Here’s a list of tips to keep in mind while undoing your mini braids. I’m almost half way through the process of taking out my braids that were started on May 26th, I believe.
1. Hair should be well moisturized.
Soft, moisturized braids are much easier to pull apart. My hair at the moment has been very dry because I’m taking a week to undo my braids. I don’t want them to be soaking wet when I undo them- that can lead to breakage, but I need them to be soft. When moisturized, the 3 pieces of the braids tend to keep to themselves instead of frizzing and making it more difficult to undo the braids. To moisturize, I’m using a spray bottle filled with about 30% cheap conditioner and 70% water. I lightly dampen the hair and wait for a section to dry a little before I start to unravel the braids.
2. Give yourself plenty of time for the take down process- don’t rush.
Rushing leads to breakage. You should never do your hair in a hurry because it usually leads to frustration. My mini braids are extremely small so I’m working a few hours at a time over the course of at least a week. I think it’s been 3 days so far and I am about a third of the way through. The smaller your braids, the longer the allotted time you should give yourself. Work strategically and undo braids with purpose, so you can hide your partial hairstyle. Undo back or front first, or work from the perimeter in and where a ponytail to camouflage the look. I took the summer semester off and I work from home so I’m undoing my hair from left to right. Luckily, I haven’t had to go anywhere otherwise I would look very strange with half a hairstyle, lol.
3. File your nails to prevent snagging on chips and breaks.
This one really gets me every time, especially if I’m working with water or conditioner. The moisture not only softens my hair, but it softens my nails too and when they are soft they chip, break, and snag. I keep a nail file close by so I can keep my finger nails smooth. I do like to have longer nails to work the ends of my tiny braids apart but they can be trouble if I’m not careful. I also put on a few extra coats of clear polish especially before doing some else’s hair.
4. Keep yourself entertained.
As with putting in mini braids, taking them out is a long process. It can drive you mad if you don’t go into it prepared. If there’s a new CD you’ve been eager to buy, purchase it and hold off on listening until you’re ready to take out those braids. That’s 60-80 mins of entertainment that will make your unbraiding fly by. Watch those movies you’ve been meaning to rent or otherwise keep yourself entertained while your hands are at work.
5. Be gentle.
This tip is important because you want to do everything you can to prevent breakage. Take your time and work with a light hand as not to put any unnecessary stress on your strands. Braids can put some tension on the hair so you want to do your best not to manipulate the hair too much or too harshly. If you come across a knot and cannot get it out by pulling strands one by one or with conditioner or oil, use hair shears to cut the hair as close to the knot as possible. It’s better to cut the knot out and have a clean edge on the strand of hair, than to rip or break it and have an edge prone to splits later on down the line.
What are some tips you find helpful when undoing your mini braids? Leave a comment below to share (your email address will not be published. comments are approved before published so they won’t show up right away.)
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