The summer hits and every natural girl goes looking for protective styling! Well at least every natural girl I know. But with good reason… if you’re traveling, working, vacationing, or even if you’re kicking it at your mom’s, you may have thought it over a few times if getting those braids you’ve been seeing everywhere is worth it.
(I mean, I have which I why I’m sitting here with box braids as we speak)
But before you decide to get those addicting extensions, here a few things to keep in mind:
1. The bigger the braid, the bigger the tension
Now braids come in all different sizes, from thin to thick. But it’s important to choose a size that will work best for you and place less tension on your scalp. Tension can lead to breakage, so instead of choosing those hugely thick braids (that aren’t even that cute anyways) try stick with an average sized box braid, going just a little thicker if you really are a stickler.
2. Don’t commit if your edges will quit
Deciding to choose braid extensions for a protective style also means deciding to potentially put your edges in a sticky situation. If you already have thinning edges, you may want to be more cautious as choosing this protective style could make matters worse and lead to permanent damage. However, if you have a fruitful hair line it may not be such a bad idea for you.
3. Don’t snatch your scalp
Usually when you are getting your braids done, whether by a friend or professional, they tend to be a little tight when putting in the extensions. Not only is that unnecessary tension, but you are again risking breakage. If you feel like you scalp is being snatched just a bit too much, tell your stylist to take a chill pill and go easier on you.
4. Every protective style has an expiration date
It is recommended that your extension be kept in for 4-6 weeks. Going any longer than that without touch ups can cause your hair to lock or mat. It can also put a dent in that length retention I’m sure you are working so hard to maintain. Plus, leaving in your braids can make it harder to detangle your hair (and we all already know it’s difficult enough on it’s own)
5. Don’t forget to moisturize!
Just because your hair is in those cute little braids, doesn’t mean you should forget to pay some attention to your scalp. In this style your scalp is quite exposed, so it is recommended to apply oil such as EVOO or coconut to keep it moisturized.