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Take care of your BRAIDS



batik1When done properly, Braids are a healthy, convenient and stylish hair-style option.  Braids help in growing out one’s hair with very little external stress from the weather; however, when done improperly, putting your hair in braids can be quite disastrous.

Below are some tips that ensure that you enjoy the full benefits of braiding your hair:

Before you get your hair braided:

  1. Be sure that it is in a HEALTHY CONDITION, this means treating your hair to a deep conditioner at least a week before braiding it.
  2. Relaxing one’s hair before putting them in braids is a personal choice that must be carefully considered.  If you choose to relax your hair (either to make it easier to manage, or meet the texture of your extensions) be sure to do so at least two weeks before braiding your hair, it is NOT ADVISABLE to relax your hair and braid them on the SAME DAY. This is because relaxing one’s hair often leaves it weak and putting your hair in individual braids, goes one to damage the already fragile hair.
  3. If your hair is often overworked, stressed and weak, give yourself a hot oil treatment; preferably one with Vitamin E. Vitamin E is formulated to treat dry, stressed and damaged hair, by re-constructing the bonds that hold the hair strands.
  4. Choose your style and extensions carefully!
    1. When it comes to picking a hairstyle, remember what works for another will not necessarily work for you.  If your hair is brittle and weak, putting them in micro braids will only further damage your hairline.
    2. When choosing extensions be informed of the following:

i.      Human hair extensions tend to hold more moisture, while synthetic hair tends to strip hair of moisture, so sure to always moisturize when wearing synthetic hair.

ii.      Most Synthetic extensions have alkaline bases that tend to dry out one’s hair and can be removed by soaking the hair in vinegar and water.

While your hair is Braided:

  1. Be sure to Moisturize: oliveoil
    1. When hair is in braids, it often loses its moisture, making it easier to fall out. To help seal in moisture, remember to spritz hair with store bought braid sprays or a concoction of you own.

i.      You can create your own mixture by mixing oils like Jojoba, Olive, with water and glycerin.

  1. Pay attention to braid BUILD-UP and NEW Growth
    1. This usually happens when you have used to0 much product and your hair knots up at the roots after the emergence of new growth. At the site of build-up, simply take out old braids and re-braid, doing so often ensures your braid is always looking fresh
    2. Remember to Wash
      1. Just because your hair is in braids does not mean you should stop washing it. One easy way to wash your hair and maintain the style is to wash it with diluted shampoo while in the shower. Massage your scalp to release the debris, move along to the rest of your hair, and be careful not to tug on your hair too much. Don’t forget to condition your hair after washing, this can be achieved with the help of a leave-in conditioner.
      2. Be sure to wash your braids once in two weeks, pay particular attention to the scalp.
      3. Cover your braids before you sleep:
        1. Whether it is a hair net or silk scarf, it is important to protect your braids from loosening while you sleep by covering it.

After you take out your braids

  1. You hair should not be in braids for more than 2 months, leaving it longer than necessary can lead to hair-loss. Once you remove your braids, wash and deep condition your hair, as well as give yourself a ‘Hot-oil’ treatment. Be sure to also let your hair rest for at least a week or so before relaxing or braiding it again.


1. Do not braid your hair too tightly!

2. Do not leave your braids on for longer than 2 months

3. Keep your braids neat by rebraiding at the sight of new growth

4. Condition your hair before you braid it and condition afterwards

5. Pick a style that will not be too stressful for your hair and scalp.

6. Moisturize and wash hair at least once every 2wks


  1. rizzle

    September 2, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    do not keep braids on for longer than two weeks? exactly what kind of crack is this person on? lol! i am joking oh- re the crack but serious about that being ridiculous.

    It can cost up to three or four hundred bucks to do the hair- depending on the style and the extensions you buy- plus a whole bunch of my time just sitting there. You should have actually thought about tips for how to care for your hair and your braids so that it lasts longer- instead of just saying take it out in two weeks cause thats just unrealistic for most…

    if you meant to say 2 months, ignore my comment.

