Welcome to Fall! Summer is officially gone, the mornings are a lot chillier, and the leaves are falling all over the yard! With cooler weather means the coming of…protective styles! Harsh cool weather means it’s time to get your hair nice and protected to combat the cold. One popular style is to get some braids. What is it about braids that we love so much? Is it because it brings us back to our ethnic roots? Is it because we can add beads or cuffs to them in order to add a little extra pizzazz to our look? Or is it because we can switch up the different looks when we have individuals, making braids one of the most low maintenance, versatile hairstyles in the hair care community? Whatever your reasoning is for liking braids, they will definitely get the spotlight today in this article. Now, as much as we love to rock braids, there are a few rules associated with braids that we think should be addressed. No, we’re not going to tell you that you can’t wear purple braids or can’t have them go down to the back of your knees. That’s your prerogative. Instead, we just want to give you some do’s and don’ts when it comes to maintenance and overall upkeep.
- Do make sure you get them installed by someone who knows what they’re doing.
Now, this may seem like a no brainer to you, but for some we really need to hit this one home. You don’t want to go to Kiki cousin just because she charges only $20. You are about to put something into your head that has the potential to last for months and also can add up pretty quickly if the person doing your hair doesn’t know how to properly separate the strands first. A novice will end up making some braids thicker than others, throwing away too much hair, and essentially wasting your time and money.
- Do not get your hair braids too tight.
Now, while it’s good to go to someone who has done this before, make sure that they do not braid your hair too tight. Why? Well, too much tension will not only cause you to have a headache, but it will also break off your edges if you’re not careful. Do not be afraid to let your stylist know that they are braiding your hair too tight. Remember, you’re the one that has to keep those braids in your hair for several weeks. Make yourself comfortable and speak up.
- Do keep your scalp clean and moisturized.
It’s gets so easy to neglect your real hair when you have braids in your head. However, try not to give in to the laziness. Your scalp can and will get flaky and dry if you choose not to take care of it while it is in these braids. Keep some Shedavi Elixir on deck at all times, and just use a few drops to massage into your scalp every day. Not only will it keep the scalp looking healthy, but it may also help your hair grow while it’s in braids. Also, as far as keeping it clean, use a gentle shampoo on your scalp while you have those braids. Pay close attention to only the scalp and not the rest of the hair.
- Do not forget to dry your hair after washing.
This one is huge! From personal experience, make sure you take the time to thoroughly dry your hair after shampooing with braids. Failure to properly dry the hair can result in bacteria and build up and your scalp can start to get a mildew smell. There’s nothing worse than having a mildew problem in your hair. Take those extra 10-15 minutes and dry off your scalp after every wash when you have braids.
- Do experiment with different looks.
Another no brainer, but do not be afraid to try some new looks when you’re rocking your braids. The power pony, the donut bun, the pompadour bun, and even the side ponytail with a swoop are just a few different looks you can have when you’re wearing braids. Add a headband or some cuffs to have even more style looks. The possibilities truly are endless!
- Do not pull your hair back into a ponytail after you just get it done.
As much as you want to show off your edges when you first get your braids done, don’t set yourself up for failure. Pulling back hair into a tight bun or ponytail right after getting them done is code for I don’t want my edges. Even if you tell your stylist not to grip too tight, just the tension from the hair actually being braided is enough to damage your edges if you pull them back too soon. Plan to wear your hair down or in a loose lower ponytail for at least 2-3 days after getting it done. You’ll probably be rocking the style for a while, so no need to rush doing something that you saw on YouTube.
- Do keep a bonnet or scarf on your head at night.
We will end this advice on braids with something that you need to do: keep them braids under a scarf or bonnet. Like with most hairstyles, you should want to protect your investment. With that being said, a scarf is probably your best bet for a few reasons. First, you don’t have to worry about any unnecessary bending of the hair when using a bonnet. Second, you don’t have to worry about fitting all the hair into it. Simply put all of your hair into an extremely lose ponytail at the top of your head. Your hair should resemble a pineapple. Wrap you scarf around your edges and you are all set!
Now you have all your do’s and don’ts for rocking braids this Fall. Now, go be great, and tell us about your favorite braid styles in the comments!
Authored by Bianca Scott