How to prepare your hair for braids for longer, stronger hair.
Braid extensions have been around since forever and many women have used them over the years as protective styles to grow longer, stronger hair. But for every one women who reaches her hair goals with braids, there are several more who experience damage and breakage from this style. To avoid making the common mistakes many women do when wearing braids, read on for helpful tips to ensure that you get the most out of this style.
Deep Condition Before
Before even considering installing braid extensions, you have to ensure that your hair and scalp are strong enough to handle the extra weight and tension of the braids. To prepare your hair for braids, I would suggest doing a strong protein treatment followed by a moisturizing one at least twice before event thinking about braiding your hair.
Also, try to solve any scalp issues you might have that may be weakening your hair. For instance, try to focus on curing dandruff, dry itchy scalp, any fungal infections, etc.
Properly installed braids are the key to maximizing your hair growth. Failure to install your braids correctly can do more harm than good, and leave you with breakage and thinning hair. Here are some guidelines to follow when installing your braid extensions:
- Parts should be smaller than half an inch by half an inch. By creating smaller parts less hair is being incorporated into each braid. This means that fewer strands will have to bear the weight of the added hair creating more tension than if a larger part was created and more hair was used.
- Braids should never be bigger than the part. In order to achieve a fuller look and hide some of the parts you may be tempted to use a lot of hair per section to braid. The problem with doing this is that you are forcing only a few strands of hair to bear a lot more weight than they are accustomed to. This could cause the strands to snap from tension created. See the guide below for further detail.
- Do not try to braid all of your edges. The edges of your hair are very weak and fragile and susceptible to breakage. Most people experience breakage from doing everyday things like brushing their edges and wearing too many back to back ponytails, so you can only imagine the breakage that can be caused by braiding the edges tightly and leaving that tension on it for a prolonged period of time. Try to use larger sections when braiding the front to distribute some of the tension throughout more hair strands. Also, avoid braiding the very front of the hair. Try leaving out the very front and simply applying a pomade and a scarf for ten minutes to smooth it down.
- Use less hair near your edges to avoid adding too much extra weight and try to redo them whenever they get loose to prevent tension from remaining on the same region of the hair shaft continuously.
- Ensure braids are not too tight. Contrary to popular belief tighter braids will not increase hair growth. The tightness, apart from causing damage, can lead to tension headaches and unsightly bumbs and sores.