Braids are often worn by women, men and children who desire a versatile hairstyle that can be maintained with little effort. Hair braiding styles can be created by braiding natural hair or by attaching synthetic or human hair extensions. Two of the most popular hair braiding styles are single braids and cornrows. Many people use braids as a protective hairstyle to give hair a break from styling products and maintain length. There are ways to prepare hair for braids to keep hair healthy and braids looking fresh longer.
Wet hair thoroughly with cool or warm water. Apply a generous amount of moisturizing shampoo to hair and scalp, working it into a rich lather. Rinse hair thoroughly with warm water until the water runs clean.
Gently massage a generous amount of deep conditioner into wet hair from the roots to ends. Cover hair with a plastic cap or bag for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse hair thoroughly with warm water until all the conditioner is removed.
Evenly apply a leave-in conditioner onto hair and gently massage it into your hair and scalp from the roots to the ends. The leave-in conditioner should not be rinsed out of the hair.
Use a wide-tooth comb to gently comb out any tangles in the hair while the hair is still wet. Apply more leave-in conditioner to any tangled areas of hair before combing to avoid pain and breakage.
Use a pair of scissors to trim any damaged or split ends from the hair.
Dry hair using a blow dryer on the low setting. According to the Hair Braiding Tips website, braiding hair while wet can produce uneven results and cause hair damage.
Apply hair moisturizer, such as grease, gel or oil, to the hair. This softens and moisturizes hair, prevents tangles and makes it easier to braid and manage.
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Sarai Jeremiah is a freelance writer and graphic designer living on the East Coast, where she is currently pursuing an education in both fields. She has been writing articles and content on a variety of topics since 2006 and has contributed articles to Web sites such as Spark People.