Learning to do your own hair is something I think is quite important as a natural. It helps you:
- Understand your hair type.
- Examine your scalp.
- Properly prep your hair.
- Reduce breakage.
- Avoid exposure to heat
- Save some money 🙂
I have been doing my own box braids since late last year and I have never looked back. I rarely stay for more than three weeks in a protective style so that meant I would be at a salon after every month (has reduced since I wear my hair out more often now). I grew tired of having to use close to 1500Kshs every four weeks or so on hair so I went to YouTube to learn.
I traveled home last week and over the weekend I decided to braid my hair just to tuck it away for a while and I thought to blog about it.
I started out with clean hair (I deep conditioned two weeks ago, I would suggest doing a deep condition just before you braid) I had washed the previous night and decided to do bantu knots. My hair was already detangled but it had tight curls from the take down that needed to be unraveled.
To stretch I used the african threading method.
Spray water to dampen hair before thoroughly separating the curls to avoid breakage. I let the thread stay on for about an hour and a half before taking them down.
I divide my hair into four sections to work with and always start from the front as that’s the easiest. It also dictates how the rest of my head will look like and they also turn out neat as I am still amped . I divide into square sections and use a mirror to check the sections are equal. You can use a rubber band or pin to secure these sections or section every time you are ready to braid. It is very important to have a mirror. The very first time I did braids I depended on how the size felt on hand. Very bad idea.
I use coconut oil or shea butter to sleek out the braids. Salonists use baby care petroleum jelly, and that makes my scalp itch plus I don’t like the smell. Section out the braids in the size you want. Keep one section aside as a reference to ensure all the sections are even.
Moisturize and detangle.
Because I had already done the LOC method the previous night, I used Dark and Lovely Au Naturale plaiting pudding (I used to use Cantu Leave In Conditioner previously) to make the hair a little damp to help me detangle further using only my fingers. These products are not exactly necessary, usually I would spray water then follow with coconut oil.
Doing my own braids has helped me save my edges (they were so gone, still reviving them) and ease the tension on the braids. It also gives me the chance to give my fro that TLC. I doubt any salonist would want to take as much time on your hair like that. They work with time and the faster they are done with you the better it is for business.
It took me a whole day to complete these braids so I would suggest getting your favorite movies/series/documentaries to watch 🙂
I know this is the point that people will be like, a whole day? Well, it depends on the size you want, I have been able to take half a day before. Also, with all the care you are giving, yes, you will definitely take longer than at the salon.
Have you tried doing your own hair? How was the experience? Let us know.
Keep protecting your fro :*