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Old 09-29-2005, 03:40 AM   #1
 
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Default braid extensions on 3c hair - bad reactions?

As many of you know, I am 9 mos preg and ready to give birth any day now! My hair has changed since the pregnancy, morphing into a long mop of dry, frizzy, wavy, wiry hair. Hopefully it comes back after baby is born.

So I had an idea to get braids for the birth - to keep my hair out of my face, not have to deal with hair products, and messy hair that would result from hard labor (yes, I'm still vain even as I waddle everywhere I go). Let me preface to say that I have never gotten braid extensions so this is all new to me.

2 weekends ago, I went to a local African place to get my hair braided. I had a really hard time with the whole experience. First of all, each style I chose the braider claimed wouldn't work on my hair (my hair was too thick, too long, too soft, too curly ect) -- I think she was just lazy or unfamiliar with my hair type. She kept complaining the whole time. She said, if your hair was short and hard like mine, this would be so easy. At any rate, we settled on small cornrows going straight back. I added a little bit of the fake hair because it usually crawls out in a week if I use my own hair.

So, it took 7 hours (imagine sitting still that long being really pregnant - I was miserable). And I hated the final style. With my face being all chubby, the straight back look was not flattering (but this is my fault). My issue was with the way the braids were done - they were EXTREMELY TIGHT. I thought this was just b/c they were new and they would loosen over time.

Well, I had a headache for the next week. I also ended up getting hair bumps and little sores in my scalp from where my hair was pulled too tight. My scalp hurt and itched all the time. My thinking was I am already uncomfortable with this big belly - why am I making myself suffer more? I finally took it out last night (it took at least 6 hours off and on to take it out) and I am appreciating my frizzy,wiry hair more than ever now!

I have a few questions -
Is 3c hair so difficult to do using braid extensions? I mean, have any of you had a braider give you such a hard time like this or is it as I suspected - she was lazy?


Did you have to pay more (I did b/c my hair was deemed too long and thick)...doesn't that mean they have to use less hair?


Is it normal to have such a bad reaction? I know braids need to be tight to stay in but is it normal to have bumps and sores?

Any ideas for what can I use to help with the soreness and itchiness I have where the sores have formed?

Will I suffer from baldness in this area?

So much for trying to have an easy style for the birth..
If this is normal, how do people wear braids all the time? I felt miserable the entire time!


I hope I get some responses before dear baby arrives! TIA
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:25 AM   #2
 
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Awww, hon, I'm sorry this happened.

I keep hearing about people's hair changing during pregnancy and falling out after - ack! I guess I will find out what happens to me....

It's funny because I always thought I would get braids to give birth, too. But I would braid only my own hair. I don't like or need extensions.

Looking at your hair, it already has length and thickness and you have a fairly loose pattern - looser than mine if yours is all natural. I would tend to agree that you don't need extensions - you could just braid your own hair. I have never had a problem with them coming out, but I think individual box braids last longer than cornrows and the softer the hair, the better they are as compared to cornrows, so if you have trouble with cornrows staying in, try the individuals.

The braider is right that shorter, kinky hair takes to braiding the best and the softer and longer and curlier hair gets, the more difficult it is. If your hair is really silky and long, it can be hard for a braider to handle who is used to kinky hair. When I was little, I had naturally 3b long silky hair to my waist and my aunt used to complain she had trouble doing braids on it. She says it's easier with the texture I have now. So, while the complaining sounds unprofessional (I mean, you were paying this woman - money is money - get over it or send the client elsewhere!) she could have been right.

I wouldn't get hair like yours braided in an African salon - not to be discriminatory, but because chances are they have mostly handled the hair of other Africans who tend to have very kinky hair and less race mixing than African-Americans or Caribbean people (I am speaking of West Africans - it's different if this woman was Ethiopian or something but it doesn't sound like it). In the Caribbean, hair like yours and mine is common, so I am sure a Caribbean salon would have less issues.

7 hours is a long time even for long or thick hair - most braiders have 2 or 3 people working on you to try and speed up the process. And you would think she would realize the straight back cornrows wouldn't look good on a pregnant woman (they actually don't look good on most people - she should have done them on a diagonal or with a part.) If it took her 7 hours, I would expect to pay more for that length of time, yes. The hair itself isn't expensive - a lot of braiders buy it at Walmart cheaply. They charge for the time - but again, she should have had help to cut that time in half.

