Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Breaking the Braid Virginity and not losing your sides

Low maintenance, yet high style!!

MHMB readers, It's bad enough that you have to sit down for like 6-9 hrs waiting for your hair to be accomplished by your coveted hair braider. Some people may have 2 hairbraiders working simultaneously, but I have one. She is awesome and she does not pull on my hair. When I get my braids put in, Rule #1: I take a set of motrin, I get my hair washed with peppermint shampoo, conditioned with Shea and deep conditioned with a special concoction of my own. It is such a long process. Haircare is very imperative when applying braids or extensions. For my senegalese twist box braid style, my hair braider make sure that my hair is not being pulled and I also ensure that I do not lose my sides. When braids are being added to my hair, I do not like grease being added to my scalp (your deep conditioner should've nourished your scalp to the point where your hair should be fully moisturized) and secondly I hold on to each braid from the root until it is it braided to the tip. As obsessive compulsive as that sounds, I believe that the way your first phase of hair braiding is accomplished will be the determination of how long and beautifully maintained your hair will be. This attributes to at least an inch to an inch and a half of new growth within your style process.

When your hair is now fully braided, it is good to let your hair rest closely to your scalp in the direction that it was braided to alleviate stress to your roots and the nape of your neck. Some people experience a pounding headache post braiding because they've managed not to follow the rule that I listed above and they try to style their hair too soon in the process. My senegalese twists have lasted already 2 months as of Saturday August 24th and I can still keep them for another 3 as long as I continue to maintain them.

One style that is really cool to do within the first week is the half up, half down style illustrated above. It doesn't cause stress to your hair. The style trains your hair to relax and it lays flat against the surface of your scalp. One thing to note is that you shouldn't put GREASE on your scalp as it may cause your braids to slip out and it also causes a smell to emanate from your scalp. Many critics will comment and certain hair care companies will state the otherwise, but as a self taught hair care expert and a coined natural haired woman, the least product added to your braids the better. Product causes build up and the inability to wash your hair will cause breakage let alone from the buildup and we all agree on this blog that we want our hair to grow and stay healthy. Some naysayers will state that you can use dry shampoo or I have even heard the most ridiculous "use alcohol" to clean your scalp. These products will dry out your scalp and make it very itchy. There is only one time to add product on your scalp during the braid style process and it is at the last phase- when you are planning to take it out.

Please check out my next blog piece for other styles to do, once your have broken your first week of the braid style process. Good luck and keep your hair tight!

Your friend in hair,