If a braided protective style is not installed correctly and cared for appropriately, this type of style can cause more damage to your curls which can prevent growth. Therefore, before opting for a braided style, you must consider preparing for it, how to maintain your style, post-installation, and what is involved in the removal process. So, here are eight things you need to consider before getting a braided style.
Consider The Best Type Of Braided Style For Your Natural Hair
When considering the braid style, you want to consider your natural hair's health. For instance, if you have finer afro hair, do not go for braids of a larger size, as these could damage your natural curls due to their weight. In addition, if you want to keep this braided style in for longer, you should opt for smaller sections, and at the minimum, these should be two fingers wide.
Think About Whether You Can Dedicate This Time To Prep Your Natural Hair
As your afro hair will be subject to your braided style for a few weeks, you must create the healthiest environment. Start by using scalp and protein treatment on natural hair that is dry and unwashed. You must let this mixture sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes before washing it off and applying shampoo and conditioner. Next, wash your hair using our Hydration Shampoo With Manuka Honey for a clean and nourishing experience.
Then use our Moisture Rich Conditioner With Manuka Honey & Avocado to mimic a deep conditioning experience for about 10 to 15 minutes using shower caps. This process will ensure that the moisturising product will penetrate your afro hair properly. Then, to make the braided process more manageable, ask your stylist to apply our Curling Mousse With Flaxseed Oil & Rosewater on wet or dry natural hair from your roots to your ends. It can prep your curls for braiding and provide hold and further hydration after your wash day. More importantly, it can also minimise tangling and breakage.
Find A Stylist That You Can Voice Any Concerns To
If your protective style is too tight, it can cause hair loss conditions like traction alopecia. Look for a stylist who can create a looser braided style to reduce discomfort. Reputable stylists will also want to know how sensitive your scalp is, so they know how much tension to use during the process. A stylist should also use less hair near your edges.
Keep In Mind The Length Of Time A Braiding Process Can Take
A professional braided style can take four to eight hours, depending on the technique your stylist uses and the type of braid size you opt for. While nothing can prepare you for this length of time, know that by the end, this protective style will be worth it.
Educate Yourself On The Maintenance Process Involved
While braids can be a low-maintenance afro hairstyle, you still need to ensure that your braids, natural hair, and scalp are healthy. Begin this process by spraying a daily moisturising oil onto your scalp and braids like our Everyday Curl Refresh With Coconut & Jamaican Black Castor Oils. This mixture can keep your braids and natural curls lubricated, reducing the likelihood of breakage, especially when taking the braids down.
But, if you engage in an active lifestyle or have a flaky or itchy scalp, you must wash and condition your hair and braids at least once a week. Then after the washing process, re-apply our Everyday Curl Refresh or use a small amount of our Leave-In Conditioner With Manuka Honey & Avocado Oil to seal in moisture and restore shine. Finally, ensure you dry your hair thoroughly with the help of a hooded dryer to avoid any odour or mildew.
Give Yourself Time To Organise A Night-Time Routine For Your Braids
Think about reducing the amount of friction to your afro braids at night. In addition to a silk or satin bonnet, consider applying our Curling Crème With Coconut & Jamaican Black Castor Oils onto your braids and scalp for additional moisture before applying your bonnet and sleeping.
Remember That The Takedown Also Needs Extra TLC
It's essential to keep your braided style in for a maximum of eight weeks and no more to avoid excessive breakage and build-up. You should also ask your stylist to re-braid the front portion of your braids during the fourth week. Then, when removing your braided style, detangle your afro hair with your fingers first. Next, detangle with a wide-toothed comb and an intensive detangling conditioner to prevent excess shedding and tangling. Once you've rinsed this mixture, continue with your regular cleansing and conditioning wash day duo.
While a braided style is highly versatile, you must consider whether you can handle the preparation and maintenance required. Any afro hairstyle will take effort and time to keep in a healthy state, and a protective style is no exception.