Live Your Most Beautiful Life
When it comes to healthy braids hair care, you should keep several things in mind in order to ensure that your braids last a long time, and that your own hair is taken care of while sporting hair extensions. Alonna Rice, Cafe Belle's healthy hair expert with over 25 years of experience, has seven hot tips for healthy braids hair care:
1) Make sure your hair is clean before getting it braided: Oftentimes, women get their hair braided when it is not completely clean. I recommend that you thoroughly shampoo and condition your hair (with special focus on your scalp) before having extension hair braided into your hair.
2) Moisturize your hair while braided: It is crucial that you keep your hair moisturized with either an oil or water-based moisturizer while braided. Otherwise, it will get dry, brittle, and possibly break off.
3) Determine whether oils or water-based moisturizers work best for you and your lifestyle: In my opinion, it is better to opt for an oil moisturizer because water-based moisturizers dry up a lot faster, while oils keep your hair moisturized for a longer period of time. If you opt for a braid spray, remember that it is a water-based moisturizer and therefore will not keep your hair moisturized for a long period of time. If you opt for an oil moisturizer, you should oil your hair twice a week while wearing braids. If you use a water-based moisturizer, you should moisturize your hair every other day while wearing braids.
4) Wrap your hair at night: Just because you have braids doesn't mean that you don't have to take care of it at night. I recommend wrapping your hair up in a satin bonnet or scarf to keep in moisture at night and limit friction. (I personally suggest a bonnet, since scarves tend to slip off easily on braids). If you choose not to wear a satin hair covering, I recommend putting satin cases on your pillows to limit friction. However, a satin hair covering is the best way to both limit friction and maintain moisture in your hair overnight.
5) Be mindful of "braids longevity": Braids can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. You can try to keep them in longer then 3 months by "touching up" your braids in sections over time. I do not recommend keeping the same set of braids in your hair for longer than 3 months.
6) Be mindful of braids styling: Oftentimes, women who wear braids pull them too tight into ponytails and other styles that put an extreme amount of tension on the point where the extension hair is braided into the scalp. Too much tension can lead to hair breakage, or even balding problems (particularly around the hairline, where women try to achieve smooth edges for certain hair styles).
7) Consider how your skin will react to hair extensions: Although you may want to wear human hair or synthetic hair, please be mindful of how that type of hair will react with your scalp and your skin overall. For example, I had a client who chose to have blond-bleached human hair weaved into her hair. Soon after it was weaved in, she noticed that her scalp was irritated (she washed it, and her scalp continued to have an adverse reaction to the extension hair). All human and synthetic hair are chemically processed, and those chemicals may not react well with your skin. Therefore, be mindful of the type of hair that you choose when you pick up hair extensions for braiding (or weaving) purposes.
-Written by: Alonna Rice, Cafe Belle's Healthy Hair Expert