I get that we sometimes need a break from dealing with our natural hair from time to time, so we get protective hair styles. Most people opt for braids, be it box braids, Senegalese twists, locs, what have you. There is this perception that, you can grow your natural hair out beautifully with protective styles (braids). I’m not in any way saying that it is not possible or it doesn’t work, but in order to grow your natural hair beautifully with braids or any protective style for that matter, you must care for your own hair underneath the extensions. Most ladies get braids and neglect the hair underneath those heavy extensions and most often than not, the end result after taking the braids out is BREAKAGE. So we will be talking about how to care for your natural hair underneath your braiding extensions to help you achieve maximum and beautiful hair growth. Leggo!!
Yes, braids and your natural hair need to be maintained on a daily basis. My scalp would get so dry whenever I get braids and I thought it was the norm, that just happens whenever you do get braids. But I didn’t know any better at that time (which wasn’t that long ago by the way). Daily maintenance doesn’t have to be complicated. Oils are your best friend because, anything water based will make your braids frizzy and we don’t want that. I sometimes don’t mind my hair getting frizzy so I put some coconut oil, warm water and a tiny bit of my favorite conditioner in a bottle to make a daily spray for my braids. I only spray up to where my own natural hair ends (don’t spray your scalp) and then follow up with one of the oils below. This time I apply it to the whole length of the braids. Oils such as coconut oil (my favorite), olive oil, Shea butter, almond oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil etc, all work perfectly. I just put some oil on my scalp every other day so it doesn’t get dry and also down the length of the braids. It is so simple but goes a long way.
ITCHY SCALP!! Anybody who gets braids has this problem, let me know if I’m wrong. Now… I use to wash my braids in the shower like I normally would when my hair is not in braids because I couldn’t stand the itch and had a lot of product build up. My scalp felt great after but when I took out the extensions, it wasn’t pretty. My hair was all knots and matted with product build-up which made detangling a pain. So I decided never again will I wash my braids. After doing some research (watching YouTube videos) on how to calm an itchy scalp and clean my braids, I started using apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is great for itchy scalps and dandruff (white flaky stuff on your scalp). I had dandruff which made the itching worse. But after about a week of cleaning my scalp with apple cider vinegar, the itch was gone, and I had no problems with dandruff even after I took my braids out. Below is how I cleaned my scalp while they were in braids.
Things you’ll need:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Conditioner
Mix half a cup of water with about two tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Dip a cotton ball in the apple cider solution, squeeze extra liquid out
Rub the cotton ball along the braid tracks(your scalp)
Use as many cotton balls a you need till your whole scalp is clean. Apple cider vinegar has a very strong smell, so that’s where your conditioner comes to play. It masks the smell of the vinegar.
Mix the other half cup of water with conditioner
Dip a cotton ball in the solution and do the same thing you did with the apple cider vinegar
After doing the steps above, moisturize with your favorite oil as described under “Daily Maintenance” and you’re done. That’s it for this post people! See you on the next one.