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Braid extensions seem like the best way to grow out a bad haircut, transition from relaxed hair to natural hair or to just let your hair rest from the daily styling, and manipulating. In the past I have used them for all of the above, but it wasn’t until a couple of years go I learned to reap the full benefit of braid extensions. Braid extensions allow direct access to the scalp, which makes it easier to cleanse the scalp and strengthen the hair without having to handle the hair.
Many people have extensions put in and after six to eight weeks take them down and notice a ton of new growth, but also notice a ton of shedding. This article will provide you with extension secrets that will allow you to see MORE growth and LESS shedding!
First I will start with the basics. Whether the hair is in a weave, extensions, natural or relaxed, the three most important component to growing healthy hair is keeping it clean (water), deep conditioning (protein), and moisture (flexibility). If you neglect any of these three components you are not giving your hair an optimal environment for healthy hair growth. One of the most important tips for braid extensions is to make sure your braids are not put in too tightly. Getting your hair braided should not cause pain; minor discomfort maybe, but not pain. Tight braids can lead to traction alopecia or thinning edges. If your braider is braiding too tightly, do not be afraid to let them know and if they can’t accommodate your instructions; you should not allow them do your hair.
Braid extensions, synthetic ones, come coated in a chemical. This chemical strips the hair of its natural moisture, which can lead to an itchy scalp, dryness and eventually to brittle hair and breakage if it is not combated with a good moisturizing routine. In order to strip the extension of this coating, you should take the entire braid out of the package and submerge it in a bowl of apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse it under cool water. The smell will be gone before the extensions are applied.
Braid extensions are generally expensive to have done, therefore many women do not wash them in order to preserve them, but this is not preserving the health of their own hair. There are several ways to effectively wash extensions without causing too much damage to them. One option is to:
Pour a couple of teaspoons of shampoo and apple cider vinegar (ACV) in a cup,
Fill the cup with water.
While in the shower, run your head under the water (luke warm or cool; not hot)
Pour the shampoo/ACV concoction directly onto the scalp,
Lightly massage the scalp only.
Continue this until you have covered the entire head
Fill a 4 oz bottle halfway with water
Squirt a teaspoon or two of shampoo into the bottle
Fill the rest with apple cider vinegar (Shake up the mixture)
Run your hair through the water (remember luke warm or cool; not hot)
Spray the scalp directly with the concoction. You can also spray the length of the braids with this, but be sure to massage the scalp only and rinse the hair really well.
Next, it’s time for deep conditioning. I use the spray bottle method mentioned above, but I focus more on the length of the braids instead of the scalp. Be sure to use a conditioner that is actually a deep conditioner, and not just a cheapie pour in and wash out conditioner. Now, you need for the conditioner to penetrate your hair shafts, so you need to stuff all of those extensions into a processing cap, at my house, we call them grocery bags. I keep my hair under the bag from 15-60 minutes, and work up some body heat by taking a hot shower; exercising; or you can sit under a hooded dryer. Rinse the hair with cool water. It’s not as important to rinse completely, it’s actually good to leave a little conditioner behind.
The last step is to moisturize the braids. Sweet Nature Growth Spray is one of the BEST braid sprays. It’s made of a blend of 7 natural oils, Aloe Vera Juice and 3 all natural herbs. This spray doesn’t only leave the hair moisturized, but it awakens the scalp with every use. The hair should be moisturized daily, especially if step one (ACV dipping) is skipped. It’s also important to make sure the entire length of your hair is well moisturized and not only scalp.
If you use this process weekly, when you take your extensions out, not only will you lose less hair, but you will grow more hair because of the direct access you have to your scalp.. Your hair will also be easier to comb and manage as well as much softer and healthier.
I am a healthy hair care specialist, creator of Sweet Nature by Eddie comprehensive healthy hair care system, author of Relaxed or Natural, You Can Have Beautiful, Healthy Hair, and the owner of http://www.fabulousblackwoman.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2665203
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