The time styling your hair in the morning is practically cut in half when you have braids. This doesn’t mean you should neglect them or your hair underneath those braids. Following these 5 steps to maintain your braids will have your hair looking on fleek for longer.
1. Protect your hair at night. Always wear a scarf when you go to bed made out of silk or satin. This is important whether you have braids or not. The smooth texture will prevent your braids from frizzing and keep your edges looking fresh. This also protects your roots from drying out when you sleep. If you find satin or silk headscarves uncomfortable, then place a satin pillowcase over your pillow for a similar type of protection.
2. Keep your scalp moist. Do this at least two to three times a week, using a leave-in conditioner. This will help prevent your hair from drying out and eventually breaking. Water is the best thing for your hair, so make sure to spritz your hair every morning with a water-based solution with natural oils such as coconut oil or almond oil.
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3. Wash your braids. The build-up of sweat and products used can be damaging to your hair so it’s important to wash your braids at once every two weeks.
Thankfully, you don’t need to hop in the shower and douse your braids with water if you don’t want to. You can use dry shampoo or dry-wash your hair with by dampening a washcloth with warm water and shampoo. You’ll part your hair and wipe your scalp down in sections.
4. Extend your style time by redoing your edges. Often, after a few weeks your roots have grown out and it’s time to freshen up your look. Rather than rebraid your entire head, just reinstall the braids along your hairline. After you take out the braids along your edges, take extra care to detangle and deep condition before reinstalling your braids again.
5. Don’t leave your braids in for too long. Protective styling is meant to be short-term. You should never keep braids for longer than 8 weeks. Any longer than that and your new growth will stretch and damage and eventually break. Keeping your braids for longer than 8 weeks will likely leave you with hair loss.