How to prepare natural hair for braids! So you’ve been rocking your natural hair, or even wearing temporary weave and after awhile you notice how your hair is becoming over processed or too dry. To get your hair back in its natural state you decide you’re going to leave it alone for a while and get a protective hair style like braids. So you wash it with some left over shampoo you might have and some conditioner and viola your ready to get braided up. No! Your are not ready to get braided up.
The biggest mistake made when preparing to get your natural hair braided is the state that it’s In. If it’s damaged and breaking off you don’t want to just leave it alone. You want to try and correct the issue before getting a protective style like braids. I have 5 simple steps for you to follow so you can grow your natural hair back, healthier, stronger and longer. Below are what you need to learn how to prepare natural hair for braids! Follow them and you will be ready to go!
How to Prepare Natural Hair for Braids! 5 Steps
1. Deal with Pre-existing Issues
Step: First thing we must do on this ‘how to prepare natural hair for braids‘ article is addressing the issues of the state of your hair. If it is breaking off, use proteins to help strengthen the hair back up. If your hair is very dry, use a deep conditioning moisturizer. So its very important to have your hair in a stronger state so while you are wearing your natural hair in braids for a couple of months, your hair becomes stronger and healthier, not weaker.
2. Wash / Condition Your Natural Hair
Step: Wash and condition! As simple as that may seem, it actually will take an hour or so to have your hair fully clear of any build up or product especially if your doing it the right way. Most of the time a regular shampoo will not fully clean your hair of all build-up. You want to find a more specific shampoo, like a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoo should be used sparingly, for those times of emergency when you have too much build up in your hair and you need a deep cleanse. Most clarifying shampoos contain tea tree oil, peppermint oil or even eucalyptus oil, these oils are phenomenal for cleansing and antibacterial purposes. Remember after cleansing you want to re- condition and moisturize as well, adding back some protein to the hair.
ALSO SEE: How to Moisturize Scalp with Braids & Keep Your Natural Hair Under Braids & Twist Extensions Healthy!
3. Deep Condition Your Natural Hair
Step: Condition one more time, and really deep condition for the second time. Its always good to find a deep conditioner you can let set on your hair for at least 20 minutes to really marinate in the hair. If you want to even go as far as to put a leave in conditioner in, applying it a few hours before braiding your natural hair it will give just the sleekness it needs to be braided the best.
MUST READ: Top 10 Best Deep Natural Hair Conditioner Products for Black Women
4. Detangle All of It
Step: Detangle that mane! Nothing worse then already going through the pain of braiding natural hair but even worse pain when your combing tangled up hair dry, ouch! So on the prepping side before braiding your natural hair, make sure you section the hair little by little to detangle. I always find it easiest to use my fingers first to help detangle my hair and then gently comb through it. And then afterwards ill take a comb through it and thoroughly detangle my hair section by section.
5. Stretch and Keep Stretched
Last Step: Keep your hair stretched, and what I mean by stretched is, each section of hair is either loosely twisted, or secured by small rubber bands. This method ensures the hair will stay detangled and be a more pleasant experience while braiding natural hair. Too often we detangle our hair and just put it in a ponytail, only later when undoing it for it to become tangled up again. So please take the time ladies, to just do that one extra step, youll thank me later for it!
Braiding natural hair has never seemed so complex until you really get down to the root of what helps your hair grow. You can have phenomenal results with your hair if you stick with the right formula. Its mostly getting back to the basics, take the time to give your hair some love and care before you leave it alone for awhile.