5 hair care mistakes to avoid when you have braids

A guest with trendy braids attends the Milan Fashion Week (Photo by Nataliya Petrova/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A guest with trendy braids attends the Milan Fashion Week (Photo by Nataliya Petrova/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Just because your hair is in a protective style, it doesn't mean it shouldn't be taken care of. 

It's a big mistake to think when your hair is in braids it doesn't need to be moisturised, nourished, and protected from breakage. 

To keep your hair in good condition, do the following:

Wash your hair

Daily dirt build-up and sweat don't pause once you have braids done, so it's essential to wash your scalp when you have braids on as well. You can use a moisturising shampoo to avoid drying out your scalp. Also, avoid washing your hair too often, this can contribute to dryness as well.

READ MORE: Natural or relaxed - Here are 5 quick and easy hairstyles you can do at home 

Wrap your hair whenever you go to sleep, even if it's a daytime nap

Covering your braids when you go to sleep may help keep the braids neat. Having a satin scarf or silk pillowcase, as opposed to cotton, can protect your hair from drying.

"I make sure my hair is covered every night, regardless of what hairstyle I have," says hair care entrepreneur, Kelly Thela – and we agree.

Change your hairstyle regularly

Let's face it. It's not healthy for your hair (and hairline) to have a bun for two weeks straight to only switch it up with a parted ponytail for the next two weeks. Having the same hairstyle can leave your hairline vulnerable to traction alopecia. It's best to avoid pulling your hair too tight when styling.

In a previous W24 artifcle, head of dermatology at UKZN, Professor Ncoza Dlova, says, "The signs of tight hairstyles include, pain after styling, headache slanting eyes, pimples on the edges of braids or hairline, tenting of the skin."

Moisturise your hair

Even with braids, your hair and scalp can get dry so it will go a long way for your hair if you keep it hydrated and moisturised. Dry hair is vulnerable to breakage, and breakage is a significant threat to your hairline and overall health of your hair.

READ MORE: Is your hair breaking all your combs? Careful, you may be risking hair breakage too - key tips from a hair expert

Avoid wearing braids for more than six weeks  

The rule of thumb is that you keep braids on for a maximum of four to six weeks, any longer your hair will be susceptible to damage. Cornrows should ideally be kept for two and a half weeks.

What other methods do you use to protect your hair? Let us know here.

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