Let's talk braids...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hello my dears!

Oh how I have missed you all! Sorry for going MIA on you; it's has been a crazy couple of weeks but I knew Nyash would take good care of you. I'm back baiby!!!

Now, as I told you a while back, my old nasty hair habits involved a whole lotta braiding and very little care or proper management; I was in braids almost all year round.. you can only imagine the state my hair and my edges were in when I finally decided to chop it off. It was thin, weak, prone to breakage and my edges were literally eroded. Immediately after my big chop I vowed to never braid my hair again! I basically blamed them for the deterioration of my hair.... I think I may have been a tad bit unfair to the synthetic extensions.

Let me explain...

Braids are a tricky venture; they have their appeal (great for style and artistic expression, and, if treated well, act as an excellent protective style which is amazing for growth). On the other UGLY side, braids that are too small and tightly done will most definitely cause traction alopecia; furthermore most people (myself included) tend to neglect their hair when in braids, i.e they see no need to do deep conditioning treatments and at best, shampoo and grease it for maintenance. This can go on for as long as three months! Once the braids are finally off, the hair is extremely weak and breaks off. Sure there will be growth but the rate of breakage may surpass that of growth... Oh how I know the truth of this sad fact.

So whats the verdict on braids; as with all things in life, it is relative.

I have a sister (with natural hair) who is almost always in braids; her hair line is still in great shape and believe me she goes all out on the small to medium braids. Her hair is extremely thick and can bear the mechanical damage of constantly being in braids. She deep conditions and moisturizes them often and never does hair styles that are strenuous to her edges (such as tight ponytails or braided cornrows). So while in braids, her hair grows and doesn't break as much when she undoes them. lucky her...

MY hair on the other hand, cannot handle braids. On the third day of having them on, I will notice little white bulbs at the roots of the braids all across my edges! I cant even tie them up because of the fear of causing more shedding! Alright, I will own up to the fact that I almost always did small to tiny braids (don't judge me! I was young and ignorant) and so the damage was inevitable.

Over the past few months as I have learnt to care for my new virgin hair, I have done my research on what is good and bad for my hair. I ADORE MY HAIR! Needless to say it has thrived without heat and without braiding. However, I am sure I could do with a lot more protective styling... and thats when the ideas of having braids done slowly crept back into my mind.

Here is where I stand;
- I want a long lasting, pretty and malleable protective hair style that will promote growth
- I also want to take care of my weak edges which are prone to eroding... seriously
- I am TIRED of doing natural twists with my hair! and I am not a big cornrow fan (plus neither can last more than two weeks)
- I need a professional look that I can rock for work

All the signs are pointing towards BRAIDS!!! but worry not! I think I've got this thing cracked... Listen up;

I will do braids that do not need me to blow dry my hair prior to braiding (don't believe me, keep reading)
I will at the same time protect my edges! No forced shedding.. (go on read up)
I will continue to deep condition and moisturize my hair as I normally do (no big secret there)

here it is...


Kinky braids are great for those of us who are heat shy; you do not need to do a blow dry before you have them put on. The kinky texture blends with your natural hair texture and look pretty good (how awesome is that kids!!)

Having the front edges done in small no-extension cornrows will prevent the weight of the braids from annihilating my edges (this will only be a small portion at the front of my hair)

The size should be medium to large; instruct the braider to take LARGE chunks of your natural hair and SMALL portions of the extension.

Remember, it's your hair! Demand that they are loosely done; don't let the braider do them too tightly.

DAILY MOISTURE IS KEY! Continue to use the glycerin water spritz, co-wash as regularly as you would your natural hair and deep condition weekly; (purchase a good leave-in deep conditioner). Be sure to cleanse using the baking soda mix or do an ACV rinse every two weeks to remove build-up of product from your hair and the braids.

Don't keep them on for too long, my maximum limit is five weeks.. maximum!

I am hoping to have them as soon as possible! I will take pics and keep you up to date on their progress... wish me luck!

Thanks for reading,

Much love xx
Faith said...

good post. i'm planning to braid as soon as i set foot back home coz when someone's trying to charge me the equivalent of ksh5K over here for medium size braids clearly such madness ain't happening!!! msch

anywhoo, i'd been wondering how to avoid the blowdrying thing so i'm glad to see the kinky braids idea. i dunno how come i've never seen them though... maybe coz i've never looked... are they sold like at nakumatt or any other kawa place selling extensions? do they have 'kinky' written on the label or do they just have a visibly different texture or what..?

Mary Mogoi said...

yeah girl! you can find kinky braids anywhere!try ebrahims, super cosmetics, beauty options etc, i can take you if you like!

they are quite distinct and Im sure you ask the shop attendant for assistance you will be able to choose from a variety of colors and lengths. I'll do a dark brown for starters, just to play it safe.

can't wait to have you back home!

kinky_lockz said...

i know marley hair is gd for kinky twists as well. by the way have you ever tried yarn braids with acrylic yarn? i'm contemplating doing them as my next protective style but i need someone to be honest about the experience. thnx xx

Anonymous said...

Braids are just the best!

Only 5 wks? thats too short considering the time it takes to do them! I leave my braids on for 2 months. Wash, deep condition and oil them once a week. Repair the hairline every 2wks, this prevents any falloffs that lead to hairloss not forgeting that it makes the braids look fresh!
I note everything on my calendar, when what is to be done and believe you me i wear perfect braids 2 months long, my hair has grown and my hairline is to be envied!
And one last secret: make sure you get yourself HAIR FERTILIZER( Organic Root Stimulator) the stuff works!!

All the best!!

Nyachomba Kariuki said...

@Anonymous..Braids are Awesome...might be going to get some this weekend.

The length of time that ladies leave their braids in is subject to their lifestyle and choices. 2 months..thats very impressive, I couldn't do it I normally miss my hair too much. You seem to have a great braid regimen that works for you..Keep at it!!
Hair Fertiliser, I am on it!!

Anonymous said...

Been Natural for over 1 1/2 years!!! Feels great! Thanks ladies for this.....very informative.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing this with my hair too! my edges are weak, so i need to be super careful

Frida Archie said...

Whats an ACV rinse?

Anonymous said...

Its rinsing hair with apple cider vinegar mixed with water. Its recommended that you use 3 parts of water to 1 part of vinegar. The rinse improves shine and its awesome after a deep condition.

Zipporah Nyokangi said...

Hey. Just wondering where I can buy Marley hair in Nairobi

Zipporah Nyokangi said...

Where can I get Marley hair in Nairobi

Anonymous said...

Where can I get Marley hair?

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