Ever kept a style in for 3 weeks or more only to notice that your ends are breaking off as you loosen the braids? Well, you are not alone. To those of us who aim for length this could mean that you are loosing - instead or retaining - what little length you might have gained over time. A culprit for this could be dryness. Yes, you might spray with water and seal frequently but the water and oil combo sometimes does not properly enter the braid or twist.Thus, the surface of the braids might feel soft but the inside could be very dry.
Here's a simple way to moisturise your hair before take down to reduce breakage:
You will need...
A night before take down...
- Mix 5 parts of water to 1 part conditioner in a spray bottle
- Since you are about to loosen your hair there is no need to worry about frizz. Spray the mix on braid/twist and smooth. Make sure the braid/twist is damp.
- Apply enough castor oil or Shea butter to the section. For this,think sealing. The only difference is that you'll need slightly more oil than you'll need for a normal styling session.
- Braid or twist braids together (if possible) and put on a plastic cap. If you are not comfortable sleeping with a plastic cap you can wear a satin bonnet and/or tie a satin scarf.
Possible question: Why can't I just loosen immediately after spraying with water?
Answer: Our hair is at its weakest when wet so you want to reduce the amount of damage that could come as result of pulling and detangling at this point. Note also that the thick oils mentioned help seal in moisture and give slip, making it easy for the hair strands to be separated from each other.
This method of of moisturizing before loosening afro hair can be useful during the hot-humid and dry harmattan weather in Nigeria.