Showing posts with label Braids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Braids. Show all posts

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reader's Question: Moisturizing Twist Extensions

For questions, use the "Contact Me" tab OR leave a comment!

Reader's Question:
I have twist extensions... How do I keep my hair moisturised?

My Answer:

In my opinion, the best way to moisturize twists (or any other braid) extensions is to use a water-based spritz followed by sealing with an oil.  This method allows for sufficient moisture without contributing to meshing, loc-ing, or severe product buildup.  Heavier products, especially thick butters, can build up near the roots and facilitate meshing or loc-ing, especially in kinkier strands.  If you REALLY want to use them, though, I suggest staying as far away from your roots as possible and only using the butter once or twice between washes.

That being said, what are some good spritzes and oils to use?  Well, let us start with the oils.  Light and somewhat odorless oils, such as grapeseed and jojoba, are my top suggestions.  Coconut oil may be used, but be aware that your extensions will smell of the oil (and that may or may not be okay, depending on how you feel).  Olive oil is less odorous but heavy.

Now for the spritzes:  A water-based one is a good start.  A water- and glycerin-based one may be even better, depending on what your hair likes.  I list a few spritz recipes in this post.  If you would rather buy one, I suggest looking for those geared towards braids (e.g., African Pride).

Finally, the moisturizing regimen while wearing twist extensions: Spritz anywhere from daily to weekly, depending on what your hair requires.  I would not suggest going beyond a week (particularly in the later stages of the wear) because the extensions themselves may be drying.  This is especially possible if you used synthetic hair for braiding.  As for sealing, that can occur anywhere from every few days to weekly.  Sealing daily can attract dirt to the hair quicker than usual thus leading to increased frequency in washing.

I hope this answers your question!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hair Diary || Caring For My Braid Extensions

I self-installed box braid extensions to be worn for the first two months of the 1in3 challenge.  It took 5 packs of hair and about 9 hours for the install.  Prior to braiding, I washed, conditioned, moisturized, and air dried my hair as usual.  During these two months, my box braid care routine will be: 

-Weekly: Spritz hair with a mixture of water, glycerin, grapeseed oil, and grapefruit essential oil.
-Weekly: Spritz scalp with tea tree essential mixed with water (to keep scalp fresh).
-Every two to three weeks: Prepoo with coconut oil, Wash with diluted shampoo, Condition with diluted Suave, and seal with my shea mixture.

Depending on how well I maintain the braids, I might wear it for longer (i.e., three months).  We will see.  Other than the basic routine above, I will continue to sleep with a satin bonnet to protect my hair and keep the braids from frizzing.  I also plan to plait my braids prior to washing in order to keep the frizzies to a minimum.

Here are some sites to check out for braid or braid extension care:
Box braids only:
Braid extensions:

Here are two youtube videos with amazing braid extensions styles that I plan to try:

And here are a few more photos of my self-install, the packs of hair that I used, and the final look ...
100% Kanekalon.  Color: 4.  Each pack was about $2.
Braiding my hair.
Finito.  The braids are about hip-length / tailbone-length.

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012 || Loo's Fall Regimen and Box Braid Love!

Not much is going to change in my actual regimen other than the ingredients for my Shea Butter Mixture.

SUMMER 2012: For the summer, it consisted of glycerin, aloe vera gel, honey, shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil.  The glycerin and honey are both humectants and allowed for me to take advantage of the humid weather.  My twists would stay moist and supple for a week to week and a half.

FALL 2012: Since these next several months are going to be colder and drier, I am switching to a mixture of grapeseed oil, aloe vera gel, shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil.  This combination will be thicker and act more like a sealant.  The plan is to apply this to freshly washed, damp hair or hair that has been spritzed with water.  This "sealant" will trap the water (moisture) into my hair.

Other than this change, I am toying with the idea of putting in box braid extensions for two months.  I want to retain as much length as possible for the remainder of 2012, and braid extensions have always been #1 (above my usual twists) for that.  However, I have not done them in few years because my hair has gotten so long.  I really want to try them, though, because the style is just so beautiful!!  We shall see.

So what are you changing in your regimen this Fall?

For my complete regimen, check the Regimen label above.  In the mean time, check out this tumblr site called "I Love Box Braids".  It's pretty sweet for some box braid porn.  Here's a snippet:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Protective Style Lookbook || 20+ Styles on Braids & Twists

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Pookinapp16

Style description: Various styles on mini braids and mini twists.

