I am far from an expert at braided extensions. I prefer to wear my hair in braids without extensions for several reasons…I have a post about that here. This blog receives a lot of traffic, however, from readers searching for ways to reduce frizz while wearing braided extensions. Here’s my opinion on how to reduce and eliminate frizz on extensions including- box braids.
- The most important thing to consider is how the braid is done. As with braiding hair without extensions, the braid should be tight enough along the length (not the root) so hair cannot slip out of it and cause frizz. I have an article here explaining what makes a good braid versus a bad braid that will frizz. I’ve been meaning to write a post about hand position while braiding. I notice a lot of people hold the hair in their pinkies when braiding, if you do it that way, the braid will be too loose and will frizz- guaranteed. If you are braiding yourself, this is something controllable, however, if you go to a braider you probably can’t truly control the quality of the extension braid.
- If you stagger the ends of the extension hair, by hanging the extension hair over your hand and pulling down on random pieces, make sure the ends are very tapered. The end of the braid should look like a gradual tapering and not chunky layers. Obvious layers will stick out from the ends of the braids. By staggering the hair a lot, the ends will blend together. This is one of my favorite ‘how to braid’ channels on YouTube- WorldofBraiding. In this video, they explain staggering the ends of the extension hair- they call it feather tips.
- Braid the extension to the very end. A style like micro braids is a bad idea anyway, but it absolutely won’t work for natural hair. It would look better on relaxed hair, but your own hair will frizz over time and the style will no longer look neat. Instead, opt for styles where your own hair is braided all the way down to the end. This way, it’s not loose and has not chance to frizz.
After Braids Are Completed:
- Once your braids are completed, there are other things that you should and shouldn’t do. First, if there are little hairs sticking out towards the top of the braid- don’t cut them and definitely don’t burn them. That is most likely YOUR hair. Some braiders trim down the length of the braid or use a lighter to burn the little hairs coming out the sides of the braids because they do not care at all about the health of the hair growing out of your head. Their only concern is the final look. Many practices of braiders- braiding too tight, putting too much fake hair per section of real hair, etc…will damage your own hair. Overall health and growth is not their concern. Don’t cut or burn the extension in the area that your natural hair is braided into it. You can cut the very ends of the extension, burn it, or dip it in hot water, but be sure the fake hair is at least 3-4″ longer than your real hair.
- Be very careful when washing extensions. I absolutely believe in keeping the hair and scalp clean. No hairstyle is worth bad hygiene. Just keep in mind that washing will cause some frizz. To prevent extension braids from frizzing while washing, use diluted shampoo in an applicator bottle. Cleanse your scalp thoroughly by gentle massaging the shampoo on the scalp. Don’t agitate the hair. Rinse the shampoo and condition. Rinse out the conditioner. Wrap a towel or t-shirt around the entire length of the braids until they are mostly dry. Keeping the hair secure when drying will cut down on frizz. If you want to wash less often than usual, try a scalp cleanser like diluted Home Health Scalp Treatment (it’s actually like a pre-shampoo treatment but diluted it’s okay to leave on). Home Health Hairever I Cleansing Scalp Treatment 8 oz. Dry shampoos and similar products will probably cause buildup because they are powder-like substances.
- Another way to prevent frizzing is to tie your braids up at night. Wear a silk or satin scarf or bonnet to bed. Rubbing on pillows and bedding causes frizz and breakage. Securing your extensions in some form or fashion will help prevent that from happening.
- If your braids look messy, redo them one at a time. The edges of your hairline are the most fragile part of your hair. If the extensions and hanging off your edges or there is product buildup or other issues, take out those extensions and redo them (but not too tight). No hairstyle will last forever. Take the time to redo the braids if you want to prolong the style.
Hopefully, those tips are helpful. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, advice, etc…please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!
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