Braids are one of many protective hairstyles out there. While braided hair is a statement of beauty, it’s good to know that your hair can also benefit from it.

A protective hairstyle is a hairstyle that protects the ends (the oldest part of your hair) by tucking it in through weaving. Protective hairstyles lock in moisture, retain growth, and give your hair a break from the stretching and pulling that comes with everyday styling. While you have a protective hairstyle on it is important to moisturise and wash your hair especially in winter where your hair dries quicker. See the guide below on how to prepare and take care of braids.

How to prepare your hair for braids

Start clean
Wash your hair and scalp with shampoo or try apple cider vinegar rinse for a proper scalp detox.

Do a protein treatment
A protein treatment will strengthen your hair for styling and/or blow-drying. You can do a protein treatment at a salon or at home using a store-bought protein treatment.

De-tangle your hair
De-tangle to remove knots that might cause hair to break during styling. After washing and de-tangling, leave your hair in bantu knots or any quick hairstyle that will stretch your hair.

Blow dry
If you prefer blow drying before styling use a heat protector and set your hair dryer to a lower temperature.

Trim your hair
Cut off the split ends. You will experience less breakage when you remove your braids.

Be gentle on the hairline
Make sure your hairstylist is gentle on your hair. Pulling hair too tight while braiding can damage your hairline and over time lead to permanent hair loss.

How to take care of your braided hair

Choose the right products
Mix a water-based moisturiser or any preferred moisturiser with water to create a moisturising spritz. Applying your moisturiser using a spray bottle is the best way to evenly distribute moisture on your braided hair.

Overnight protection
Continue with your nighttime routine. Moisturise your hair and cover your head with a satin scarf during deb-time, this will keep your hairstyle fresh and prevent moisture loss.

Wash and deep condition
Washing and deep conditioning your braids might make your hairstyle appear older or fizzy but it will reduce breakage, add moisture and most importantly keep your hair and scalp clean.

The options are endless for what type of protective hairstyle you can do. For this winter, add some colour, get creative with cornrows and add volume with beads.

Our braids were done using Darling hair’s yaki braid in olive green with beads from our local beads shop.

Which protective hairstyle will you be rocking this winter? Share your comments below.

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