Braids are stylish and protective for both men's and women's hair and different braid styles come with several advantages such as prevention of hair breakage. However, like several hairstyles, braids should be specially cared for to ensure proper maintenance and avoid damage to the scalp. Luckily for braid lovers, the styles require less maintenance but there are unique actions you must use to care for your hair, before and after the braids. Here are hair braiding care tips that can be helpful for men with braids.
1. Untangle and Moisturize Hair Before Braiding
This is important especially if your natural hair texture is very rigid. You can begin by sectioning your hair into different parts that will be twisted into braids. They should be arranged behind one another, and your hair must be soft and free of tangles after you have prepped it. Also, after having the hair untangled, moisturize it to keep it flexible.
You can use a leave-in conditioner that is curl-free. This will not only moisturize your hair, but it enables important benefits for your scalp and hair strands. You should also have the hair blow-dried, after moisturizing it. This process nourishes the hair and produces shiny effects. You should apply essential oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter as these oil types help in untangling and make your hair fine and easy to braid.
Blow-dry Your Hair
After deep conditioning and moisturizing your hair with oil, your scalp will feel refreshing. The next important thing you should do is blow your hair to dry. However, before the blow-dry process, you must apply heat protection since this adds extra control and stretch to your hair.
Many people will rather not blow dry their hair using a hot hair setting, since they believe that hot hair can cause hair damage. Even though this may be a misconception, you should try blow drying your hair with a cool air setting as this gives more protection to the hair and your braid outcome will be smooth. If you want to straighten your hair before braiding, hot air does it better, or you can use a hair straightening device to achieve it.
2. Braid Hair
Before your hair is braided, your stylist must-have hair products at hand, which will be added to your hair throughout the braiding process. This is essential as it instills continuous moisture in the hair. Lock gels are also perfect as it allows a firmer and neater grip on your hair, especially if you have short hair. It is also added to partings to enable clean sections, leaving the root and hair in an orderly appearance. Using products while braiding, can prevent frizz curls and hair breakage.
3. Maintaining the Braid
After getting a nice braid style, you cannot enjoy it completely if they are not in perfect condition, this is where hair care sets in. The following hair care tips are essential to help you maintain your braids, throughout the period you will be wearing them.
Protect Your Scalp:
This has to be the most important hair care tip for men with braids. Your scalp must be healthy because you cannot have a great hair follicle on a damaged scalp or scalp that is not properly cared for. The essence of any healthy hair is based on the underlying structure it is growing from. If you have a damaged scalp, you will also have hair problems so you cannot do without caring for your scalp since your hair will suffer the consequence if you ignore it.
You can protect your scalp by using chemical-free shampoo. Some products normally have harmful additives that may cause damage to hair and scalp and you should avoid them. Another way to protect the scalp is by minimizing hair wash. Overdoing hair washing while wearing a protective style can be a problem. This means you can only wash your hair once a week.
When applying shampoo, apply gentle tapping motions or massages around your braids. Do this until the shampoo lathers up before giving it a clean water rinse. Gently dry the braids and scalp. Be careful not to rob the braids in motion since braids add tension to hair roots, and this can be bad for your scalp.
Moisturize Braided Hair
No matter the braid styles, your natural hair will be involved every step of the way which is why you must take extra care to avoid hair damage. Moisturizing your hair is one of the best ways to prevent your hair from breaking. This means, your hair requires hydration in the scalp area. Moisture in the scalp helps in keeping it healthy and prevents dry skin cells from clogging your hair follicle. It also prevents you from scratching your braided head, and not scratching your head can minimize scalp damage and your braids will last longer.
Your braids also need night care so, you can include moisturizing your braids every night before bedtime. At this time, you can add hair oil such as coconut oil, organic olive oil, or other products. These moisturizing products work on the scalp while you sleep, preventing your hair from suffering any kind of damage. To prevent your hair from frizzing in the morning, you should cover it while sleeping.
4. Do Not Wear Braids Beyond the Actual Limit
Wearing braid styles for too long can be destructive for your hair. So, if you must protect your roots, you should know your braid limit. For example, people who wear protective styles up to the 8th week normally suffer hair breakage. How long you leave braids in should depend on the protective style you are wearing as follows;
Individual braids should be worn for up to 2-4 weeks
Cornrows should be worn between 1-3 weeks
Men normally wear short hair but many of them still opt for braids, which is why they must keep the area healthy, to protect their hair and scalp from damage. With a proper care routine, your hair can have a shiny, healthy appearance and even enhance your looks.