Braids 101

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 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


5 Responses

  1. 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.

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