In February, I mostly... (and braid takedown)

Hello all!

It's now May, so I really think it is time for me to play catch-up with these posts that I promised would be a monthly affair! In fact, I have a few posts ready, so I will be putting them up in quick succession.

In February, I spent the first two weeks still in my braids, and then as I alluded to in this post, it took me about  a week to take my hair out, because I was being incredibly cautious. So I spent most of that time finding creative ways of camouflaging half-braided, half-loose hair updos.

I started undoing the braids in the middle, so I could put my hair up without anyone noticing, but once I had taken too many out I concentrated on taking the braids out around the side, so that more loose hair would be visible. Then I twisted and pinned it up so that the remaining braids would be hidden, like so:

Most of the last remaining braids were in the front and on the side (there was no rhyme or reason to my loosening strategy after a while), and I managed to hide them by incorporating a little hump in the flat twist. I even went out to a birthday party with my hair like that (accessorising with a scarf, but no-one seems to have any pictures! Tut!) and would have managed to get away with it if I hadn't responded to every hair compliment with the conspiratorial whisper: "Thank you! But it's still like 1/4 braided!!!!"

So, not much to see here really. It pretty much made for a boring month hair-wise. So I figured it would be most useful if I instead talked a little about my processs for taking the braids out.

I did mention it in the original braids post, but to reiterate, I made sure I took them out while they were damp, following the same principle as never combing my hair when it is dry. It was more malleable, and I was able to detangle with minimal breakage.

Step 1

I cowashed my braids, applied a leave-in to the length to create slip, and sealed with my shea/castor/jojoba/grapeseed mix to try and keep the moisture in. This proved quite futile as obviously my hair dried during the week, so I had my usual spray bottle of leave-in, jojoba oil and bottled water, and would wet and seal each section as I went along.

Step 2

I gently undid each braid individually using the tail end of a fine tooth comb (i.e. the part on the left of the picture below, for clarification purposes):

I remember when I was transitioning with braids, I would go to the salon to have my them taken out, and I would usually have 2 girls grabbing sections of braids, and combing through chunks with a fine-toothed comb. This was a really quick way of doing it, but I would never agree to do that to my hair now. Bits of my hair would break off as they went along, and I just thought it was par for the course. Sometimes when they got to the root the fake hair would tangle with my loose hair, causing more breakage as they worked to take that out. I now know better, and would rather just take my time and minimize how much of my hair breaks off. I would never let the fine toothed part of one those combs near my hair now.

Step 3

When I had undone a sizeable chunk of hair, I braided that section to prevent it re-tangling. This picture illustrates the size of the sections I worked with:

So, the key was never letting the sections I was working on dry up, never rushing, and never allowing the hair to re-tangle. It took a long time, but I didn't mind so much as I would come home from work in the evenings, pop in a DVD and get to work. Ok I lie, towards the end I was starting to go a bit delirious. But I would rather take the time and work slowly than lose hair unnecessarily.

But of course as with everything, this is a matter of choice!

Next up: My updated regimen. So check back in a few hours.

Have a good one.

1 comment

  1. WOW, your hair is soooo thick!

    What am I doing wrong????????????????