Ok, so as you’ve probably seen from my last few posts, I’ve had my hair in a new protective style. I absolutely LOVE Senegalese twists!
There was only one problem….
You see that beanie I was wearing? And this scarf?
Yeah, I wasn’t just wearing them for fun. For the two weeks I kept this style, I couldn’t leave the house without something on my head? Why? Because of tip #1.
1. ALWAYS make sure that you go to someone who knows how to braid well!
I cannot stress this enough. Almost everything depends on your stylists ability to braid. I got too excited about getting my new hairstyle and went to one of my friends without making sure she actually knew what she was doing. I described the braid pattern I wanted and the size of the braids I would need, but she decided that she would try something different.
I should have stopped her and just waited on someone who had done this before. Instead I ended up with an inch and a half wide braid that snaked up and down my head in one long trail.
Needless to say, there was a great big empty patch at the top of my head.
And it took 12 bags of hair to disguise the problems. That is definitely way too much.
And this brings me to the next trick.
2. Have your stylist reinforce your braids with braiding hair.
This is especially important for people with fine hair like me. Even if your hair isn’t fine and you have thinning around the edges, this would be a good idea. There are a few reasons this helps.
The added braiding hair will help your protective style last longer. The braids will look more neat and the added texture of the braiding hair will keep your fine hair from slipping out of the braids. This means less chances of that annoying fuzz that you might get after the 2-4 week mark.
Adding the hair will also reduce the tension on your actual hair. Nobody wants to experience the hair thinning that is always a risk with improperly done or frequent wearing of braids. The braiding hair will keep your hair from pulling too tightly and lessen the chances of traction alopecia (loss of hair due to pulling and rough handling).
3. Make sure to keep your scalp moisturized!
We’ve all made fun of the head patting, but scalp itch can be seriously irritating. Keeping your scalp moisturized helps avoid all of the discomfort.
My favorite way to do this is to heat up coconut oil and apply it directly to my scalp using a color application bottle. I just got one from Sally’s for a couple dollars.
4. Cleanse your scalp every 1-2 weeks.
This goes with the last tip. I’m not talking about a full out washing, but removing build up from your scalp. This is important to keep your natural hair healthy. This is why we do protective styles, right?
I’ve done this two ways.
1. Dilute a mild shampoo in water. Ratio – 1:4. Color application bottles work best for this. Just squirt it on, massage your scalp gently for a couple of minutes, and rinse it out.
2. Dilute apple cider vinegar in water using the same ratio. I actually like this better. It makes your scalp feel more clean. Apply, massage, rise.
Always be sure to moisturize after!
5. After you take your hair down, deep condition your hair.
My curls always go into a bit of shock after I take down my protective hair style.
I like to double shampoo my hair when I first take my hair down. This is the only time I ever do this to my hair. My favorite shampoos for this come from the same company.
After shampooing, I leave this deep conditioner in my hair overnight. This isn’t always necessary, but personally I like to leave it in this long.
My favorite is the Organix Argan Oil of Morocco Intensive Treatment
6. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Yes, this last time was a near disaster. But now I know that particular braiding patter is absolute rubbish. I won’t let that keep me from doing this again. I will just make sure someone else braids my hair ;).
You never know when you might find a braiding pattern or type of hair that you like to use more ^_^.
Have you done Senegalese twists before? What are some of your tricks?