Braids 101

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

When Alicia Keyes first appeared on the music scene, she sported stylish cornrows and braids; and recently, celebs such as Regina King, Solange Knowles and Jada Pinket-Smith have been spotted with beautiful cornrows and box braids.

Braids-101

Braids come in various forms – cornrows, twists, micro-braids, you name it – and have different application techniques, so play around to see what style suits you and your lifestyle best.

To get your braids on, find a reputable and professional hair-dresser who specialises in braids; and make sure she does not pull your hair too tightly by using too much tension as this can lead to permanent hair loss.

When you’ve made the decision to braid your hair, make sure you choose good quality hair extensions to save your hair from damage caused by synthetic extensions.

To keep your hair in good condition, it’s best to give it a deep-conditioning treatment before braiding.

Bear in mind that braids can be painful and they take time, so you need to practise patience.

Relaxed hair should be handled with care to prevent breakage.

Braids are great for growing hair and resting it from everyday wear and tear, but that does not mean you can neglect your hair once it’s in braids.

Braids are relatively low maintenance, but it’s important to shampoo and condition once a week. Try to use a product especially formulated for maintaining braids. Use a conditioning shampoo to wash your braids, massaging the scalp gently; and rinse well. Dry by wrapping hair with a towel for absorption; then allow it to air-dry or use a blow-dryer on a low heat setting, concentrating on the scalp.

Deep-conditioning treatments are recommended every second week. For daily maintenance, use a braid spray or an oil sheen spray such as Dr Miracles Healing Oil Sheen Spray, R59.99, to spray the length of the braids.

Avoid using greasy products as they will collect in the braids and give them a dull and dirty appearance.

Before going to sleep, cover your hair with a silk scarf to keep your braids looking neat and beautiful.

It may be necessary to do touch-ups every few weeks to keep your braids looking fresh and tidy.

Never leave braids for longer than three months or you will experience breakage.

If your scalp is itching from the braids, try Dr Miracles’ Braid Relief Gel Formula, R49.99, to soothe it and provide some relief.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Summer-proof ethnic hair
Beat breakage forever!
How to: Get a weave
Concerned about hair loss?
How to: Look after your weave

Written by

Ayanda Bikitsha is a freelance Beauty Journalist. She is currently freelancing as beauty editor for Real magazine and has a monthly page on ethnic hair in Cosmopolitan. She has been requested to give talks on African Beauty; and to contribute to beauty supplements and websites. Prior to freelancing, Ayanda was Beauty Editor of True Love magazine. She is a qualified beauty therapist and recently completed a course in Spa Management.

Want to write a comment? Sign in here sign up now
Tell your friends
  1. AmyR

    I love braids as they are really low maintenance and they make you look and feel great. I have yet to find a hairdresser that doesn’t hurt me when they put them in. Black hair is fragile and whoever works on it should be very gentle but it seems the opposite is true. @foreverGLAM it should never hurt that long because then you practically pulling your roots out. Excessive pulling on your roots can cause traction alopecia and hair loss along your crown.

    4 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    I love braids but honestly they are way too sore for the first 3 days

    5 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    Cornrows are so easy to maintain – problem is how long it takes to have them done!

    5 years ago •

  1. Le Noir Pearl

    Wow I really didn’t know braids needed so much care. Great read I must say

    5 years ago •

BeautySouthAfrica - your pre-shop stop for all things beauty

Beautysouthafrica.com is South Africa’s most comprehensive online beauty magazine and your pre-shop stop for product information and reviews. From the latest international make-up trends to the hottest new products on the market, we offer insights into the glamorous world of beauty. Join like-minded beauty fanatics in our loyalty program and earn points, trial beauty products and share your experiences.

Become a beauty addict!

Get great deals and climb the ladder to a Gold Star!

×

Sign In

×