Unless you have stumbled upon a braid shop that is sensitive to healthy hair care or if you are installing braids yourself, you need to make sure that your hair is well detangled and in a stretched state (via braids, blow dry, banding, etc) before installing braids.
Why? Because most stylists will tend to run through your hair with a fine tooth comb before braiding and you don’t need me to tell you that this can cause serious damage to your hair before the benefits of protective styling can even occur.
You can ask your stylist politely to use a wide tooth comb* instead but by detangling beforehand, you are protecting yourself from damage and a really bad headache.
4. Don’t get your braids done too small
When braids are done to the point where you cannot see all three strands even if you squint, then they are entirely too small. While small braids can give the look of bigger hair, they can cause untold damage to the roots and especially the edges of your hair resulting in possible balding.
Mini micros may look beautiful but they are very difficult to take down and you are more likely to suffer major hair damage leading to a setback in your hair journey. Medium to large braid sizes are always preferred where length retention is concerned.
5. … but don’t get them done too big!
When done too large, such as Patra large, they can also cause your edges to suffer damaged. This is due to the weight of the braiding hair casing tension on your follicles and resulting in breakage or balding.
Further, if you have fine hair, large braids can cause split ends on your delicate strands resulting in a major setback to your length goals.
6. Make sure that the braids at the edges aren’t causing you to have botox-like facial expressions
YES. I had to go there. Tightly installed braids are a bad idea in the first place for obvious reasons and when it comes to those edges it should not even be in question.
Too many of us have the belief that if every baby hair is not in a braid, that our braids will not look “neat”. This is so far from the truth! If you feel that your hair braider is installing them in too tight, speak up and let them know that they need to loosen them up a bit. Again, this will avoid another headache and a bad braiding experience from occurring.
7. Try to reduce the chance of buildup as much as possible
When you have braids or any kind of hair extensions* in your head, you have a high chance of getting build up on the base of your braids. Why? Because due to daily release of sebum from your scalp as well as frequent moisturizing, dust and lint get attracted to those oils* and the chances of buildup occurring increases.
To avoid this, make sure that you wash your braids at least every two weeks and that you apply the moisturizer at least an inch away from your scalp, this way the buildup can be reduced and you can keep a clean scalp sans itchiness.
Originally posted 2013-11-06 15:00:08.