How to avoid damage when undoing your braids

Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

Before taking down your braids

• Spritz braids with warm water. Then use a detangling spray to make the hair feel slippery and allow your braids to come off easily.

• Start from the bottom upwards. If the braids are longer than your natural hair, you can cheat by cutting the bottoms. But leave enough space for your hair – remember, it’s now stretched and has probably grown.

• Trim the ends and use a comb to unravel the first few sections of the braid. Apply more detangling spray to fingertips and slowly unravel the braids. Once you’ve unraveled them to the root, slowly remove the extensions and feel the hair breathe.

After taking down the braids

• Use a detangling spray if the hair has developed knots and leave it on the hair for 10 minutes.

• Take your time and use your fingers to split tangled hair.

• Finger comb your hair as much as possible before using a wide-tooth comb.

• Comb your hair from the tip to the root. Wash the hair using a hydrating shampoo and then condition it.

• Invest in a hydrating scalp treatment to nourish your hair and scalp.

How long should I wait for my next hairstyle?

• Two weeks is the recommended waiting period to ensure that the hair has a good breather – that’s if the scalp did not experience any irritation during the process of taking down your braids.

• Four weeks is recommended if you experienced hair breakage while taking down your braids.

• You can only resume braiding when your hair has fully recovered and is in a healthy state. This can happen only if your hair and scalp are given proper attention by cleansing, conditioning and nourishing both regularly.


How long should I wear a protective hairstyle for?

Each style has different characteristics. Some styles last longer than others. For example, you can leave braids and twisted styles in for up to eight weeks.


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