Now that we have done some theory, I wanted to share one of my favourite 'go-to' styles : the braidout. This is a very low maintenance, low manipulation style that is easy on your strands yet very stylish. The braidout can be strategically used for the following :
1. To keep the new growth stretched so that you can have a longer time period between chemical services like relaxers, perms, dry curls. This allows you to give your hair a break from the chemicals.. I will do a post on stretching relaxers in the future.
2. For persons who wear their hair curly, this is an alternative to a wash and go. Wash and gos often get matted as the hair curls up. Because a braidout is a stretched style (the hair is in a stretched state as it dries) it does not tangle an mat as easily as a wash an go. Its a great way to wear your hair 'open' with getting a tangled mess.
3. This is a great way of stretching the hair in preparation for flat ironing. The less heat the better... no blow drying required.
4. To reduce the amount of unnecessary combing. Once the style is complete... it requires very little maintenance. This gives your strands a break of the daily pulling an tugging. At night you just tie your hair into a high ponytail... should look like a pineapple. In the morning you refresh with your fingers sparingly.
So..... how is this magical style achieved? Its so simple you would not believe it.
Firstly you would need some sort of moisturising spritz (preferably containing glycerine and aloe vera juice)... an oil for sealing (any oil/butter.. the coarser the hair the heavier the oil should be) and some sort of setting agent (gel, mousse, setting lotion... the coarse the hair the stronger the setting product should be).
Next your section the hair into two sections. Part it from ear to ear. Put the top half in a pony an work with the bottom first. Spray the entire bottom half with the spritz (I use a homemade concoction with containing aloe vera and glycerine)... then coat it with the oil/butter (I used shea butter mixed with oils). Take a small section of hair, detangle (figure detangle if it was previously detangled) apply some gel or whatever setting product you are using (I use normal styling gel) and braid the hair. Continue these steps for the other sections of the hair. For the braidout in the pics below I did 6 medium braids in the back section of my hair and three in front.
When I am finished with the back I usually tie a scarf around my head and push it back a little beyond my hair line... this is because I do not like my plaits/braids starting on my hair line... (this is optional ofcourse). It is important to pay attention to the direction you would like the hair to fall in when braiding the front... if you want it to fall to the side and braid it to the side.
Please note that when you are braiding, do not 'borrow' hair from the other sections in order to finish the braid. Before you start make sure all three parts are equal. This allows for a more defined braidout.
LEAVE IT ALONE UNTIL IT IS COMPLETELY DRY!! This is to allow the hair to 'set' in the pattern of the braid.
For the take down, put a little oil in your hands and unplait.... Its that simple.
Hope you guys will try this style.... message me with any questions/comments.. Ill be more than happy to assist.
Until next time... HHJ