The first line of defense against frizzy and fuzzy braids is prevention. Frizz on braids is caused mostly by short hairs coming out of the braids and sticking straight up and out. New growth can also cause the braids to look frizzy but most mini braid wearers will not have significant growth until about 4 weeks of wearing mini braids. There isn’t a lot you can do about newly grown hair that is causing frizz. There are ways, however, to prevent the braided hair from being frizzy so you can get the most out of your mini braids.
The most important part of frizz prevention is putting in a good set of mini braids. Mini braids should be braided tightly all the way down the length of the braid. See my article on the proper braiding technique. If the hair is braided tight enough, strands that aren’t as long as the bulk of the braid, will not be able to come loose and stick out of the braid. Short strands of hair on poorly braided hair, work themselves out of the braid to create frizz.
Hair also has the potential to frizz after wetting it. To prevent frizz, gather your mini braids into large braids/cornrows, twists/flat twists, or ponytails prior to wetting it. Keep the hair secured for cowashing and shampooing. You may want to loosen each braid, twist, or ponytail to rinse product out of hair, but put them back in and leave them in until the hair is fully dry. With your unbraided hair, a braid out or twist out, will usually dry with less frizz than an afro- the same is true of your mini braids. I leave my braids loose for some time then put them in a high bun and wear a scarf until it’s completely dry in order to prevent frizz.
The last piece of advice for preventing frizzy braids is treating them kindly. Always use a gentle touch when manipulating and styling your mini braids. Don’t pull them too tightly when making ponytails or updos. Always apply products in a downward motion and use your hands clasped as if you were clapping. Smooth the product down the hair from root to tip. When washing or conditioning use the same technique- smooth from root to tip. Do not scrub or disturb the hair in any way…doing so will make short hair come out of the braids. Use the pads of your fingers only to gentling scrub the scalp clean while washing. In general, remember not to disturb the direction of the hair in the braids. Make sure you cover your hair at night with a silk or satin scarf to prevent frizz from forming overnight.
Some frizzing is inevitable with any long term style. Following these preventative steps will help your style last longer. If your hair is starting to frizz or get fuzzy prematurely, see my upcoming article on how to deal with frizz.
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