    • BIOTCH

      August 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      She didn’t say 2 weeks she said two months…but wash it every two weeks!

    • kizzly

      November 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      they said 2 month smart one

    • Shonte

      January 18, 2015 at 9:03 am

      You obviously did not read correctly, it states “don’t leave braids in longer than two months, and to.wash braids every two weeks.

    • Idfwu

      March 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      -. That is exactly why reading is fundamental. She said months….can you read? Obviously not.

    • sandie

      June 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      I think what she meant by that is the front hair. Most Ppl, myself included usually have knots in the front braids 4 weeks post braid so it’s just to retouch the front where the hair is quite weak. But if it is the entire braids, she means 2 months. Besides, talking as a Nigerian, braids are relatively cheap compared to U.S. or UK it doesn’t even cost up to 50 dollars in Nigeria

  2. kelly

    September 2, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    This is ok, I am not sure what hairsite you visit or belong to LHCF,BHM etc, but I did not see where you tell ladies to detangle before washing that is one of the most important parts else all that growth will be lost.

    Ideally after relaxing hair should be put into braids at least 4wks , 2 wks is ok but its much better after a 4wks at least. When removing the braids a Deep Protein conditoner is good to use in strengthing the hair.

    Not everyone will have time and energy to rebraid this is not a must i have never rebraided and I have had great progress in length retention.

    Cowashing (i.e. Conditioner washing) should be done weekly and hair should be rinsed well as this way build up is prevented. It is good that hair information like this is put here to educate even though it has been around for ages , look at when LHCF started, this way we can have healthy hair. HHJ and blessings!

  3. Elpee

    September 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    They meant two months cuz they wrote two months earlier. They need to edit well tho. I read an article earlier with errors in it

  4. lilkunta(kelly)

    September 3, 2009 at 4:20 am

    @kelly do u mean that hair shouldnt be put into braids for at least 4wks? I hope so.

  5. lilkunta(kelly)

    September 3, 2009 at 4:25 am

    I didnt know braids were only 2 be kept in 4 at most 2mo. I once kept mine in for 6mo.

    I wash 1 a month. Washing more often makes the braids loosen @ the root from the weight of the wet hair.

    • Samantha

      September 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      Did your hair grow after the 6 months?

    • Lambie

      September 23, 2019 at 8:06 pm

      I actually keep mine in 5 months at a time before I’m ready to take it down and redo, and I’ve also found washing it every month does me just fine. I co-wash and use an apple cider vinegar and peppermint rinse in between at times when it seems to need something more due to working out alot.
      My hair is growing just fine, and since I do my own braids I can also do touch ups to keep my braids fresh.

  6. mel

    September 6, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Okay i am down with keeping my braids for 2 months…or longer.. as long as they still look good its okay. there was a time i kept my braids in for almost four months becasue i never have time to take them out. it was really bad because they started falling out. what’s worse than someone telling you “your hair fell out” its a big oops!! lol

    Also how are people suppose to control whether or not they should braid their hair tightly? thats always up to the braider. we don’t have a say in that! looking good is painful, but it’s always worth it at the end.

    And washing it…why? why wash it once every 2 weeks? that destroys it even more after youhave paid sooooo much money for it (dollars). life’s hard these days man. I recomend washing it when you get it permed and relaxed!! i think thats people’s hair is good because of it’s texture. so, i only agree with tips number 2 and number 4

  7. mo

    September 30, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Hey Mel,
    I wanted to answer some of your questions:
    *You* control how tight the braids are because YOU HAVE THE MONEY! If you’re going to a non-African braider than asking politely should be sufficient. You need only say, “Please don’t braid so tight that is uncomfortable for me.” If you are going to an African braider it may be more difficult. As a Nigerian, I can say that the majority of African braiders that I’ve gone to do not listen sooo closely, but you can still say “Please (auntie) do not braid so tight. My head does NOT tolerate that.” In the US you can withhold OR DEDUCT MONEY from the bill if the braider does not listen. Why PAY someone who does not listen to the client? What type of professional is that? Braiders like to say, “it will not look right”… and you can say, “it will look right to me” or else, GO TO SOMEONE ELSE. I’m not trying to yell LOL.

