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How to properly take care of micro braids


Micro braids are tiny, delicate, take hours to do and are often too tight for comfort tightly woven into hair but it’s a look that remains popular among women.

Here are tips that will come in handy when you want a break from daily manipulation and styling your hair.

Pre-braids: If you have dry, brittle hair, you should be very cautious when wearing micro-braids as they can cause hair loss, particularly when they are removed.

Before getting the braids done, let a professional stylist asses your hair to ensure it is in proper condition for braiding. If not, desist. The stylist will also advise on how long the braids can last.

You should prepare your hair by performing a hot oil treatment to moisturise it and replenish hair that is damaged, using deep conditioner several times prior to the braiding, ensuring you trim all the dead ends on your hair, and shampooing and conditioning the hair thoroughly before being braided.

While in braids: Ensure your braids are not too tight. This will cause hair loss and possibly balding. Never braid your baby hair because they are very delicate and will start pulling off slowly. Once you lose hair around the edges, it might never grow back again.

Wash the hair and scalp regularly using the right shampoo for your hair type, and never omit conditioner while in micro braids. It is recommended that you wait for four weeks before you first wash the braids then do it once a week after that. Remember to always spray on a light leave-in conditioner, braid spray or hair oil to keep your hair moisturised.

To keep your scalp well-lubricated, use Aloe Vera gel, olive oil or products containing them. Avoid using a heavy conditioner as it can cause a flaky scalp, which is hard to treat when hair is micro braided.

Sleeping with wet braids will leave you with a mildew-smell on the hair and may even cause breakage from water damage. Always cover your head with satin or silk scarf before going to sleep will keep your braids neat.

Remember to wear different braid hair styles instead of sticking to one so that you don’t create too much tension on certain parts of your head, leading to hair loss.

If you have to hold the braids in a ponytail, do not pull it back too tight as this may pull your hair out of the edges. It is advisable that you visit your hairdresser to help maintain the braids especially the ones around the hairline.

After the micro braids: Three months should be the maximum while the ideal is two months. Ensure the braids are removed carefully, by a professional if possible. The hair is fragile at this point after being braided for long and must be treated gently.

Once removed, use a protein treatment to strengthen the hair. Using a deep conditioner and moisturiser immediately after removing the braids to restore moisture.

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