Summertime is here, the temps are high and so are the dew points. Some of us may seek a style that will defy shrinkage and give us a break from styling our hair on a regular basis.
From wigs* to weaves, there are many options of protective styling, with braid extensions* being one of them. Unfortunately, no two heads are alike when it comes to the ability to rock these styling methods.
Before you dash off to the nearest braider or have a friend install your style, be sure to properly assess your hair to determine if this style will wreak havoc on your tresses.
Do you have fine strands?
If you have fine tresses, you may want to forego micro braids. The smaller the braids, the more susceptible your hair is to tangling.
Havana Twists are a nice styling option, but you’ll never know how much your strands can withstand until the hair is actually installed.
I have fine medium strands that love to wrap themselves around each other. The first time I went to a braider, she asked me if I combed my hair. I did before I left the house that morning but you would have never thought I did when she started combing my hair.
Are you comfortable with having someone else handling your hair?
Our hair is pretty darn special, and the last thing we want is for someone to rip through our strands with little or no regard for the wear and tear their raking may subject our strands to.
Trust me, fine-toothed combs on natural hair can wreak havoc. The first time I went to a braider, I didn’t know any better and should have walked when she insisted on using a fine toothed comb instead of my wide toothed comb.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
As the braider combed my hair, I winced and had flashbacks of my mother combing my hair as a child. At first I was reluctant to speak up, but after a couple of times I had to ask girlfriend to take it easy on my strands and switch combs. This made me doubt my decision of having the twists installed and reluctantly, she used my comb.
Are you allergic to braiding hair?
I had absolutely no problems with having my Ombre Nubian Twists installed in 2012, minus the fine toothed-comb incident. After the installation, I was thrilled to have an exciting new look.
I wore this style for about six weeks and when I removed them, my hair had grown a lot. My second time around a year later I didn’t have much luck with the twists. I used the same brand of hair, but it was black.
During my vacation, I started having problems with my scalp being irritated. It subsided and we carried on with the vacation. A few weeks later, I had another flare up.
I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what went wrong. I washed my hair once a week even with the extensions in, so that couldn’t be the problem. I thought maybe it was the color? At first I wasn’t sure.
Ladies, I cannot stress enough the importance of washing or soaking the braiding hair before installation. Now, I know many of you probably haven’t experienced scalp irritations.
I know I didn’t my first time around. Braiding hair is treated with chemicals and we don’t know where it’s been shipped from. When I took them out I swore I’d never wear braiding extensions* again because it took a lot for me to calm my itchy scalp.