It is very obvious that a lot of people prefer to wear braids and twists majority of the time and rarely leaving our hair. Well, in my opinion, they are very versatile and can be a fantastic long term protective style. However, people have suffered severe hair breakage and traction alopecia (a big word for receding hairline).
In this part of the series, I will set out the pros and cons of wearing braids and twists (and I mean when using attachment not your natural hair), proper installation and removal and preparation for installment.
Types of Braids
Well there is just one type of box braids. It just varies in size (refer to Solange Knowles)
Types of Twists
Havana Twists; they are jumbo twists.
Kinky Twists ; they are coarse and rough looking (I really like how this hair looks especially the color)
1. They are LOW maintenance. Please not that I said LOW and not NO maintenance. This is because your hair regimen is not as serious and time consuming compared to wearing our hair.
2. They can be worn for weeks without having to re-style your hair everyday therefore making them long term protective styles. I recommend one month for braids and twists. Wearing it for more than a month can be damaging.
3. They can be incorporated in your hair journey as it is a means of hair retention.
4. They can also be used to protect your hair.
5. They are very pretty.
1. Long hours. I hate sitting down for a long time doing my hair. It is freaking time consuming. When I have to wear these styles, I set apart a day for it because it takes at least 7 hours to get it done . It also depends on the number of hands you have to help, the size of the braids or twists, the length and the speed of the person. So many factors to take into consideration.
2. Pain… oh the pain! I remember sitting in a salon for about 10 hours getting my Senegalese twists done, enduring all the pain and insects biting me. The hairdresser was almost done as she dipped my tips into hot water I just started crying. The pain was just too much for me to handle and it was hot (Well, because there was no electricity). More on pain, I had to take pain killers for 3 days and my mum had to massage my roots with hot water for a week before I could keep my head up straight.
3. It strains your follicles especially if the braids or twists are too big or you style them into buns.
4. Traction alopecia!!!! High risks of getting that especially if you have a sensitive hairline. I am so grateful that somehow my hairline is still intact.
5. There is a high chance of neglecting your hair but WARNING; your hair will itch you. At 2.5 weeks of wearing braids it becomes itchy if not cared for.
What you should do to your hair before wearing braids or twists
1. Make sure your hair is in a good state. Wear braids or twists 2 or 3 weeks after relaxing your hair. Make sure your hair is washed and there is a moisture-protein balance.
2. Your hair must be tangle free.
3. Avoid adding too much extension hair to each section. The weight of the extensions combined with the tightness of the braid may pull out hair and can damage to the hair follicles especially along the hair line. Remember don’t put a hairstyle above the risk of permanent damage to your hair follicles (Traction alopecia).
1. For twists you have be very patient because your roots tend to knot when removing it especially if it is twisted from the roots not braided from the roots then wisted later on. (Twisted from the roots; refer to the havana twist picture. Braided from the roots the twisted; this is starting with a box braid then twisting, it helps prevent knotting).
2. Detangle your hair as you are removing the braids and twists.
3. Do a moisture-protein treatment after removal.
Well this is the end of this part, I just feel like dancing atilogwu. Writing this post took a lot of concentration because I kept on getting distracted by this DIY blog I saw. I hope to start DIYs soon. Well, I hope this helps.
* I don’t know any of the girls whose pictures are on this blog (except for Solange of course). I just took pictures of pretty people from Google.
I just have to conclude with pictures of Solange because, well, she rocks box braids and twists like no one else
I may just end up doing this particular twists (picture above and below). They look gorgeous.