Even if winter is far away, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about trying a new hairstyle for the cold months. If you’ve out of ideas, the braided hairstyle is one option to experience, especially since it’s protective of your hair.
For anyone thinking about braided hairstyle for the very first time, our guide is going to be a lot of help. Keep in mind that you may not get it right from the first time (which is why you should choose your hairstylist carefully), but don’t take it out of the picture until you have tried it once in your life. Wearing your natural hair in braids is going to make a lot of difference, but take a minute for going over our informative guide down below before making your appointment at the hair salon.
Just exactly how old is braided hairstyle?
The Himba people of Namibia started to braid hair in Africa, and they’ve been doing it for hundreds of years now. The braided hairstyle was also a one-of-a-kind way to recognize a tribe, with braid pattern and hairstyles indicating the tribe, the marital status, age, power, religion, and even wealth. In a nutshell, braiding was art with social abilities. As it did take quite some time to be completed, people would socialize throughout the process of braiding. Elderly were braiding the children’s hair, with the latter learning from the older people how to do it later on.
Are braids just a hairstyle?
Many people agree that braids are a form of art, as women and men alike have their hair braided regularly. No matter if you plan to wear it for a casual day, or for an elegant event, hair braiding has traveled throughout time and is a lot more today than it used to be.
Braids are go-to styles for African American women that wear their natural textures. It’s a style that addresses the kinky textures due to its protective abilities. When an African American woman wears braids, it’s not only for the looks but also for protecting the hair from humidity and heat damage.
Even if braided hairstyle is popular, finding a great professional is similar to finding the needle in the hey. Many hairstylists claim they know how to braid hair, but it’s only some of them that master the technique.
How to get the best-braided hair?
From selecting the best hairstylist in town to choosing the best-braided hairstyle for you, there are many things to look into. As braiding hair is a sophisticated process and you do want to obtain beautiful results, you don’t want to take your chance and skip any of the following steps. If you do, you may end up crying.
- Who’s going to braid your hair?
If you’re not on social media, we have just one thing to say (apart from the astonishment): go online asap! It may come as a surprise to you, but you have a great shot of finding many African Hair Braiding salons that don’t have websites but master the braiding technique.
Don’t put your trust and faith in some written review on Yelp either- you may not find one recent! Ask around your friends and friends of friends- it’s always the customers that give the best feedback!
Choosing the person who’s going to braid your hair is not something to do in a blink of an eye, without thinking it! The last thing you want is to have your hair damaged from the braided hairstyle.
- Select the style you want before starting the session
Some clients dig their hair extensions, and if that’s the case for you, you should tell the hairdresser that you bring your hair.
For those of you who still can’t choose between human and synthetic hair, it’s best that you do your bits and bobs about it before deciding. It’s not so much about which type of hair you use, but whether you’re taking good care of it or not. Keep in mind that human hair is more durable, but it’s more expensive. On the other hand, synthetic hair is going to do it too, especially if your money is tight.
- Don’t let the braids be too tight
Many choose to go with the braided hair as it’s a protective hairstyle that reduces the daily wear and tears in natural hair. When the braids are too tight, the risk for some breakage (from moderate to severe) is quite high.
You should talk to the hairdresser and don’t wait up until it’s too late. You’re going to notice if it’s too tight right from the beginning, so let him/her know that. The braids aren’t supposed to pull the scalp in any way.
Even if tight braids give an immediate facelift (excellent!), you don’t want it as it’s a lot of stress for your hair. And high stress and tension always lead to thinning and loss of hair. No matter how young you may look in the first couple of hours, it’s still not worth it.
- Follow a good hair care routine
People braiding their hair think that you no longer have to follow the hair care regimen, which couldn’t be farther than the truth. We cannot stress enough about it, but you should keep your hair scalp clean and moisturized at all time. When you skip moisturizing your hair, you may end up with some dreadlocks- one of the easiest ways to break your hair strands.
It may sound incredible, but you have to be able to run a wide-tooth comb through your braided hair when you take the braids out.
Use a shampoo and some shea butter for moisturizing your hair and scalp. Even if the braided hairstyle is protective, you still need to run a proper hair care regimen.
- Protect your hair at night
Look for a satin bonnet for the night. It protects your hair from the crumbs and lint in your hair, and it reduces the frizz too.
Braids may cause the hair to break, especially when it’s pulled during the sleep. Even if the twists aren’t tight, it may still end up breaking your hair if you’re not careful during your sleep. Wet hair is delicate and prone to breakage so you should never braid your hair when wet.
- Style it carefully
Not having to style your hair too often is the no.1 reason for which you braided your hair in the first place, so why bother? As the braids are tight in the beginning, you should manage them accordingly. No matter which style you decide to have, you should also pull loosely, and avoid handling too much (mostly when your hair is shorter around the edges). If otherwise, not only that the braids aren’t going to last, but you’re going to damage it too.
- Better wait if your hair was recently relaxed
The braided hairstyle works for natural and relaxed hair as well, but you shouldn’t relax your hair right after braiding it. It’s because the relaxer is stretching the elasticity of your hair, and alters the pH balance. The weight of the braids is going to count, causing breaking at the root of your hair.
You should wait for eight weeks before you braid your relaxed hair so that you go gentle and have an inch of new growth.
Don’t go before you read the final tip
Nobody can tell you how long your braids are going to last, as it counts a lot on the technique and how you take care of the twists afterward. As general guidance, you shouldn’t leave the braids for more than 12 weeks- but that’s only when you’re moisturizing and cleaning the hair and scalp properly. If you go for more than 12 weeks, don’t be surprised if your hair breaks and starts to dread.
Even if the braided hairstyle is a protective style, you may have to end it, sooner or later.