The truth behind braids....uncovered

Braids fashion
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There are plenty of myths surrounding hair-styling which can prevent one from enjoying the beauty of hair extensions, especially braids. Braids remain a popular hairstyle, from the box braids that singer Brandy made famous to the trendy  Senegalese twists. One thing is that is clear, is that braids are always on trend and they are here to stay. So, get your braid on, as Frika stylist Jimmy Shibambu debunks five popular myths about braids.

Myth: Braiding your hair during pregnancy leads to birth complications

Truth: Medical conditions such as diabetes or obstructed labour are among many causes of having a difficult pregnancy and birth of your baby. Wearing braids during your pregnancy will have no effect on your labour or the health of your baby as braids do not require harsh chemicals to install or maintain. Simply ensure that you thoroughly prepare your natural hair for the braids, by washing with proper products and conditioning well   beforehand. Braids are a life-saver during pregnancy because it is both a protective and low maintenance hairstyle that will reduce stress because your hair will be the least of your worries, and you will feel beautiful too.

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Myth: Braids make your hair weak

Truth: Hair shedding is inevitable with any protective styling.  However, there are ways of minimizing hair breakage and braids affords you that opportunity as they are not only a wake up and go hassle free styles that requires very little manipulation to look stunning.  The trick really lies in the application process.  Ensuring that your hair is not knotted tightly next to the scalp as pulling the hair from the follicle results in weakened hair. Also giving your hair a break in between styles will help a lot.  Lastly avoid braiding your hair immediately after chemically processing.   Opt for hair such as Frika’s Luminance, which is made of a unique fibre blend that is lightweight. Its hot water properties make it easy for you to swop between straight and curly style with ease

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Myth: Braids cause hairline loss

Truth: Traction alopecia is a form of alopecia, or gradual hair loss, caused primarily by pulling force being applied to the hair. If braids are pulled too tight to achieve a certain style or not installed properly, this will cause strain on the hairline. The weight of the hair used must also be taken into consideration, because the heavier the hair, the greater the strain. That said, traction alopecia is not specific to wearing braids. Ballerinas who wear tight buns and people from certain cultures who are required to wear their hair long can also suffer from the condition. Ensure to seek the advice of trained professional when choosing the type of braid to suit your individual needs.

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Myth: Braids causes dandruff

Truth: Dandruff occurs when the scalp becomes dry or greasy and produces white flakes of dead skin that can be seen in the hair or flakes that fall on the shoulders. It’s safe to say that dandruff is a result of an unhealthy scalp and not braids. Your scalp becomes itchy when there is product build up, sweat, hot and cold weather. Washing your braids will get rid of residue and allow your scalp to breathe and give you some reprieve. Using a gentle, anti-dandruff shampoo will also help control dandruff. Of course, every time you wash your hair, your braids will gradually lose its brilliance, but would you rather have dandruff instead? Exercise restraint when using product, don’t pile on product because it will make the problem worse. 

Smelly hair
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Myth: Washing your braids makes them smell bad

Truth: If your hair smells, it means your hair and scalp are dirty. This reaction also indicates that your current hair care routine is not working. Wash your hair to get rid of oil build up, sweat, product build up and refresh your braids with dry shampoo or lightweight braid spray. It is also important to be realistic about the thickness of your braids. If you wash your hair and it doesn’t dry down completely, mildew will form under the braids and cause an unpleasant smell. It is advised to have your braids washed by a professional stylist as they have the right equipment to ensure that they are properly dried. Wear braids that are compatible with your lifestyle and hair type so that your braids will dry fast enough and prevent bad odour. Try rose water spray, dilute it with a bit of water. This will leave your hair refreshed, and won’t dry out your hair because rose water has no alcohol in it. Alchohol or Parabene free shampoos tend to be very niche and expensive hence we cannot be that prescriptive.

Now that you know that braids aren’t going to make you go bald, why not try a refreshing style to change up your look and face every day with revived confidence and style!