Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Avoid Hair Breakage When Re-Braiding Your Braidout



I am Low Manipulation Obsessed (LMO) --bet you didn't know LMO existed! It didn't, I think I just formed it. But it's been WORKING!! My recent braidouts have been 6-8 plaits, and I've been re-braiding them nightly. At first this irritated me, but I knew I was doing it for a great reason. When doing the oil & water only braidouts, it appears to be necessary to re-braid at night after you spritz water on each braid section. Using water DIRECTLY on the hair strands (without any kind of butters or thick stylers to block the moisture later) ensures that the braid will take form overnight. The water provides the "SET" by breaking the hair bonds temporarily, and drying into the new form (the braidout waves).

Nightly plaits require that I do everything possible to avoid breakage, so I will share with you what I do:

1) When washing for a braidout, section and detangle the hair before using your shampoo or mud wash. The shampoo and mud wash do not have any slip! Matter of fact, they're well known for "ceasing" up the hair and locking it into each other. Since I condition first, and then cleanse with Amla, It is IMPERATIVE that I section and detangle early in the process while I have my conditioner in!

2) While finger detangling, be sure to get as far into the roots as possible. If you find tangles or knots, use a "plucking" method by using your pointer finger and thumb to "pluck" apart the knots (starting at ends and working up to roots). All of this is done only with conditioner on the hair.

3) During Nightly Refresh, some sections will still be separated from the wash day, and some will be mixed together. Try to keep re-braiding the same sections. If you must locate a new section, your ends will probably be the tangle issue. I like to keep handy a little spray bottle with 2 tablespoons of my favorite conditioner with slip, 2 tablespoons of water, and 2 tablespoons of my favorite oil (or however it will come out like a thick milkshake). You will only need a small amount. You will only be spritzing this on the ends. This will ensure that the ends slip apart easily. Slowly pull the tangles apart with your fingers after spritzing a small amount of the mix. **

4) When spritzing the water at night for a re-braid, rub the water with your hands through your hair shaft (from root down to tip). This ensures even distribution and gives the water a minute to saturate. Being that you're just spritzing, you want to be sure that the light amount of water used is truly penetrating. Since it has no heavy product blockage, this shouldn't take long. You will feel that the water is on the section. THEN apply a small amount of your favorite oil (as needed). I don't put oil every night, only when I feel my hair is not separating easily.  And I focus on the ends. Remember, the oil is not like the heavy creams, butters, leave-ins. It will not give INSTANT Slippery slip. But if you apply it right, it will allow your hair to separate without breakage.

**this process also gets your braidout texture ready for styling! The small amount of the mix on the ends gives them some slip, and pliability. You can pretty much do whatever styling you want on this stretched texture.

I believe the use of oil and water for definition will work well on transitioning and relaxed hair alike. Transitioning hair typically curls the relaxed ends with rollers to ensure similar textures throughout.

  • Does your braidout feel dry after a few days?

  • Do you put extra product to moisturize?

  • What products do you use on a dry braidout that is successful at moisturing?


  1. Great post, I have been doing braidouts on my relaxed hair for a few months now. Highly understand the importance of using oils on my ends, especially since I braid my hair every night.

    1. Hey Doll! I used to do braidouts on my relaxed hair. I loved it! I didn't know what it was at the time LOL. You will retain some great length this way (as opposed to constant blow dry/flat iron). Thanks for the message Sheila

  2. Thanks for the tips! I am on my way to LMO but I want to keep my hair fairly stretched. I had a detangling episode this week out of pure laziness with my puff and I DO NOT want to go through that again!

    1. LOL! Yeah, we all try to avoid detangling episodes! Sometimes when I'm getting irritated with hair (b/c I have 3 heads of hair to do most of the time)--I just keep mine stretched and moisturized. That's pretty much the easiest way. Once you've mastered stretching techniques, then it only gets easier from there. Thanks for the message Love!