PREPARING MY NATURAL HAIR FOR BOX BRAIDS


What's up people!

If you follow me on Instagram (@loveifeyinwa) you'll know I got braids recently and I love them! What you might not know though is that I hate getting braids. The process takes too long, it's painful (for the first 3 days), your hair gets yanked in every direction and then when the braids fall out (one of my biggest pet peeves) your hair comes out with it. Still after one month of wearing my hair out, I knew I needed to step my protective style game up. After a bunch of back and forth, (I wanted something that: wasn't a wig, versatile and easy to style, gives me access to my scalp and low maintenance) I decided to go for box braids.

My cousin Uju is one of the first people I knew to go natural and her braids are always on FLEEK so I made an appointment with her (now my) braider. Before she came I prepared my own natural hair for the braids and my extensions too. Preparing my own hair is probably nothing new to you guys- I washed it, moisturised and sealed, and twisted it up into about 15 sections and left it to air-dry. (If I had enough time I would have banded my hair aka African threading. I tried that the first time a few weeks ago and the results were awesome! But I need at least 2 days for my hair to dry completely)
That's not a blow dry!
Preparing my extensions however might be a little unorthodox. Now you know about my scalp issues thanks to my allergic reaction. Ever since then, I've been overly cautious about anything that could potentially irritate my scalp. I read up about apple cider vinegar (ACV) washes for synthetic, kanekelon extensions and I wanted to try it. Why you might ask? To remove the alkaline coating on the extensions which most people that are allergic to synthetic hair, react to. The alkaline coating can cause dryness, itchy scalp and for some people even white bulbs and pus to appear on the scalp. ACV also balances the pH level and is excellent for clarifying. Better safe than sorry, I was sold!

To rinse your extensions in ACV is extremely easy guys. You just fill up a bucket with enough warm water to cover your hair and add one cup of ACV for every 2-3 packs of hair. I used 6 packs of Expressions braiding hair and this entire 453ml jar of ACV (N950 at Ebeano supermarket). Line up all the extensions and tie a hairband around the two ends and the middle to keep the extensions together and prevent tangling once they're wet. I soaked the extensions in the water and ACV, for 30 minutes (that gross white film is the alkaline coating). 
Immediately after soaking
35 minutes later
After I rinsed the hair I filled the bucket with clean water and added about two capfuls of Tresseme shampoo and let it soak for 2 minutes. Then I rinsed out the shampoo and repeated the process but with conditioner. I let the hair soak in conditioner for 5 minutes before finally rinsing out and letting air dry outside. The total process took about 45 minutes. Now you might say thats "long" but once my braider got to my house the first thing she commented on was how soft and smooth the extensions were. I personally noticed (and loved) how nice they smelled! I hate that sickly, chemically, 'new braid' smell. So I'd say it was worth it.

The braiding process was pretty normal. My braider took 6 hours which was pretty good considering she worked alone. She was also pretty gentle, she didn't ask to blow-dry my natural hair (another pet peeve) and she respected my wishes to not make the braids tight and to leave my baby hair ALONE! Lol. She charged me N5,000 (I bought my own extensions) and all in all, I love this look and hope I can keep them in for a month!

What do you think? Have you ever tried an ACV wish on extensions? And how much do you pay for your braids? 

8 comments:

  1. I rinse my extensions with acv anytime I remember. Lol.

    Ever since I went natural, I've been installing my extensions myself.

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  2. Those braids look noice! I haven't braided my hair in a whiiiiiiiiile. I think I do just once a year. And no, I don't prep - I guess I've never seen a need to. I want to try a braided wig or braid via crochet maybe.

    Berry Dakara Blog

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  3. This is the first time I am discovering extension prep. I'll try it next time.

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  4. I would try this as I plan to braid my natural hair soon. Thanks for sharing

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  5. oh wow, rinsing extensions with acv before attaching them to my hair?! how did i never think of that!
    i have seriously dry scalp and sometimes i get dandruff just a week into installing any hair extensions so this is a brilliant idea! i'll be doing this from now on. thank!

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  6. Hi, I really wanted to know if you could use any shampoo of your choice and get the same softness and smoothness you got from yours. Thank you

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  7. Hey, Ifewinya. Great post! Thanks for the tips on how to get rid of that annoying coating on our braid extensions. Me being allergic is why I usually run away from anything that has to do with synthetic braiding hair; but I'll give this method a try.

    How was your scalp after some days/weeks of wearing the braids though? Any irritation?

    Nnaya
    maneattractionglobal.blogspot.com
    IG: maghairng

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Thank you ♥