    As far as washing… the point of wearing braids is too look stylish while (a)growing out your hair & (b) maintaining hair health. Washing your hair every two weeks or even every month is a good way to do A & B.

    Lots of women are wearing braids and when they take out the braids they are BALD. Now, they require braids to avoid embarrassment. This needn’t be the case. All women have to do is avoid too-tight braids, wash monthly and moisturize! This way your hair is beautiful with and WITHOUT braids! Take my advice ladies! & God Bless.

    • sandie

      June 16, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      In Naija, I will hit the braider’s hand if she’s too tight. It’s my money isn’t it? But if the braider can’t help it, I apply oils every day during the first week. I’m tired of shedding so much hair

  8. kelly

    October 3, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Sorry I meant 4 weeks after relaxing that is if you relaxed hence why I said “at least 4 wks is ok”

  9. kelly

    October 3, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Washing often wont make them loosen unless they were not braid properly and I dont meant tightly. If the braider cant braid without making it tight he/she is not good.When it’s wet you towel dry gently immediately and then blow dry. This is what I do no stress no pain or hair loss just lots of growth. I have had mine in for 8 wks and I have washed and cowashed weekly not one braid has come out. In fact people cant believe I have had it in for 2 months. I taking them out now my hair can rest before I relax it in 3 wks time. .

  10. Subira

    October 11, 2009 at 2:21 am

    If you dont wash those braids and you have them on for 4 months I’m sorry but you are one of those ladies who stink up rooms with your hair. Glad I dont know you.

  11. Flower White

    June 4, 2011 at 2:28 am

    These are good tips. Sistahs you MUST wash your scalp! Rinse your braids while wearing a silk stocking cap! Or you will have a scalp that STINKS and nobody wants that, right? No really your scalp WILL smell FUNKY …don’t you want your man to have a nice memory of your hair? Also cowashing is the biz! I don’t use shampoo, will maybe use some baking soda mixed with water to take out product buildup othewise it’s conditioner washes only.

  12. Patricia

    June 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    i am going to get hair braided with synthetic hair for the summer. how do i stop the itching after they have been in for about a week?

    • Pimpinshy

      August 24, 2013 at 12:17 am

      Synthetic hair has a chemical called alkaline in it. Soak it with apple cider vinger and water soak it until you see no more white stuff at the top of the water this rinses the chemical out of the hair or use 100% human hair. If the 100% human hair (braiding that is it) says quaily it’s blended in with synthetic hair fibers or if it says 100% human hair and in fine print it blended you don’t want either, but some people use that type of hair. I was always told you get what you pay for and that’s the truth. The real 100% human will cost maybe 40 and up; if you want that better quailty hair.

  13. Aisha

    March 9, 2012 at 1:37 am

    this really helped a lot … thank youu !!!!!

  14. nicole

    May 3, 2012 at 12:19 am

    i just took out my cornrow and i want to get them done over. how many days i should wait to get my hairbraid again

  15. Rosanne

    April 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Hi, Do you have to dry them after washing them please? If yes, can you tell me how?

  16. Debbie

    August 20, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Is swimming out of the question then? Children?

    • Pimpinshy

      August 24, 2013 at 12:24 am

      No, it’s not. Just make sure that you deep-condition your daughter’s braids then wash it with a mile shampoo. Also, make sure to dry her hair with a microfiber towel or you can use a cotton t-shirt

  17. Bridget

    May 8, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I have been in braids for 5 weeks now, i have been washing and co-washing them once a week,then air dry them with the towel, my braids they still look brand new on my head, and my hair has grown, but i will be removing my braids next week then i will deep protein condition them 🙂

  18. PoeticJusticeBraids

    July 2, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Love your article. How long should I leave my Poetic Justice braids on?

  19. nay

    July 11, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Just took my box braids out. How long should I wait to get braids or twists again

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