Protective Styles

Braid Lover: August 2019

I hope by now, from reading this blog or scrolling through my IG or Pinterest, that you understand that I am a braid lover. Completely head over heels! The brighter the better too! They’ve been such a part of my life since I was a child, from the tender age of 15, only one other person on one occasion has braided my hair for me. And I always feel more confident with those woven strands dangling down my back. I’ll love them even more, when all the length is my own!

All that being said, I feel like braids hold so much mystery, I often get asked the same questions over and over. Like who did them for you, how much did it cost, how long did it take, where did you buy your hair? Well wonder no more, at least with my hair anyway! I recently installed some hair so here’s all you need to know about it!

I love this hair!

 

Where did you get the hair?

I bought some ombré hair a few years ago but a few of the packs went astray so I never had enough to do my whole head. So when my friend’s hen do was being organised and I was thinking about what I’m going to wear and how I’m going to look, I thought that would be a great opportunity to do something, new, bold and bright! I’m a lover of eBay and just searched for ombré hair in the UK. Considering this was just cheap hair, I was impressed with the quality. I think this is the hair that has tangled the least while working with it, that I’ve used in a really long time.

How much did it cost?

I bought 15 packs of hair. Three lots of five, each £16.66. So each individual pack costs about £3.33 each. If you’re a connoisseur of braiding hair, you will know that you can get hair much cheaper (not necessarily as good quality though). But price is one of the reasons I’ve delayed buying more ombré hair, especially if I stick to good old cheap 1B.

What colours did you choose?

eBay

Obviously as you can see, there are a fair few shades here! I used three combos of colours in my finished “design.”

Black to Dark Purple to Light Purple

Black to Purple Pink to Light Purple

And finally, Black to Purple to Pink

I’m pretty sure what I used is in this pic somewhere, I definitely used no.2 and 17!!!

Have you used these colours before?

I would have said no when looking at the packs of hair. But it has come out very similar to the braids I did last summer for Florida, bit more pink this time though.

Loved these Florida braids, my fave ever!

How did you prep your hair for braiding?

I pre-pooed with Olive Oil for about an hour. I shampooed with Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo. If I’m wearing my natural hair, I tend to only cleanse/ shampoo it once a month but regardless of when I last washed it, I always shampoo just before I go into a long term protective style and after the take down as well. I conditioned with Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Conditioner. And the final step in the wash process was Eden Bodyworks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner. My damp hair was then coated in Olive Oil and finally I used the Cantu Coconut Curling Cream to moisturise.

My twists are much longer now *she says smugly*

Something I’ve started doing in the last couple of years is to put my hair into two strand twists to stretch my fro as I don’t use heat. Then when it’s dried and I start to put in the braiding hair, each twist becomes a plait. I also count how many twists I have and pre-section the braiding hair on clothes dryers, see below.

Love this combo so much 🙂

Also, I did not wash the braiding hair before use as I had very little luck with that last time I tried it.

How long did it take to put in?

I haven’t done such small braids since last summer when I discovered jumbo braids meaning I only need to do 25 – 35 individual plaits to cover my head. I have no idea why I didn’t do that this time as that only usually takes about 3 – 4 hours. Maybe I just missed my mini braids.

I’d expected this installation to be completed over 3 evenings after work but it only took 2. I’m not sure on the exact amount of time but I would say I was braiding for about 8 hours. I would also say I’m quite slow but was actually surprised how quickly this was all done. But overall time with washing, twisting is probably about 12-14 hours. Yikes!

How many braids are there?

There are about 85. I was only intending to do about 60 twists but it’s really hard to section your own hair when you can’t see it and I feel like I have varying densities across my head. This worked out a hell of a lot better than when I ended up with over 200 in my head! So no complaints here!

Me in 2017 – Two hundred whole ass heavy braids!

Did you seal the ends?

Nope. There are a few unravelling hairs that I’ll keep braiding over the next few days. If that doesn’t stop, then I’ll either use small black rubber bands  or dip them in hot water. I find that as the hair naturally tapers, if you keep braiding to the very end, tiny, tiny braids, that is usually enough to stop it coming undone. The biggest culprit for unravelling of any of the hair are the ones that end in the bright pink. So most of it!

How heavy is it?

I panicked when I first finished thinking it felt ridiculously heavy but I’ve gotten used to it pretty quickly. It was just the usual first day braid pain. And it wasn’t that painful. However, it is much thicker than I anticipated. I haven’t got many styling options due to the thickness so it’ll be worn down almost all of the time.

I remember when I was a kid, you never needed that many packs of hair to complete your whole head. But these days, it feels like you do three braids and you’re having to open another one. However, these unbranded, generic packs of hair from China were deceptively thick. I thought I would be struggling to get 8-10 braids out of each pack and I was easily getting 12-14 which were still much thicker than I had planned. I used 6 and 3 quarter packs total but would probably have been better with 5-6 packs for weight and thickness reasons.

How long will you leave it in?

I would normally plan to leave the hair in for 4-6 weeks. Six weeks definitely being the upper limit. However, I put the hair in, primarily, for a hen do (about a week before the event) but I think it will be too bright for the actual wedding as the outfit I’m planning is quite bold. They’ll be coming out the week of the wedding so they’ll be in for just under 4 weeks altogether. I’ll take them out, rest my hair for a couple of days and then do all the prep as described above all over again with more neutral jumbo braids for the upcoming nuptials..

What next?

Pinterest

Honestly, I’m feeling dark green. I did a neon sort of colour when I was in university but I’m thinking of going dark this time, like Christmas tree green. Possibly darker than the picture above still.

Any other thoughts?

Nude heels are weird. Not that I can really find them in my shade (but I’ll throw shade about it), but why would you want to be out and about and your shoes match your skin tone? Like the heels just sprouted out of your feet?

And that’s that! All you need to know about my current braids and feelings about nude heels!

 

Let’s keep braiding together!

xx Lee xx

What colours have you got in now or want to try?

 

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