You can do everything right with your braided hair… and still ruin it all with a bad nightly routine. Think about it- you sleep on average seven hours each night- that’s a significant amount of time spent with your hair squashed underneath the weight of your head. This can lead to breakage on your edges, flattened, crimped and bent braids, dryness as your hair loses moisture overnight, matting and tangling from friction between braid strands and and even frizzy hair when you wake up in the morning.
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Luckily you can avoid all of this with a simple but consistent nightly regimen. Your regimen will depend on your braids unique characteristics and the styles you wear on a daily basis, but here is a beautyluxers braid guide.
1. Moisturize and seal.
Three of the best ways to moisturize your hair under a protective style. Since your braids lose moisture overnight it’s essential that you use an all natural product like almond, grapeseed, or coconut oil to keep your braids looking healthy and smooth. You’ll need to moisturize them regularly to make sure you are restoring moisture back. Dry, brittle hair is more susceptible to breakage and therefore it is important to keep your strands lubricated.
- You can spritz your hair with a mixture of natural oil and water.
- Use a water-based leave in conditioner.
- Apply some mousse to your braids. Mousse not only acts as a moisturizer it also seals down those frizzy fly aways.
2. Anti-Itch Spray.
Dab some anti-itch oil on your scalp every 2 days. Soak the surface of a clean cotton ball with anti-itch oil. Dab the mixture onto any exposed areas of your scalp, especially any areas that are irritating or itchy. Try to do this every 2 days to keep your scalp feeling soothed before bed.
- This also prevents you from scratching or picking at your braids, which can damage them.
- You can find anti-itch oil online, or at most beauty supply stores.
- Don’t overdo it with this oil—ideally, you want to coat your scalp without soaking your braids.
3. Protect Your Braids.
Use a large piece of fabric to protect and cover your braids. This can prevent friction and frizziness from developing overnight. Everyones hair is different and need to be protected in different ways. Some styles may require you to protect your edges first prior to wrapping. Making the switch from cotton to satin will help your braids look fresh and beautiful each morning by diminishing the frizziness caused by the braids rubbing up against cotton.
- A long stretchable bonnet can be used to wrap your braids before you go to sleep. Gather all your braids to the back of your head and secure it with a bonnet or scarf. This leaves your braids loose in the back of your head so they won't cause tension on your scalp and edges.
- Use an edge wrap to secure your edges before you protect your style with a silk/satin scarf, or bonnet.
- Sleep on a satin pillow case instead of material like cotton.
If you aren't sure of the best way to cover your hair, ask your hairstylist for recommendations!