Hair, Protective Styles

How I Got My Braids (pt. 1)

woeful to frofull braidsYou may have come to this post via my Instagram feed where you will know how this chapter of my hair story ends but if not, this is a shameless plug for my Instagram page!

Have you had box braids/ plaits/ extensions before? I have and I love them. I’ve missed them so much. And now my hair is long enough for me to give my old favourite go-to a go.

hairtrade screenshot braidsBuying your hair

I normally buy my hair from here, there and everywhere. My last great buy was a massive job lot on eBay for £2.20 where I ended up getting over 70 packs of hair. Some of it was hideous, some of it was weave hair but the majority was braiding hair. I was planning on going crazy with crochet braids since I only discovered them last year but something came over me and I decided to shave all my hair off.

I’m not one to let things go to waste so I patiently waited for the day, right around my first year, right about now, when I would be installing me some full length synthetic box braids. The one thing I didn’t have in my selection that I personally love is bright colours. Black (1B) hair is almost always the foundation but I need purple, some blue, red, aqua, lilac, green, red etc. I’ve been throwing back to all my favourite styles on my Instagram for the last few weeks. My big eBay haul didn’t have the variation I needed so I stocked up on some hair from Hairtrade.. I thought I’d try the Blue ( #JB-Pc40A-Brilliant Blue) and Purple (#JB-Pc51-Purple) or as I like to call it Pinkle. Because I’m not convinced it is actually purple.

And look at that price! (£1.49). I’ll tell you now, that hair was so soft and its claims to be tangle free were not too far fetched. I wasn’t naive enough to believe that it would be completely tangle free but believe me, it’s the least tangleful (!!???!) hair I’ve ever used. More on that later. I’ve ordered from them before (during another pre-shave hair buying binge) and I think their colour selection has decreased but as long as they still sell blue, I’m good.

Washing The Hair

I’ve never understood the need to wash synthetic hair before it’s installed. Apparently, the hair comes coated in crap that can lead to itching and general irritation. I’ve always found that my head itches quite a bit with braided extensions in. I always thought it was just part and parcel of the process. Turns out it doesn’t need to be that way at all. I knew that there were 2 ways to clean it, either with shampoo or with Apple Cider Vinegar as described by Sincerely Crys on her blog. I opted for ACV because that is what I use to clean my real hair and it works a treat.

As Sincerely Crys suggests, you can just use your bog standard ACV and mix to the recommended concentration. I used the bottles (and other things I could find in my utility room) to weigh the hair down. As you can see in the picture below, I didn’t get the white residue that is described or was expected. Either this means that the hair I bought didn’t have any nasty coating on or the ACV just didn’t work. As it didn’t seem to be doing anything I only actually ended up treating half of the hair (mosty the blue). The hair was then thoroughly rinsed out.

acv rinse synthetic hair

Drying the hair

The hair that was washed was left to dry for a couple of days. This was done on an indoor clothes dryers/ clothes airers/clothes horse. I’m not sure what you call them from where you’re from. I do know this blog gets views from all over the world so hopefully you understand what I mean. I personally prefer to call it a clothes horse. And when the hair is dry, you can stand back and look at it and go, “wow, that’s bright” and “wow, that’s actually going onto my head.” Oops!

So there’s obviously a bit more to this process as I haven’t even started installing the hair but bear with me until part 2 OR head over to Instagram and say hi!

Let’s keep growing together!

xx Lee xx

And while you’re here, why not subscribe to this blog, or if you’ve got a little time, head over to my writing blog while I struggle through my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In fact there probably won’t be much uploaded there as I’ll be so busy writing, hopefully, so maybe follow me moaning in real time on my Writing Twitter!

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How I Got My Braids (Pt. 2)

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