Braids are a very common hairstyle especially in black dominated regions and communities. They are very beautiful, and for some it’s a lot more than just the beauty but also the cultural representation it gives. Unfortunately, some people tend to experience hair loss around their edges with this hairstyle, but there are a few things that one can do to protect hair edges and prevent damaging when carrying braids. I’d be listing a few of them in this article:
1) Sleep on a Satin Pillowcase / Use a Satin Bonnet:
Satin pillow cases keep hair moisture intact unlike cotton pillow cases that absorb hair oils and cause friction that would eventually lead to hair breakage because hair at the edges are generally weaker and thinner than the rest of the hair. Satin hair coverings are very protective of hair edges as they ensure they remain moisturized by keeping oils intact. You can nourish your edges with oils like vitamin E and castor oil.
2) Do not carry Braids for too long:
It might be tempting to keep your braids installed for long because 1) they don’t get old quickly and 2) you could wash your scalp with your braids installed, but it will be very damaging for your edges. Typically, you shouldn’t leave braids in for over 2 months ( less if it’s Ghana braids) because it increases the risk of you damaging your edges.
3) Do not Braid tightly around the edges:
The fragility of your edges mean that they should not receive as much tightening as the rest of your hair. The tension on your scalp could lead to pulling and bald spots. Be sure to inform your hairstylist to take it easy on your edges when doing your braids. If for some reason, you still feel the hair is too tight, you could try pressing with a towel dipped in hot water, having a shower to loosen tightness, massage hair with oils, or use a leave in conditioner to soothe scalp.
4) Avoid tight Ponytails and Up-do styles:
The pulling these hairstyles involve can be damaging to your edges as they can cause breakage considering how weak hair in that area is. If you intend to do styles involving an up do, ensure they are not to tight. You know it’s too tight when you feel pain on scalp by widening your eyes or closing your eyes tightly.
5) Avoid frequently brushing edges:
We all know how beautiful the baby curls can be, but frequently brushing of your edges will encourage pulling out and breakage especially with natural hair where they can easily get caught up. If you must use an edge control or hair gel, try using your hand to apply it where need be or use the smooth side of the brush.
Following the steps above with braids installation is a good start to protecting your edges from damages. I hope you learnt a few things.