When you decide to get braids, you will likely be very happy with this decision – as long as they are done right! Not only do braids look amazing, but they also make hair care so much easier, requiring very little maintenance for up to eight weeks.
However, just like getting for and caring for wigs, like these ones from EvaWigs, braids require you to consider a few things. Keep reading for some helpful tips from the pros to ensure your braids are easy to get and care for.
1. Know What You Want and What is Possible
Do you know what braids you want? Tree braids, micro braids, Senegalese twists, Marley twists, box braids – the fact is, there are dozens of options and you need to know the style you want so you can purchase the right texture of synthetic hair and find a braider for the style you have selected.
Make sure to talk to your braider about what would work for your hair before they start. Consider the length and size of the braids, too – what’s right for your hair? If the braids are too long or big, they could cause damage or breakage along the hairline because of the weight and tension they create.
2. Plan for a Full Day of Braiding
Like any type of art, braiding is something that takes time. Don’t be surprised if you must set aside an entire day or most of a day for your new style. Usually, a speedy braider with a lot of experience can complete medium-sized braids in about six hours. However, if you want micro braids, it may take double that amount of time. Make sure to plan accordingly.
3. Preparation is Key
When you get braids, your real hair will be tucked away for several months. As a result, you want to ensure it’s in good condition before you get this style done. Be sure to wash it, condition it, and deep condition it the day before. If you tend to co-wash your hair, now may be a good time to choose a clarifying shampoo, which will eliminate any buildup on the hair.
4. Stretch It
Along with detangling your hair well, you need to stretch the curls to make sure your braids are frizz-free and smooth when they are put in. If you don’t mind using heat on your hair, you should blow-dry it using a paddle brush to stretch it out. It’s smart to use a heat protector while doing this, too. If you want to avoid the heat, that is fine. You can stretch your hair by moisturizing and then do a braid out or dividing your hair into buns after it is washed and letting it air dry completely.
5. Protect Your Hair but Don’t Neglect It
Braids are a great hairdo that can protect your hair. After all, with these, you don’t have to worry about doing your hair each day. However, your hair won’t stay healthy unless you nourish it. After your braids are in place, keep your natural hair lubricated and moisturized. Sometimes, synthetic hair can dehydrate your natural hair. To avoid this, try using a water-based hydrating spray and applying it from the roots to the ends. After this, you can use a light oil on your scalp, but just as needed.
6. Be Patient
When your braids are first put in, your head may feel a little weird because of the weight and the fact that your scalp is open to the air. However, these are feelings that will pass, you just have to be patient. Keep in mind, your braids should never hurt. While they may feel tender at first, pain isn’t a part of this process.
If you want to make the most of your braids, be sure to keep the information here in mind. It will help ensure your braids look great and that they continue to look great as long as you have them.