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Hair braiding styles for black hair

As mentioned earlier in my blogs, there are various methods of getting protective styling. One of the methods that I mentioned was braiding. Now braiding is a great way to protect especially Afro hair from being exposed to the harsh weather conditions. It’s also a way of maintaining the hair as it is curly and tangles a lot if it is not in a protected style or even properly maintained. I did not realize this but when I was a lot younger, I had my hair cut short for a long time. I must have started getting it done when I was a little older. I did not get a relaxer until I was almost 13 or 14 years old, but I also got rid of chemicals from my hair at 19 years old. Ever since that time, I have only left my hair in its natural state although I used to blow dry it regularly. At the age of 19, I worked on learning how to look after hair so that I was able to maintain my own hair. It was something that started as a passion and to this day still is because I always look after my hair.  Another reason for this was the fact that I stopped blow drying my hair often.

Braiding Styles

Braiding styles and patterns come in all different shapes and forms. In certain parts of Africa they signify a certain clan and were a way of identifying specific family members. Therefore, if you go to different parts of the continent, you will find different styles that are authentic to a region. In the cities, people normally just wear whatever style they like or what is considered in fashion. As you can see from the pictures below, here is an example of popular braided styles.

Braid Maintenance

I remember one question that individuals often used to ask and that is how to maintain braids. If you braid your hair without adding any extensions, they will only last for up to two weeks. Mainly it’s because your hair grows and it will start to get frizzy. If you use a satin cloth when you go to sleep every day, you can keep it in for longer. The size of the braid will also make a difference to how long it will last. If you have the really large cornrows on your hair say about 2 of them, I tend to last a week, however for some individuals they only last for about 2 to 3 days. If you have smaller cornrows, they can even last for a month depending on how well you take care of them. For others, they can only last 2 weeks, however maintenance is key.

If your scalp is itchy, I did recommend some products that could be used to help in maintaining it well.

Washing braids

Yes braids can be washed, there are a few methods that you can use to help in making sure that they last a little longer on your scalp. Before you braid your hair, it’s important to have a clean scalp. This helps in keeping the scalp cleaner for longer and also in keeping the braids in good condition. Normally before the process of braiding, your hair has to be moisturized and stretched to get the best results. After the installation of the braids or your own hair, I always make sure that a few days after the braiding, if my scalp seems a little dry I will definitely moisturize it. Now the thing with moisturizer for my hair, I tend to use a lighter oil rather than a heavier oil. The main reason is that it minimizes any itching that can take place. After the first week, sometimes, I use a spirit to clean my scalp and minimize any type of itch, but once it dries out, I will put moisturizer immediately to stop any dryness.

Normally after a week or two I will wash the hair with shampoo and conditioner. The problem I normally find with braids in general, they tend to have build-up after a few weeks. It’s very difficult to avoid buildup and sometimes you just have to remove the braids to avoid your hair getting tangled and minimizing breakage.

Removal of braids

When you remove your braids, you have to make sure that you try to detangle each braid as soon as possible. If you remove all the braids in one go and do not detangle bit by bit, if you don’t do that, you will have a sore scalp. Make sure that you have someone assist you with the process as it may take some time. Make sure that you use the detangling shampoo as well to make the process smoother. During the process of removal, it’s wise to have some olive oil at the side and spray your hair each time. It will help with the detangling process.

Breaks

It is important to note that you must take a break between braiding. If you can give your scalp some time to breath, it’s vital and important. The main reason is that you need to let your hair breathe. Many individuals do not like to expose their hair, maybe they don’t like the length or it’s difficult to do anything with it in its natural state and that is understandable, but you just have to find what works for you. We are fortunate that more than ever there are many options in this day and age. If you want, you can wrap your hair and not have to expose it to anyone. A break of 2 weeks to a month is sufficient, but the longer the break the better for your hair.

After Care

I mention this because I have braided my hair many times. You have to be careful how you look after your scalp. I remember one time I was braiding my hair and I happened to put in the braid a little too tight. On that particular day for some reason, I bumped my poor hair onto a ledge. Afterwards, I felt a tingling sensation that did not go away. On removal of my braid, I found that my hair literally fell out. The fact that I had pulled my hair too hard and the impact of the hit caused me to have a little bold spot on my scalp. I was lucky that it grew back, however I had to change the way I styled my hair significantly. I also had to be careful how I was doing my hair to make sure never to repeat that mistake again. You must always give your hair a break after braiding so that you allow your hair to breath and also grow. You also need to check your scalp to make sure that you don’t have any dandruff and if you do that you get it treated before you braid your scalp again. In terms of hygiene if you have someone that braids you, it’s fine to ensure that the items used on your scalp are also clean. If you must you can even use your own hair tools for your own peace of mind. These are critical things to think about when you do braid your hair.

What sort of styles do you like to do on your hair? Have you braided your hair without a break?

