Fri | Dec 2, 2016

Braids, beautiful braids

Published:Monday | August 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Every Jamaican woman is familiar with braids, as they are so popular. Braids are great for summer and an option for naturalistas and women with chemically altered tresses alike for a number of reasons - they are low-maintenance, cost-effective and can last up to two months, not to mention the wide array of styles and ways in which they can be worn. We can all agree on one thing - once done by a competent stylist, they can be very stylish. They are also an excellent protective style.

When looking at options for braids, it is important to note that your hair should never be neglected underneath the braids. Here are some tips for braid maintenance:

1. If you'll be wearing braids for an extended period of time (for example, using braids to transition) ensure that your hair is washed and deep conditioned between braids to minimise breakage.

2. In an effort to achieve a neater look, persons tend to have the braids done very tightly. This is a huge no-no as it can result in hair loss, especially around the hairline. Tell-tale signs that your braids are too tight often include headaches and, of course, discomfort and tender scalp.

3. Apply castor oil around your temples to combat hair loss as the pulling of the braids causes stress on the hairline even when not done tightly.

4. Experiment with various styles! Braids can be styled for weddings, parties and more. Don't feel confined to letting the braids fall free or wearing a braid ponytail. Try high buns and don't be afraid to accessorise.

Curly-Centric Jamaica is a natural-hair community hosting meet-ups which explore styling, care and treatment of natural hair and black hair overall. Like us on facebook.com/curlycentric. Do you have comments, stories or questions on natural hair? Ask us at lifestyle@gleanerjm.com