Over the years, and I can say many years!!! I have always had box braids added to my hair about three to four times a year. And now that its spring again, I find myself looking around for the perfect set again. Braids are the ultimate protective style, but it is rare that I have found the perfect box braids that have not given me any trouble. I love having braids in my hair not only because they are the ultimate low manipulation hairstyle, but also because they make it easier to moisturize and keep my hair from getting too dry. I have tried many varieties over the years, and I honestly cannot remember all of the brands that have crossed my path, but I have come across some good ones, and some definite bad ones!
So this is what I do to keep my hair healthy and my braids looking good:
- Create your own braid spray (water, spray bottle, oil) or buy one whose main and first ingredient is water,
- Spray your hair at least once on a daily basis to keep it moisturised,
- Moisturize your scalp as best as you can at least twice a week,
- I wash my hair every week when in braids, by adding a mixture of conditioner and oil to my scalp, letting it rest for about half an hour and then rinsing it out,
- Make sure your hairstylist does not braid your hair too tightly, not only will this stress your hairline if done, it will also give you a headache while your hair is growing out, I hate that!
- Create hairstyles that minimize breakage of your hair; hairstyles that have heavy braids and are created in updo’s are more likely to pull on the hair causing it to fall out.
Although my braids have looked great, I always seem to have something or the other that is a con in the process:
They get too heavy: The type of braid you buy and your success is highly dependant on your hairstylists skill and the amount that is needed for your head. I adored the blond braids I sported in the picture but they practically weighed my head down, and when summer came it was even worse!
Small braids/twists and hair loss: I have learned the hard way that some of the softest and lightest braids will only look good with small sized braids. This causes hell on my hair as it eventually begins to break. I have had sad days where I find one braid practically hanging by a strand of hair, and sometimes just lying forlornly on my pillow when I wake up…and a tiny bald spot where my hair used to be 🙁 .
Dyed braids and colour runs: The red braids I sported here were awesome…until the colour started running. Once I added my braid spray, the oil seemed to react with the colour, and it just started coming out continously; even after washing them. Soon, wherever I put my head I would leave a reddish brown smear, on the wall, on the pillows, against a chair! Argh it was torture! These ones definitely did not last long!
They were not all bad experiences I have to admit a number of them kept my hair really well, for example these ones:
These braids were particularly light and had no problem being manipulated into a style. They are my go-to when all else fails :). All in all my braid search is continuing, and will probably never stop. I am not one to protective style using weaves or wigs because I love my level of comfort, and the first weave I ever had had me scratching all the time for two whole weeks until I swore off them. As for wigs, the Namibian sun keeps me hot enough as it is, I just couldn’t bear it! Now for summer will come huge marley braid twists, so lets see how they fare!
So please share ladies, what are you favourite brands of braids and do you have any problems with them? I am happy to try every type of braid until my search is over! 🙂
Kinks and curls,