I rarely do this but if I’m crunched for time, I will blowdry my hair prior to braiding. I braided my sister’s hair this weekend and she had to drive back to her city, leaving me only a day to put her mini braids in. It took about 6 hours start to finish to braid her thick, 4b, shoulder length hair.
First she clarified with Suave shampoo. She conditioned with Tresemme Naturals and rinsed. From here I detangled and blowdryed with a moisturizer and oil and braided the dried hair large sections. Once all her hair was dried and stretched, it was time to put in the mini braids.
Here are the steps I recommend for blowdrying before mini braiding…
- Deep cleanse hair with clarifying agent. Deep treat and thoroughly rinse clean. Towel blot the hair to soak up excess water.
- Distribute a heavy moisturizing leave in evenly throughout the hair.
- Use a product to protect the hair from heat. I typically choose not to use a commercial heat protectant product because they most likely have ingredients in them that I’d rather not have on my hair. I avoid silicones, alcohols, etc… especially when in mini braids because my hair cannot be sufficiently cleansed of products and chemicals. Rather than using a commercial heat protectant, I use a pure oil instead. There are several oil that make good heat protectants at low heat temperatures due to their smoke points- ie the temperature at which they turn from a liquid and burn to create smoke. Grape seed oil is a great oil to use prior to heat styling. I use an applicator bottle to apply it close to the roots then smooth it to the ends using my hands.
- Section the hair into at least 4 sections and secure each with a ponytail holder. Work within each of your large sections and pull smaller sections from them.
- Take about a 3″ square amount of hair and begin detangling it from the tips to the roots. I typically use only a Denman brand plastic bristle brush to detangle. Choose the tool that’s best for your hair.
- Set a blowdryer with a concentrator nozzle to low heat and high airflow.
- Hold the hair in your hand with some tension. Point the dryer at a downward angle while moving the nozzle up and down the hair to dry the section. Once the section is dry enough not to shrink, use the Denman brush to further stretch the hair.
- Braid that section of dry hair before you move on to the next section. Note that the hair doesn’t have to be 100% dry, while in large braids the hair will stays stretched.
- Repeat the steps for each section– detangle, blowdry on low using tension, continue blowdrying with a brush for a little more stretch, then braid that section.
Once your entire head of hair is blowdried, you are ready to put in mini braids. Undo the large braids an area at a time to part and mini braid.
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