It's nearing winter, it's getting colder, so maybe you're trying combat the dryness that your hair experiences during this season. Maybe you understand that summer bodies are built in the winter so you're getting a head start on working out. Maybe you just want a break from having to style your hair. Whatever your reasoning, don't willingly waste your money by not caring for your braids and doing all you can to make them last as long as possible!
Unless you're doing your braids yourself, they can cost upwards of $200+. Read further for our 5 tips on making your braids last longer while also caring for your hair properly.
- Stop manipulating them - It is so tempting to style braids every day in styles like buns, up-dos, and halo braids, but try to limit the frequency of this manipulating as it loosens up the braids quicker and it also causes unnecessary tension on your temple and nape areas. Have you ever experienced your braids around the edges getting so heavy, that they eventually hang on by one strand of hair? Then you're left with a bald spot when it eventually snaps? Hopefully, you haven't, but if you have, you'll know that it's not fun and it is most certainly from all of the pressure we cause in these very fragile areas. This isn't just a tip to make them last longer, but also a tip for better hair care.
- Properly cleanse and moisturize them - No one likes flaky, stinky, or dry scalp. No. One. The fix is simple. As often as you'd wash your hair when your braids are out, you'll need to cleanse your scalp about the same with braids. Some people opt for dry shampoo, but many wash their hair in the shower. It is quick and easy as there is no detangling or styling required! Just cleanse, moisturize with your favorite hair butter and oil, air-dry, and go!
- Re-dip them regularly (if applicable) - With braid styles that are dipped in hot water at the ends (box braids, marley twists, etc), it helps a lot when you dip them again every couple of weeks. This gets rid of any frizz that has occurred because of friction over time and makes the ends look as fresh as the day you got them done!
- Use the tucking method - This method was originally made to hide colored hair in braids, but it works great for creating a seamless look with natural hair in braids. If you are doing your braids yourself, tuck your hair within the braiding hair so that if it comes into contact with moisture and your hair is tempted to revert, your curls will not show through the braids. When your natural hair is shown through the braiding hair, this is the quickest way to make your style not last as long as it should. See the tucking method here.
- If necessary, re-do temple and nape braids - if you are able, arrange for the first couple of rows of braids on the perimeter to be re-done. This completely revamps your style and provides a few more weeks of wear.
For more braid tips, check out our very popular article about the 7 hair care mistakes you have been making with your braids!
Happy Protective Styling!