Boost your braid care
The reasons we love them and the best ways to treat them and your scalp.
Why we love them and how to treat them well
1 Don’t braid too tightly
Some believe that the tighter the plait, the longer it lasts. “Your hair is resilient when you’re young,” says trichologist Crystal Styles. “But the more you braid tightly, the more your hair is ripped from its follicle. Over time it can become dormant. Good news: it can be reversed if caught in time.” Keep your braids loose, close to the scalp and smooth down any yaways with hair oil or pomade.
2 Wash your hair o en
Design Essentials stylist Alicia Bailey explains: “Wash your braids at least every two weeks, because your scalp needs to be cleaned.” It can be quite an undertaking, especially if they’re long: water makes them heavy and they take a long time to dry, so ensure you allocate enough time. Hairbysusy’s Susan Oludele, stylist to celebrities like Beyoncé and Zoë Kravitz, advises washing braids in vertical movements, from the scalp to the ends, to prevent frizz. Alicia adds, “Take care of them or they start to smell.”
3 Treat your scalp with soothing products
Braids can cause irritation, particularly when they’ve just been done. Apply a hydrating cream or braid spray to soothe and calm the scalp. “Spraying braids daily will also keep your own hair hydrated,” says Mizani hairstylist Daryce Brown-willis.
4 Don’t leave your braids in for too long
“As hair that sheds begins to accumulate, you’ll need to get rid of braids as this can add extra stress on your own hair,” explains Daryce. The extra weight can also contribute to hair loss along your hairline.