The artistry and history of braids is rich and beautiful. Although they are a creative expression braids have also been a viewed as a way to protect or give your hair a rest from manipulation. Whether you’re getting braids to wear them by themselves or to support a weave it is paramount to prepare your hair properly to lessen the stress on your stands that may encourage breakage. I love this video from Essence.com that features Goapele getting her hair braided. For more braided style ideas and history check out “Hair Talk: Braids from African Roots“.
Cleanse hair with a shampoo. A nice choice is Miss Jessie’s Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo because it’s sulfate-free, detangles and is a good moisturizing shampoo.
Get A Trim, If You Really Need It
If you really need a trim good ahead and get rid of your dead ends otherwise you might want to wait until your remove your braids.
If You Get Any Kind of Chemical Service, Wait
If you relax your hair, color it or perform any kind of chemical process you will want to wait at least 1 week after to get your hair braided. These processes weaken hair and you want your hair in good condition when you braid it.
Condition Your Hair & Scalp
I know when I get braids my scalp is the first victim of over exposure to the elements resulting in a dry and flaky scalp. So it’s a good idea to treat hair and scalp with a hot oil treatment to infuse the hair with oil and keep dryness at bay Queene Helene Ginseng and Tea Tree Hot Oil Treatment combines the anti-bacterial power of tea tree oil with the strengthening power of Ginseng root. For those that relax give the hair some extra strength by using a light protein conditioner like Elasta QP Intense Conditioner or a nice protein based leave in conditioner like Aphogee Pro-Vitamin Leave In Conditioner to restore elasticity and prevent hair from snapping.
Continue to Cleanse & Condition Hair & Scalp
Continue to treat hair with a braid spray and treat the scalp with an oil that is similar to your natural hair oils like jojoba oil. If you don’t want to shampoo your braids the conventional way you can get away with a latherless shampoo to cleanse your scalp and remove odor like Organic Root Stimulator Herbal Cleanse Latherless Shampo.