5 practical tips for Braid upkeep

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Yo! Braids have to be the most versatile and beautiful protective style in the books. Fun fact! I previously had a wierd, love/hate relationship with braids. It however currently seems like my love is starting to overshadow my hate lol! Illd explain. 

My braid story

You see, about 8 years back, I suffered from serious traction alopecia following terribly installed box braids. Fam! It was really bad! I was almost sure my edges would never recover! I battled tirelessly with the edge loss for years but hardly made any progress. Please note, that at this time I was still a relaxed babe and very much clueless about hair care.

Even after two years, my edges weren’t completely back to normal. So much so that I resigned to faith and seriously considered using a frontal on my wedding day (this was back in 2018, and unfortunately at this time, frontals weren’t as flawless and big as they currently are)

Thankfully, my wedding hair stylist found a way around it, and made the most beautiful weave installation with a leave out of my relaxed hair. It looked great! She covered my scanty edges up real nice and blended it into the weave as can be seen from the pictures below.

Back to the main point, a few years after my traction alopecia episode, I finally started to key into hair care big time, thanks to a friend who was Uber knowledgeable. She successfully guided me out of my hair funk, and thereafter, I decided to stay off braids completely. I did this for Five long years!

Fast forward to 2021, I transitioned back from my relaxed hair to my 4c natural coils, and started to yearn for braids as a protective style. I had unexpectedly caught the knotless braid fever and was excited to try it out . 

After much hesitation, I finally installed knotless braids. This was after doing premium research to ensure that the stylist whose service I employed, had great hands for hair care. Of course I loved my knotless braid install so much, and did all that I could to keep the hair style looking fresh and neat!

Properly made knotless braids are great styles that actually protect your hair while giving you scalp access to care for it. Did I mention how versatile braids are? 

As a rule of thumb, braids are usually kept in by most ladies for about to 6-8weeks.  Anything beyond 8 weeks would no longer be referred to as protective, but rather considered damaging.

Today, I would be sharing with y’all my top 5 tips for keeping your braids fresh and neat for up to 5 weeks, and slightly longer. Let’s get into it!

Tips for Braid upkeep

1. Get yourself a Jumbo sized hair bonnet

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If you had previously been rocking braids without protecting it properly at night, then you have been doing them braids some disservice. Aside aiding and abating unkempt braids, you also stand a risk of hair loss from possible tugging on the braids while you move/tousle on the bed. Please when next you get braids installed, do them some justice and get a jumbo sized hair bonnet for maximum protection.

2. Don’t forget a Jumbo sized shower cap

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Those braids need to be well packaged and preserved during a shower. You wont expect your braids to remain fresh when you constantly insult them with water each time you have a shower. Do better Sis and get that Jumbo Sized shower cap for the proper protection of your braids.

3. Reduce Manipulation

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Toning down constant manipulation of your braids to the bearest minimum is one decision you won’t regret baby gurl! Yes, you are allowed to switch up styles every once in a while, but don’t overdo it. While at it, make sure to use proper and hair friendly tools such as a soft hair tie or scrunchies. Avoid the use of those damaging elastic rubber bands as they could yank off your hair during removal.

4. Get Scheduled braid maintenance Guys

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Do you know that there is such a thing as scheduled maintenance for your braids? What I mean is that, you could go into the saloon for a proper wash and trimming of your 3-4 weeks old braids.

The only thing to do, is to make sure the hairstylist you go with has the required knowledge and technique to work through the braids and get your scalp clean. Also ensure a proper trimming of unruly hair strands but see that this trim ends where you can see your hair begin. You wouldn’t want to trim your actual hair in the name of keeping your braids fresh. Infact, I usually choose braid colours different from my Jet black hair to ensure a clear distinction between my weave and natural hair.

5. Remember to keep your edges neat

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If we carried out a survey to ask what part of the braids gets untidy faster, a large number of women would scream out……. “Edges” This is why the purchase of a good and nourishing edge control should be a highly rated priority when getting braids installed. Care of your edges while they are in braids would  definitely help to keep them neater for longer periods. 

Just in case you got confused with any of my above listed points, be sure to check out the video representation of this post on YouTube, It would definitely make things clearer. Thanks for sticking to the end of this post. Ciao💕

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