The joy of having a protective style like braids and locs often comes with a minor challenge – the task of unplaiting without causing breakage or damage. Worry not. We’ve gathered some expert hacks to guide you through the process, ensuring that your natural hair remains intact post-braids.
Step 1: Cut Synthetic Hair with Precision
When it’s time to bid farewell to your braids, consider cutting the synthetic hair a safe distance from your natural hair. This step helps to shorten the unraveling process, minimizing the stress and fatigue of unraveling long lengths of synthetic hair.
Step 2: Prep with Water
Spray some water onto your plaited hair before starting the unplaiting process. This helps soften the hair, making it softer and easing the overall unplaiting process.
Step 3: Use the End of a Rattail Comb
Employ the end of a rattail comb to swiftly unravel the synthetic hair. The sharp end of the comb aids in the gentle separation of strands without causing unnecessary tension.
Step 4: Conditioner – Your Detangling Ally
Once you’ve removed the synthetic extensions, generously apply a conditioner designed for your hair strands. Conditioner adds slip and softens the strands, facilitating the removal of knots and tangles. The Livara Tsavorite Booster Hair Conditioner, with its hydrating ingredients like guava leaf extract, olive oil, and shea butter, is an excellent choice.
Step 5: Detangle with Care
Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair in individual sections. Start from the tips and work your way down to the roots. Apply more conditioner to stubborn knots, and use your fingers to gently detangle, minimizing the risk of breakage.
Understanding Shedding vs. Breakage
As you detangle, you’ll inevitably notice some hair loss, visible on the comb that you’re using. While some hair loss is normal after taking down your protective style, it’s important to distinguish between shedding and breakage.
Unlike broken hair which is much shorter, shed hair characterized by longer strands with a white bulb at the end. We shed around 50-100 hairs a day, however, when you have in a protective style, that hair is trapped there. So when you finally take down the style, the accumulated shed hair will come off. It’s no cause for alarm as hair shedding is a natural part of the hair growth cycle.
Step 6: Rinse and Shampoo
After successfully detangling, rinse out the conditioner with lukewarm water. Opt for cold or lukewarm water to avoid drying out the scalp. Follow up with your preferred shampoo to cleanse your hair and scalp thoroughly.
Afterwards follow through as usual, apply a leave-in conditioner to revive moisture or apply a natural oil to seal in the moisture.
Unplaiting your hair doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. By incorporating these hacks into your routine, you can safely and effectively take down any protective style without causing breakage. Remember, the key is patience, gentleness, and a good dose of moisture to keep your natural hair healthy and happy.