The main issue is that she did them way too tightly! That can cause hair loss and you did the right thing to take them out. No, it should not be normal, but some braiders do that so the braids will last longer, and people who love the look and length sometimes do put up with it. They end up going bald. Baldness can happen, but hopefully you took it out in time. I would try tea tree oil on the sores and just be really gentle with your hair. Don't pull it back tightly or put any stress on the area that is damaged. Also, don't use any heat on that area for a while.

Good luck and happy delivery!
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:39 AM   #3
 
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I don't see how it would be difficult to put braids(individuals) in your hair. Quite frankly, I think she was just being lazy. I also didn't have to pay more because my hair was considered "long and thick". I always paid according to the style and length I desired. They never tried to charge me extra because of how long my hair was. Your hair is also much softer in texture than mine, but I have seen plently of people with similar hair with braids.

I would think that it would be more difficult putting braids on someone with relaxed straight hair(which is how my hair was when I had braids).

I had some braids put on about 4 years ago, and they didn't once complain about my hair being too difficult to work worth. They actually were all clammering to do my hair. I had about 4 people working on my hair at one point.

I also can't believe it took them 7 hours to put cornrows in your hair.

As far as the pain and itchiness, I had that problem too. I had a headache for a bit, and noticed a few of those bumps too. They normally loosen up after about a week or so. Your scalp just isn't used to the weight of the added hair as well as the tightness. I never experienced sores on my head. That is pretty extreme. She must have really tugged the heck out of your hair.

With baldness, I didn't have any bald spots, so if you don't see any right now, you should be fine. Also, make sure you properly detangle your hair(and I mean thoroughly) so that you don't experience too much hair loss. The first time I had braids back in hs, I took them out and liked how curly my hair looked and decided not to comb my hair. BIG MISTAKE! I had mini dreads all over my hair that took hours for my mother to comb and cut out. I had what looked like a half of a trash can full of hair(the smaller ones), and I cried. I ended up having to cut my near BSL length hair to right above my ears. So please make sure that you detangle well.

To help allieviate the soreness, I wouldn't put any unnecessary stress on your hair after detangling. Maybe you could put a few braids in your hair, and then keep it tied up. This could last you a week or more. I really can't think of anything else right now.

Sorry that your experience wasn't too pleasant, but you did the right thing by taking them out. No point in being uncomfortable.
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Old 09-29-2005, 08:17 AM   #4
 
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Amneris and Shyygirl

Thanks for the responses. I feel so much better now that they are out. I've been wearing my hair in a loose ponytail on the top of my head and I feel so much better. I think I'll leave it that way. DH is so much happier - he admitted that he just didn't care for the braids.

I learned my lesson. If I do it again, I'll go to family or a West Indian shop and I think I'll forgo the hair extensions. I have had my hair twisted several times and I love that look.

Tea Tree Oil - That might be the ticket! I was thinking of something like that that gives off a cool feeling. I will try to get some today.

Thanks again ladies. I'll keep you posted on the baby news!
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Old 09-29-2005, 08:39 AM   #5
 
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I'm glad you're OK, wavezncurlz. I rarely get braids in a shop - I almost always do my own or have family and friends do it who know my hair. If your family are able to do it, that would definitely be my vote.

I'd love to see your hair in twists! I just adore twists - they're so cute.
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Old 09-29-2005, 10:12 AM   #6
 
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I don't have the patience to sit for braiding, pregnant or not. I've never had them. I'm glad you're happy now that they're out.

My sister has braids in right now (unlike me, she has type 4 hair). The person she called gave an estimate and then acted annoyed when she saw how full my sister's hair was. I think she had to sit for 12 hours Then she said she wouldn't charge extra for her amount of hair "this time."

