This website was borne as a result of my journey to recover from hair loss after braids took my edges out several years ago. Apart from the style been too tight and wearing the style longer than I should have, I was also unnecessarily rough when taking out the braids, which all contributed to the hair loss.
I have been in a protective cycle with braids since May and have developed the best way to take out braids, especially around the edges with minimal loss of hair but before going into that, there are some precautions to take prior to installing the braids and during installation.
5 Important Things to Note Prior to Installing Braids
- Check your hair for elasticity and make sure it’s healthy enough to accommodate extensions.
- Get in a good deep conditioning and hot oil treatment the week you install the braids.
- When installing braids around the edges and nape, make sure the hair used is as minimal as possible so it doesn’t weigh down and pull on the hair.
- Use good quality hair extensions such as Kanekalon.
- Soak the extensions in vinegar for 20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water a few days before the install. This will remove the alkaline line in the hair and prevent itching once braids are installed.
If you follow all of the above prior to installing braids, you’re already half way to keeping your edges and nape intact. When the time comes to take down your braids, follow the instructions below and the only hair you will lose is shed hair:
- Do it yourself. Hair salons don’t have the patience to be gentle when taking out braids. They will likely reap out your edges in an effort to get it all out in as short a time as possible and move on to the next customer.
- Take the edges, sides and nape out last.
- Once the rest of the hair is undone, pull out of the way into a bun.
- Cut the braids half way without cutting off your hair then start taking it out one by one.
- When you get to the base of the braid, put down the comb and use your fingers to undo the rest and pull out extension very gently.
- Do not detangle at this point.
- Take out the rest of the braids following 5 & 6 above.
- Warm up some coconut oil then apply a few drops to each loosened part.
- Wait 10 minutes till the oil cools down, then start working on the hair with your fingers.
- Rub the hair between your fingers, loosening it gently.
- Hair should start to detangle at this point. If the hair feels knotted a bit, that’s probably lint. Do not force it out because it will pull out your hair with it. Continue to rub between your fingers until all the dirt and lint is loosened then pull out with your fingers.
This might take some time but the reward of reduced hair loss is worth it. Do not use a comb at any point in the process. Stick to your fingers throughout. You can also use the warm coconut oil to detangle the rest of your hair in the same way using your fingers as a comb instead.
Below is a picture of my hair after I installed my latest set of braids last week. This is my third set of braids since May and my edges remain full and healthy.
Get Your Braids Pre & Post Installation Tool Kit Below