My summer go-to hair style is the braid out. This style allows me the opportunity to wear my natural hair out and still effectively protect my hair from the harmful rays of the sun by using a moisturizer such as Shea butter that has natural SPF properties. This style only requires 30 minutes of my time which is incredibly short for my full bra strap length hair. A braid out gives me the flexible to wear my hair in a variety of styles each day of the week. I can wear it down as is or pined it up to give the look some versatility. I love this style because there is very little shrinkage if stretch at night by twisting.
Length: This style can be done in short, medium and long hair with ease. For shorter hair consider braiding the hair in flat braids or cornrows. This is also a great transitioning hair style.
Products and Use:
Moisturizing Shampoo- Gently Sulfate-Free Cleanse
Hair Pudding Conditioner –Co Wash and Deep Conditioner
Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner- Leave In Conditioner
Shealoe- Moisturizer and Leave-In Conditioner
Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding- Styling Product
Duck bill clips, Wide tooth/Shower Comb, Denman Brush
First, I wash hair either with a gently sulfate-free shampoo or conditioner. While in the shower section my hair into four parts where you can evenly distribute the conditioner. After letting the condition sit for about 5 minutes, detangle hair with either a shower comb or Denman brush. It is very important to detangle while hair is fully saturated with water and product that allows the detangling tool to glide such as conditioner. Its okay to finger comb as well but you really want a tool that can remove most of the shedding hair. This will cut your time down significantly when you begin to braid.
After fully detangling, rub leave in conditioner and moisturizer from root to tip. Less is more when using styling products such as Miss Jessie’s that have moisturizing ingredients in their styling products. I recommend sectioning your hair in four parts. Start in the back of your head and work your way to the front. Begin to divide one of your back sections into smaller sections (the size depends on how small you want your braids). I usually have about 16 sections/braids this accommodates the length and fullness of my hair. After you determine the size make sure the section you are working with is completely saturated with water. Throughout the braiding process keep a spray bottle handy. Brush though the small section with the Denman brush. If your hair is tangled start brushing at the ends of the hair in a downward motion and work your way up to the scalp. Finger comb styling product into the section from root to tip. Full coverage with product will minimize any frizz. Begin to braid and twist the ends of the braid in between your thumb and index finger to encourage the end of the braid to curl using your natural curl pattern. If you are transitioning or want a larger curl at the end of the braid; roll the ends with a roller. When you braid the whole head of hair seal moisture in your scalp by oiling with your favorite oil.
Free Braids or Plaits Flat Braids or Corn Rows
It is very important to allow the hair adequate time to dry completely before unraveling the braids and completing the braid out style. I recommend 30 minutes to an hour under a hooded dry and allow the hair to remain braid over night to achieve the best style results. Because the heat of a hooded dryer is diffused and not concentrated it is not damaging to the natural hair. (Heat used in moderation is totally safe for natural hair. Once a week is fine) Below is the braid out without fluffing the hair.
Allow the hair to dry completely. When dry simply unravel the braids. Care not to disturb the the wave/curl pattern of the braids. This will help to minimize frizz.
To achieve a more full look; fluff the hair by pull the braid out sections apart also use fingers to rake the hair at the roots to cover parts.
To maintain this style you can simply cover with a satin bonnet or scarf before bed. To keep the hair stretched and frizz free simply plait the hair in two strand twist. These twist do not have to pretty or neat they are simply to re-set the hair overnight. Above to the left is a picture of the twist and to the right pictured the twist are unravels. You can repeat the process of fluffing for a full look. This “summer go-to do” is simple and easy to switch it up. Try it as is or pined up for a half up-do or a full curly afro puff.