Anyway, I hope you can find a cute and easy style for when you have the baby. I think about this a lot myself, so you're not alone. It's not about vanity, it's about still wanting to look presentable to the world.
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Old 09-29-2005, 12:10 PM   #7
 
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You've got it Gemini. I just want to look human. Some mornings, I wake up and scare myself out of looking in the mirror! LOL

I was talking to a friend of mine who gets braids more often and she mentioned that part of my pain could have been from being 9 mons pregnant...everything is extra sensitive. Duh! I didn't think of that.

Amneris- here's some pictures of my twists. I got them before I went to Costa Rica last year. They didn't last very long but were
cute.

http://public.fotki.com/wavezncurlz/.../100_0483.html
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Old 09-29-2005, 12:44 PM   #8
 
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I had my hair 2-strand twists with extensions done in June that took my hair from below shoulder to below armpit (she added about 2-3"). It should have taken her seven hours, but it took her twelve! She also under-estimated the amount of hair that I have--it looks thin, but it's dense through the crown (we went through 4 bags of hair).

Although I can't recommend her services (because she was unprofessional), I will say she's a heck of a locitian and a heck of a briader--I had no problems with tight braids, tight hairline, bumps or anything. My problem with "some" braiders, and African braiders are no exception--is that they think they need to pull the hair as tightly as possible so that people won't complain that the style looks "messy." In the process, they pull your hair out.

Also, apparently that hair grow lady (Robin someone) recommends that you soak the extention hair in a water/vinegar solution to get rid of the chemicals they use to prepare the hair.

Since I've seen plenty of type 2s with locs around here, I'm guessing that 3c-4b hair should not be hard to braid, especially with a "kinkier" hair extension, as long as there is some texture to hold the style in place.
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Old 09-29-2005, 02:14 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheleigh
II will say she's a heck of a locitian and a heck of a briader--I had no problems with tight braids, tight hairline, bumps or anything. My problem with "some" braiders, and African braiders are no exception--is that they think they need to pull the hair as tightly as possible so that people won't complain that the style looks "messy." In the process, they pull your hair out.

Also, apparently that hair grow lady (Robin someone) recommends that you soak the extention hair in a water/vinegar solution to get rid of the chemicals they use to prepare the hair.

Since I've seen plenty of type 2s with locs around here, I'm guessing that 3c-4b hair should not be hard to braid, especially with a "kinkier" hair extension, as long as there is some texture to hold the style in place.
I was thinking this same thing about why she pulled so tight. I would have rather had the fuzziness than the tightness. I really like how your twists looked loose after a few weeks. It just looks natural!

Hmm...I noticed that the hair smelled like tea and wondered if I was allergic to the chemicals they used.

I was thinking about the people whose hair is much more loose than mine with braids (think white tourists in Jamaica). That's why I was getting annoyed with her complaining.
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Old 09-29-2005, 02:35 PM   #10
 
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Wavezncurlz, most braiders in the Caribbean make fun of white people who come asking for braids, especially the ones with waves or loose curls who think their hair is "curly" and will hold it. They like their money though. And most of their braids look funky pretty fast. Might be rude, but it's true.....

The braiders who work on beaches, near hotels etc. are used to Caucasian hair because they basically make their living doing it. In the Caribbean, your hair would be no problem - lots of people have similar hair.

I love your twists, by the way. They came out really well. Do you ever do the twists that look more like ringlets? I love those, and I think they'd look great on you!
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Old 09-30-2005, 04:30 PM   #11
 
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I recently got my hair braided because my hair is going to an in between stage that I just couldnt deal with. My hair is short. The first shop I went to the lady just out right refused because of my curly texture. So I went to the shop I used to go to and at first one girl said no, then another girl that had a less kinky state of hair said she could do it, just recommended I not get human hair because the chance it will slip is greater. It turned out great. No bumps that means that they braided entirely too tight. The only time I have gotten bumps were from cornrows and I have taken them out as soon as the bumps appeared. I have alot of hair around my hair line. And I tell them not to because it doesnt need to be braided. It does take longer to braid natural hair I believe because the roots arent relaxed, so the hair has a thicker state. I wore braids all the time to let my hair grow out, but I couldnt keep them in as long as others and now that I am natural, I know why. I have corkscrew curls, so when my hair grows out the braids start to twist in the manner of the curl and it hurts. So I only keep braids in probably 6weeks maybe 7 if I push it.
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