5 ways to maintain twist braids.

If you’ve been looking for a manageable solution to avoid heat damage, Twist braids are one of your best options.

I’ve received lots of questions about how and where I get my twist braids done. They’re low maintenance, affordable, and requires NO HEAT. Can I get an amen? Here are five easy ways to maintain twist braids:

1. Dedicing on the size of your braids:
Size matters. They say, “the bigger the hair, the closer to God.”

image
But two things will determine the size of your twists:

A) How long you want to keep them, and
B) The length of your hair.

Be careful not to have your braids twisted too thick as large-sized twists tend to unravel faster. The shorter your hair is, the easier it will be for fibre to slip from your hair, so ensure that you have finer twists installed to compliment the length of your hair. A good way to determine how long you can extend your braids to, would be to measure the length of your own hair, and not to extend to further than double that length. Your stylist should be able to direct you to a suitable size of braid if you’re still not sure.

2. Where to get your braids done:
Depending on your desired length, braids can cost anywhere from R300 to R1500. And there are tons of specialised salons in the country. I usually go to a salon in Claremont that doesn’t exactly have interior design appeal, but the hair stylists are top-notch. If you’d like me to recommend a stylist, feel free to post your email address in the comment section below.

I love having my Havana twist braids done professionally but it’s pretty easy to do them yourself, once you get the hang of it. Watch DIY HAVANA TWISTS for Beginners (Step-by-Step) for a quick tutorial on how you can twist your own braids.

3. Washing and drying:
I swore that I would never be one of those women tapping at her braided head because it’s itching. And thankfully I’m not.
The itching sensation usually occurs when your braids have been twisted tightly or when your scalp is dry.
I use an affordable Dreadlock shampoo and conditioning spray from Clicks which leaves my braids feeling soft, clean, and smelling fresh. I shampoo once a week and condition as much as possible. It seems like a difficult task to be washing twist braids but it’s pretty simple once you know how. I wash them while I’m in the shower, using a parting method (of four), similar to the one you’ll find in this youtube video.

Try not to use a towel when drying your hair, to avoid frizz. Use a damp cotton T-shirt instead, or sun dry at best.

4. Sleeping with twist braids:
Wear a silk scarf to bed to avoid the unravelling of your twists during the night. Clicks conveniently also sells silk scarves and pillows, but you can also use the leg of an old pair of stockings aka a swirlkous.

5. Play with different hairstyles:
Twists are pretty on their own but they can become a bit boring to wear if you’re the kind who likes to switch up hairstyles. Google is your best friend at this point – there are so many Youtube tutorials on how to style every type of braids ever created. For starters, if you go to therighthairstyles.com, you’ll find 50 Exquisite Box Braids Hairstyles To Do Yourself, among other cool hairstyling tips.

For more questions, tips, or suggestions on how to maintain twist braids, please leave a comment in space below, or email me directly by clicking on the contact tab.

Cover photo by Sive Nyanda for Jeo photography.

I went out with my natural hair and nothing happened

After mustering up the balls to step outside with my hair not blow-dried or flat-ironed, I thought that I was going to feel really ugly and uncomfortable, or worse, people were going to imply that my hair is ugly and make me feel uncomfortable.

This is a really big thing for me. I felt emotional when a friend told me that she loves my sun-dried hair because I never thought anyone would. I’d been having my hair straightened since my first memories and that’s no exaggeration. At school, if you had straight hair, you were absolutely beautiful, and that’s pretty much the consensus within my family as well.

So, I’ve decided that I want to do the ‘Big Chop’ as soon as spring arrives (September 2014). It may seem a bit radical to chop my hair off but I think that I need to be smacked with the realization that my beauty doesn’t lie in my hair. And this will also be a way for me to grow the hair that was given to me.
I’m interested to know your thoughts so feel free to post a comment of whether or not you’re in support of my big chop.

Last night, friends and I went to a restaurant. A tall buff-looking guy walks in to sit at the table behind us. Not too long after, a friend leans in to whisper that this guy had been staring at me for some time while waiting to be seated. I shrugged and gave a little sigh because to my mind, who would actually find me attractive with this big hair. Our meals arrive; more friends join; we have some wine; squeeze in dessert, and then leave for some living room dancing and sing-alongs. Later that night, before going to bed, I checked my phone and saw that the same guy, who was sitting at the table behind me, had managed to find my Instagram profile and liked several of my photos. Super creepy! l was stunned, to say the least. Here I am, in the dead of winter, sporting a natural hairdo (resembling a lion’s mane), and this guy thinks I’m hot. Never mind the great lengths he went to, to show it…

This is what I look like with sleek hair:

sleek_hair

 

 

 

 

 

And this is me with natural Bantu knot hair:

natural_hair

 

 

 

 

Major difference right? I am so ready to let go of the straight-hair-is-beautiful hype. I mean, of course straight hair is beautiful but curly and wavy hair can be just as lovely. This is a way for me to accept myself as I am, and to become who I want to be. If I decide somewhere along the line, that sleek hair suits me better, I will probably revert. I just need to be sure that my image represents my brand – the person I aspire to be, and not a copy of what is socially acceptable around me.