16 replies on “Hair braiding styles for black hair”

I am a big time lover of beautiful hair do and among the hairstyles that I love seeing the most on my wife is braid. Truthfully, braids only give the right energy and I really like it. Though my wife is an African American so she has a totally black hair and I really like it. These are quite some information that I know would be worth checking out by her. Thanks

Hi Rodarrick, Thank you so much for the comment. I hope your wife get’s some useful information from this. 

Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us .I have a younger sister, she curls her hair a lot but black hair has a gluey glue on it.And her hair is much more curly in that it is a way of maintenance and a lot more complicated when not in a protected style or even properly protected.I read your registration about how to take care of hair and how to grow hair.I will share this article with my sister so that my sister can find the right solution for her hair and make her hair beautiful.

Hi Shariful, I am glad you can share it with your sister, I truly hope that she gains more knowledge on how she can look after her hair. By gluey glue do you mean tangled?

First of all, many thanks to you for giving us such a wonderful article .Braiding is a great way for me to protect my Afro hair from exposure to harsh weather. My girlfriend lives in Africa and I saw her doing braiding style on her hair and I liked it very much. However, doing this style caused a lot of damage to my girlfriend’s hair and lost a lot of hair. So despite my interest in doing it, I didn’t do it anymore .But I think there must be a break between braiding .By reading your article I have gained a lot of knowledge and your article is really very informative and useful .But following the tips you give, I will try to style my hair and fill my hobbies.

I live in Bangladesh and I will try to style it. And I will definitely deliver your article to my girlfriend. I hope she benefits and will definitely share with you her new experience. Can I share your article on my social media?

Hi Shanta, yes feel free to share the article on social media. Thank you I am glad that you gained some knowledge. 

Being a male, and having straight hair, I have never given much thought to braiding, save for the fact that I come from Africa and have travelled Africa quite a bit and have always been amazed at the obvious amount of time people have put into their hair braids.

In these modern days, braids now seem to be more a personal choice than a tribal thing, even in Africa, especially in the urban areas. There are some beautiful and intricate styles out there and I have often wondered how long they last, considering all the work that went into them? You have certainly answered that question and sadly, to me at any rate, it does not seem to last long enough, after all that work.

Hi Bryan, that is the sad thing, you spend so many hours to look good for some time and you still have to take the time to maintain and give your hair a break. However,  if you do maintain the braids really well, they can last a little longer.

Hi there! 

What a nice post that is! Your article is informative. So I have enjoyed it very much.

you have given us a nice post over hair braiding styles for black hair. To be honest I have never do it. I like it. It looks very nice to me. Hair Braiding Styles are really useful for fashion show or others work. I appreciate your article because you have given some designes as well as tell us how to maintain them. This is very helpful because many of us don’t take proper care of them. So people should know about it. Thanks again for the post.

Hi Tashibaarzu, yes most people tend to neglect the after care which is as important as the process of getting the braid in the first place. It’s the only way to make sure that your hair is in the best condition and is healthy too. 

hello, it is a great and nice feeling to know that someone will create a great website like this and also create a write up on an article like this. braiding of the hair is actually one of the most difficult styles to make with the hair and serious problems come when yo do not detangle the hair as soon as you remove the braid. how do we go about it?

Hi Benny, when it comes to braiding, you just have to understand the basic braid, then you can start experimenting with different styles if you want. When you remove the braid, make sure you use a pick or tail comb. Always have your detangler ready once the braid is out always go from the end to the beginning. Once you undo one braid, just remove all the build up first gently, then apply the detangler and you continue from there, it’s very simple after the first process but time consuming as you can imagine. 

You have given us a nice post over hair braiding styles for black hair. To be honest I have never do it. I like it. It looks very nice to me. Hair Braiding Styles are really useful for fashion show or others work. In these modern days, braids now seem to be more a personal choice than a tribal thing, even in Africa, especially in the urban areas. There are some beautiful and intricate styles out there and I have often wondered how long they last, considering all the work that went into them?

Hi Lalita, yes braiding is a personal choice and I believe anyone can do what they want with their hair. Yes the braiding styles are so many. Depending on the braider, some can take up to 3 hours if it is your own hair, otherwise others can take a little longer. In terms of intricacies, it’s just the fact that they do it all the time so the process of braiding is quick, plus the fact that individuals have many options to get their hair done, they almost always do their hair almost all the time.

Your guide is very helpful. While reading I know many new things. I have braided my hair many times. You have to be careful how you look after your scalp. I remember one time I was braiding my hair and I happened to put in the braid a little too tight.. I was doing my hair to make sure never to repeat that mistake again. You must always give your hair a break after braiding so that you allow your hair to breath and also grow. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Deepanshi, scalp care is very critical when you are braiding. It has an impact on how you look after your hair. I am glad you learned something. 

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