I get braids every so often and keep them in for three months at a time. I took my latest set down three days ago. I have never had an issue with my edges (but I rarely pull them taut).

I suggest a few things in the future:

  • Never make a tight bun or pony. Put it up and gently loosen the edges. It may mean you have to re-fasten throughout the day but it is better than perma-damage.
  • Before washing with braid/twist pre-poo.
  • When removing, use plenty of oil (coconut or argan work great) to lubricate the braids and your fingers.
  • Work slowly. After removing the fake hair, detangle. Each single braid should be detangled and rid of dead hair. This is SOOO important and will save you from any further damage.
  • After a few braids have been removed re-braid into larger sections for washing.
  • Once all braids are out, apply more oil to each braided section. Put a shower ca on and rock it for at least 8 hours.
  • Wash the hair in the braids with a cleansing shampoo. Get your scalp super clean.
  • Mix your fave DC with an egg for a while under a cap.
  • Rinse it all out (keeping it in the larger braided sections and rinsing one section at a time.
  • add leave-in and slowly comb through. Even if you usually finger detangle, I find that after braids I need a really thorough detangle and my fingers aren't enough.
  • Then seal and let it dry in the braids.
It takes forever but is effective. I lost a lot of hair in high school after braids and since I have been super cautious when removing them. My hair is currently healthy and happy after 3 months of uninterrupted growth! Good luck!

note: I have been transitioning for 8 months and have around 9 inches of relaxed hair on the ends so I am a tangly mess if I don't watch out and the edges are always at risk!