Preparing & Maintaining Braids/Twists Extensions


PrepareBraids_Intro.jpg

From the start of my natural hair journey, my favourite protective style has always been box braids. Especially in the summer when I’m on my holiday break, box braids are definitely my go-to style. They’re a great way to protect your strands, help with growth and of course gives you more time in the morning/evening. Come on, who wants to waste time detangling, twisting and styling when they’ve got a holiday to enjoy. Not me that’s who.

Braiding has many benefits but lets not forget about the downsides to this protective style. Braids can cause damage, breakage and in some cases alopecia. To avoid making the common mistakes, so many women make when wearing braids. I’ve listed some helpful tips on getting the most out of you style.

 

// BEFORE

__________

Deep Condition

Before you consider installing braids/twist extensions, please ensure that your hair and scalp are healthy enough to handle the extra weight and tension from the braids. 

In preparation I would suggest doing a protein treatment followed by a moisturising deep condition, at least twice before installing your braids/twists.

It’s also important to solve any scalp issues such as dryness, dandruff, itchy scalp, any fungal infections etc. These may weaken your hair and lead to damage and breakage.

Mo's Deep condition routine:

Apply your deep conditioner evenly throughout wet hair after shampooing, place hair under a plastic cap/plastic bag and apply moderate heat for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. For an added super boost of moisture, shine and softness, try adding a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of natural oil (e.g. extra virgin olive oil, jojoba, coconut, argan etc) to your deep conditioning treatment before you apply it to your hair.

// DURING

__________

Moisturising

Moisturising-Spritz_2.jpg

 

Please don’t forget that the hair underneath your braids still needs love and attention. The same way that you moisturise your hair when they’re out, you need to ensure that your hair is moisturised whilst in your braids. To keep your hair from getting too dry, use a liquid moisturiser or braid spray twice a day.

Mo’s moisturiser of choice:
I tend to use my homemade moisturiser spritz, as it’s a great way of penetrating the braids and getting to my actual hair. It also helps to prevent build up on my braids, especially at the root.

__________

Cleansing

Washing your braid/twist extensions is a must. It’s important to the health of your hair and scalp to remove product build-up, residue and sweat. There are so many different ways to wash your braids but I’ve found the following regime to be the most successful for me…

  • Section braids into four sections
  • Find a plastic container/jar, add your favourite shampoo then some water until it’s watery enough for easy application.
  • Within each section, apply the diluted shampoo to you scalp and rub gently to lift the dirt from your scalp. Make sure you use your finger tips and NOT your nails.
  • Pour the remaining diluted shampoo over your head and squeeze your braids to ensure that the shampoo penetrates and cleans your hair inside.
  • Once done run your head under the water until it rinses clean. 
  • Apply your leave-in conditioner of choice. Alternatively if you feel your hair needs extra moisture you could use your conditioner/deep conditioner. Use the same method as the shampoo and mix your conditioner with water in a plastic container/jar. Rinse thoroughly as conditioners/deep conditioners tend to be thick and could cause build-up.
  • Whilst your braids are still banded, use your towel to remove the excess water. Once they’re about 50% dry, remove your bands and then gently finger detangle if you have loose/feathered ends. 

Mo’s leave-in conditioner of choice:

Creme of Nature Argan Oil - Strength and Shine Leave-In Conditioner

// AFTER

__________

Take Down

PrepareBraids_TakeDown.jpg

When taking down your braids the key if to ensure that you hold on to as much of your new growth as possible. I find the easiest way of getting the hair out of the braids to make sure that the hair is as slippery and moist as possible. Try the following method for making your take down as stress free as possible…

  • About 15 minute’s prior to take down, spritz your braids (focusing mainly on the first few inches) with a water, conditioner (you probably won’t want to waste your favourite conditioner for this) and oil(s).
  • Once you have cut your braids,  remove the remaining braids by using your fingers to minimise breakage.
  • To remove the block of dirt, spray your conditioner mix on that top area where the braid first meets your hair, to loosen up the dirt.
  • Take your time and slowly pull the hair apart, little by little to remove the dirt from the hair.
  • Once the dirt is out, detangle that section of the hair right away to avoid tangles.
  • Then follow up with a shampoo and apple cider vinegar rinse (this is optional) to ensure that your hair and scalp are thoroughly cleansed.
  • Oh and of course a deep condition is a must.

 

Happy braiding

x

 

How do you prepare and maintain your braid/twist extensions?

 

My Two Year Natural Hair Journey


Can you believe that two years ago today, I started my journey to natural hair? Whooza! How time flies? I did spend most of that time transitioning but I'm all natural now, so It's all good.

I had to share the image below because its a true reflection of my hair journey. And i'm sure you can all relate.

In April this year I finally did a mini chop (cutting the relaxed ends off) after transitioning for a total of 18 months. God only knows how I went for so long, because dealing with two textures wasn't easy. It became even more frustrating as time went on, so I knew it was time to let go and fully embrace my natural hair.

Like many long term transitioners, I was apprehensive about cutting the relaxed ends off. How was I going to deal with losing length? Will I be able to create my favourite styles? Will I even like my own texture?

I'll keep it real with you, it was a bit of a struggle working with shorter hair after the mini chop. My twist outs didn't sit as nicely as they used to, my up-do's didn't look as fabulous, my hair lacked shine and my curls weren't as defined as i'd hoped them to be. BUT I was all natural and this is what god had blessed me with.

I spent the follow months getting used to my texture, experimenting with different products, adjusting my daily regime and learning to except my hair for what it was...Beautiful.

I've put together a gallery of hair photos taken over the two years. Hopefully this will encourage, inspire and help someone on their journey to natural hair.

 

 

How did you find your journey to natural hair? If you're transitioning, how is your journey going? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box below.

4 Great Pompadour Hairstyle Tutorials


Mo_Pompadour.jpg

Do you love stylish, easy and low maintenance hairstyles? Well this is just for you! 

Along with twist outs, pompadours (also known as an up-do) are one of my favourite go-to styles. When all else fails the pompadour never lets me down. All you'll need is your fingers, bobby pins, hair clips and you’re good to go.

Check out the videos below for instructions on how to create this fantastic style…

______

1 / Janelle Monae inspired up-do 

______

2 / Classic Pompadour

______

3 / Statement Pompadour 

______

4 / Roll, Tuck and Pin

TIP: Make sure your hair is moisturised prior to styling. 

 

What's your favourite go-to style?