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A few days ago I took down the cornrows because they were a bit back heavy and giving me a headache. No good, right? Especially seeing as to how I started a new job (YAY!!) and needed to have my wits about me, not worrying about an aching head.
A good start that I followed so as not to have tangles from dead hair build up and dirt from the braids was to comb through with my fingers and then a wide tooth comb as I took down every braid. This is VERY important to do BEFORE washing your hair post braids because let me tell you, it is NOT fun or a pretty sight to step into the shower and get the hair wet only to have it turn into massive dreadlock -type balls of tangled hair, dirt, and product build up. My mother had braids for the first time a couple of months ago and she did not detangle well before getting in the shower (I wasn’t home to tell her this vital step, she thought she could just hop into the shower and wash her hair as normal) and let’s just say her thoughts about doing a big chop and going natural like me became a reality a LOT quicker than she’d imagined. She emerged with matted clumps of hair that even her stylist couldn’t detangle, so chop chop and now my mama is officially a natural diva like yours truly. It just so happened that she had a somewhat short haircut anyway, likes short hair and planned to chop at some point, but BE CAREFUL because there won’t be that silver lining for you if you had no plans to cut your hair and then NEED to.
After detangling well, I deep conditioned to soften my hair by applying Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner, olive oil, and coconut oil for approximately 30 minutes. This step is great because it pampers your hair after being tucked away for a while, moisturizes, and like I said, it makes it soft and lush for the washing aspect. This was followed by Trader Joe’s Tingle Tree shampoo because I wanted to get my scalp all invigorated and clean. I love the fact that it actually does make your skin tingle! Wash well to get any residue from having those braids and then smooth lots of conditioner through the hair (I used a combination of Aubrey Organics GPB and Suave Almond and Shea Butter). Let this work its magic while you shower as normal and maybe do a body polish/scrub. Use a shower comb and gently comb through while the conditioner is in the hair to make sure that there are no matted or tangled bits (there shouldn’t be any if the other steps were followed correctly; my hair was so easy to handle by this point).
Voila, soft healthy hair post braids! No need to chop off sections or cry because of the nightmare of trying to detangle a matted ball of curls. Just diligently work with it as you go and then there’ll be no horror movie ending for your tresses. I then dried my hair some by plopping a t-shirt on my hair to soak up some of the water so that I could twist my hair while damp and not sopping wet. Using Qhemet Biologics Olive and Honey balm, I made small twists all over my head as a protective style. I left these in for a couple of days, pinning back the front in a cute style for work and then untwisted and fluffed for the weekend (I can wear my hair in a twist out for work, I just wasn’t going to untwist them that soon since it takes me a while to twist because I have bad shoulders). Easy peasy, hair is healthy and growing.
Hopefully this is helpful for those who are thinking about getting braids! These steps made the post-wash and detangle session a breeze.