. Do not wash your braids and let them hang while they are wet. The weight of the wet braids is too much pull on your scalp. Apply shampoo on your scalp. Tie a loose bun in a top knot and rinse properly under a shower. Make sure the product is completely rinsed out. I cannot stress enough how important it is to rinse all the foam out of your hair. Take the bun down and apply conditioner. You can mix a conditioner in a spray bottle and spray it onto your braids. Tie it back up and rinse off. Or hold the hair in one hand to lift the weight from pulling down. Tie it up promptly, do not let it hang. Wrap it in a towel to drip most of the water and use a low heat or no heat blow-dry to dry the braids. Braids take a long time to dry do not let the increased weight pull on your hair the entire day. Dry it as soon as possible. Depending on your scalp you may not need to apply anything to it. Should you want to opt for an oil: try grapeseed or jojoba oil as these absorb well. I would not recommend any other leave in products on braids because they can cause matting.
Finally, be mindful of the size of your braids. Box braids are faster to install and larger scalp section may be better for wear on the hair. However box braids also do use a significant amount of hair. Consider the size versus weight and amount of weeks of wear you want from braids.
Protective styling in winter gives several options. Use this time to tuck your hair away and give it a rest from the constant toil. Flat twists, cornrows and loose twists can be chopped and changed to give you some rest from hairstyling. The www has endless very easy and cute hairdo’s. Use these to enjoy a laid back regime.