Difficulty level: 1-3 out of 5

You can now find HHB on Facebook. Share with your friends:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Healthy Hairstyling #6: Braid Extensions

I remember as a little girl sitting in a hard wooden chair while a woman braided my tresses. Tears rolled down my face as each strand on my head was pulled tightly to blend with the extension hair. I remember the final outcome: a head of protected hair with which my Mom and I did not have to bother for the next three months.

Braid extensions were painful in those days, but over time I've learned that that does not have to be the case. I've also learned valuable lessons for proper care of the hair while in braids. Some lessons have come with experience. Some with mistakes. Some with advice from others. From Senegalese twists to micros to individuals to kinky twists, whatever braid extension style you choose to wear, it is important to know the truth about maintaining a healthy scalp and hair underneath it all. Let's dispel some myths:

MYTH: Braid extensions pull out the hair.
FACT: It depends on your scalp's condition, the way your braids are done, the duration of wear, and the care you give to your hair while in braids. Extremely tight braids may damage the follicle and also contribute to hair loss. Not properly caring for your hair while in braids may lead to hair breakage and loss. What are other factors? Leaving the extensions in for too long. Roughly removing the braids. Wearing heavy braid extensions. Wearing styles that tug on the hairline. Not re-doing the edges when needed. Avoid these habits and your hair will flourish. However, those with a sensitive scalp/hairline or a history of alopecia may want to refrain from braid extensions altogether.

MYTH: The only way for braid extensions to last long is if they are done excruciatingly tightly.
FACT: A big false on that one. Poorly done braids age quickly. Very loosely done braids age quickly. However, braids that are installed neatly and snugly (but comfortably) close to the scalp will last long. You do not have to go through severe red-blister-forming pain to achieve a long lasting braid style.

MYTH: It is okay to wear braid extensions for 6 months.
FACT: I do not recommend wearing braids for this long.  The length of wear depends on how fast your hair grows, how much your hair sheds, how quickly your hair locs, and other factors. The faster your hair growth rate, the shorter the time frame you can wear the extensions. The more your hair sheds, the shorter the time frame you can wear the braids. The quicker your hair locs, the shorter ... you get the point. Many people generally keep braid extensions in for 2 to 3 months.

MYTH: Deep protein treatments are required before installing braids.
FACT: It depends on what your hair needs. I recommend a deep conditioning session before installing braids, but whether your hair requires protein, moisture, or both is entirely up to your hair. Those with chemically straightened tresses may find a deep protein treatment followed by a moisturizing session most beneficial. Naturals, on the other hand, are a mixed bunch. I (natural) perform a strictly moisturizing deep treatment before installing braids because 1) my hair thrives on moisture and 2) my hair does not require protein. Learn what your hair needs.

MYTH: It is necessary to blow dry your hair before putting in braids.
FACT: It depends on whether you want to avoid heat, your schedule, etc. Before braiding, I stretch my hair via jumbo twists or big braids. Some people may stretch via banding or roller sets. Some people blow dry because it's more efficient, straightens better, etc.. Others simply braid their hair from its shrunken or regular state. Do not assume that blow drying is your only option for stretching your hair. If you want to avoid the heat usage and manipulation of blow drying, there are other methods.

MYTH: I do not have to wash my hair while in braid extensions.
FACT: It is simply good hygiene to cleanse every part of your body on a regular basis -- including your hair. How you cleanse your hair and how often depends on how quickly your hair gets dirty and how much product you use. Understand one thing though: being in braid extensions does not exclude you from having to wash your hair.

MYTH: It is not important to condition regularly while in braid extensions.
FACT: It is important to condition after each wash while in braids. In the past, I have retained length using Pantene Pro-V for about 10-15 minutes after each wash. That was all my hair required at the time. While transitioning, I used protein deep conditioners because my demarcation line and relaxed tresses were weak.  Learn what type of conditioner your hair needs. Some level of conditioning is necessary after washing, if at the very least, to smooth down the cuticles that have become raised during the cleansing process.

MYTH: I do not have to moisturize my hair while in braids.
FACT: Braids, particularly those done with synthetic hair (and even more so those done with yarn), have a tendency to suck the moisture from your hair. For this reason, it is important to moisturize regularly while in braids. Additionally, it is harder for sebum -- our natural conditioner -- to travel down to the ends of your hair. Thus, we must get our moisture from somewhere.

For a braid extension regimen, check out: