Yaki is a synthetic hair type designed to mimic the look and feel of relaxed or natural African-American hair. Available in a variety of textures, yaki hair is used to create wigs, weaves and hair extensions that blend well with the wearer's roots. Like other types of synthetic hair, yaki can be made with a type of synthetic fiber called kanekalon. For the purposes of hair braiding, yaki kanekalon hair gives finished styles a relatively natural look.
Prepare the Hair
Divide the hair to be braided into manageable sections and hold all but one section in place with a hair clip or elastic band. Apply hair moisturizer to the remaining section and comb it out with a wide-toothed comb.
Use the rat-tail comb to separate a braid-sized portion of hair and clip back the rest of the section. Add a little gel to the smaller piece of hair.
Remove the kanekalon hair from its packaging. Spray oil sheen on the synthetic hair and smooth your hands over it. For more voluminous braids, you can also brush it out with a flat brush.
Braid the Hair
Take a piece of kanekalon hair that is the intended size of your braid. If the hair you are using is straight, you will need to tug at each end of the strand to make the ends less blunt.
Drape the piece of kanekalon over the portion of hair you separated for braiding. There are now three strands available for braiding -- the two halves of the kanekalon and the strand of human hair.
Begin braiding the three strands of hair, starting with the human hair to one side and the two strands of kanekalon to the other.
When you start running out of human hair to braid with, split one of the kanekalon strands in half and blend it with the human hair. Continue braiding until you reach the desired length.
Seal the end of your braid. You can burn, knot or glue the hair or dip it in hot water to seal the ends.
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June Mebei is a Virginia-based writer who earned her B.A. in English at Georgia State University. She began writing professionally in 2008, and has published narrative essays, editorial articles, short stories and poetry.