RULES OF BRAIDING
- Always shampoo and condition hair before putting in a braid. Never put braids on dirty hair. It causes itch and constant scratching.
- Remember to always have your hair in good condition to wear braids as hair braiding is about encouraging and nurturing healthy hair. If you have any particular hair condition – ring worm, head lice, alopecia, dry hair etc. These conditions need attention, discuss with your braider as they may be able to help point you in the right direction.
- If you wear chemically processed / relaxed hair, ensure your hair is healthy before you put on braided extensions. This is because if your hair is damaged, braids will not restore your hair condition. The added stress of braids will cause you further damage. Remember that if you go ahead and braid an already stressed hair condition, braiding is not the cause of your problem.
- If the hair is natural /virgin hair without chemical processing do the following to get started:
- add moisturising lotion – some good names include – Pink oil moisturiser, Motions moisturisers, Organic Root Stimulator moisturiser, Kids organics moisturiser etc
- Use hand dryers with a comb pick attachment to detangle the hair.
- Allow to comb easily before braiding – Tip: comb from the ends to the roots so as not to cause tangling or pain on your client.
- When braiding is complete, apply braid spray on hair to give it shine and moisturise the scalp some good brand names – Isoplus natural range, African Pride, Better Braids, Sulphur 8, Organic Root Stimulator etc.
a Dampen the hair as it is very slippery and fragile by adding water from a water spray to make it ready for braiding.
b Do not apply grease or oil as it becomes slippery.
- When braiding unless otherwise necessary (due to design and style) – try and match hair extensions textures to the client’s natural hair as this gives a more natural look.
- Do not braid a freshly relaxed hair until after 2 weeks of the chemical application as this result in damage or excessive stress to the hair leading to hair loss.
- While braiding the hair, avoid pulling the hairs at the hairline as they tend to cause damage resulting to traction alopecia i.e hair loss due to stress and tightness.
- After a hair braid, where possible, do not over expose hair to hard water because it strips hair of its natural oil, and takes away the gloss and shine from the braid. When there is need to cleanse the scalp of dirt and smell where applicable, use natural cleansers such as Witch hazel, tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol, surgical spirits etc.
- Other products to cleanse scalp include dry shampoos – some good brand names include – Organic Root Stimulator, Sta-Sof-Fro, Better Braids, Isoplus etc. After application of these products, use braid sheens, anti-itch oils, leave-in conditioners and hair fresheners to banish itch and bad smell that may occur.
- As a rule of thumb, do not leave a braid for longer than 3 months. When you do, the hair starts to naturally lock itself and the products start to build-up leading to tight knots at the base of the braids. This leads to hair loss & damage if the right process and products are not used when taking out the braids.
- On the average, after about 6 weeks the braid should be re-touched at the hairline. A term used in braiding which means the braids at the hair line should be taken out and re-braided to give a fresher new look.
- Use braid and scalp conditioners on your scalp on as-needed basis to combat dry scalp and avoid flaky scalp.
- It is important to cover your hair with a silk or satin scarf when going to sleep. This keeps your hair smooth, neat and avoids loss of natural oils. If you have problem tying your hair then get a satin or silk pillow case as they do not absorb the moisture needed in your hair.
- Put your hair up for your work out and activities.
- To maintain healthy hair, add leave-in conditioners such as Infuisum 23-diluted with a little water and add your braid sheen to it. Spray this on your braids on as-needed basis.
- When taking a shower, keep the hair covered with a silk or satin scarf to control the hair and then put a shower cap to avoid getting your hair wet.
- To combat frizz, mist the hair until slightly damp. In the palm of your hands add a little gel and smooth it over the braids in the direction they were braided. Cover with a silk or satin scarf until dry.
- For individual braids frizz, oil the scalp, moisturise with a no-rinse conditioner, and mist lightly with water. Cover with a silk or satin scarf until dry. Remove scarf and all are neat.
- For Cornrows frizz, mist your hair with water until it is slightly damp, then take a small amount of gel and smooth it over the cornrows. Tie the hair down until it is completely dry.
- For hot weather in summer, try hairstyles that are short and has no fuss. They are cooler to maintain in the heat.
- Cornrows are funky and easy to wear. They are dramatic, creative and stylish. To achieve a great style, create your own unique cornrow by adding all the other styles you find around with a design you have created and this makes it special to you.
- If the hair on your hair line is too small to be picked up when braiding, avoid breakage and apply a light gel hair cream to get a smooth baby hair look – good brand names include – Lets Jam (Soft Sheen Carson), Elasta QP Glaze etc.
WHEN REMOVING BRAIDS
- When removing braids, be gentle. Avoid being in a hurry. Set out a time and date to take your braids out in comfort or better still get the services of a professional braider.
- Spray the braids with good products that are aimed at helping to take out braids – some good names are – Un-braid by Better Braids, Ease out by African Pride, Unlocker by Isoplus etc. These products melt the knots that are formed at the end of each plaits due to product build up and dust from the atmosphere.
- Gather all the braids up in a ponytail. Take your braids down one by one and undo them. This will make removing your braids easier and less frustrating as you can gauge your progress.
- After taking out the braids, gently comb through with a wide-tooth comb. DO NOT WASH /SHAMPOO YOUR HAIR UNTIL YOU HAVE TAKEN AWAY ALL THE KNOTS IN YOUR HAIR. This is important as the knots lead to hair damage.