There’s arguably no hairstyle greater than intricate braids. We can all agree that no matter how they are done – bridal fishtail, everyday box braids, or on-the-go cornrows, braids are usually the answer. Keeping the style fresh past day one, however, is another issue entirely. I’ll admit my weaknesses and keeping braids looking even halfway decent after I sleep in them is definitely one, to put it mildly. To fix this, I tapped braiding master, self-proclaimed “queen of statement hair,” and Editorial Hair Stylist and Global Educator, Global Artistic Director for amika, Naeemah LaFond, for her expert tips on how to preserve a style.
1. There’s no wrong way to wrap
So, how do you wrap hair to keep a braided style intact, please enlighten us? “There’s no specific way to wrap braids,” Naeemah reassures us. “You can wrap them just as you would wrap your natural hair. Mainly focusing on keeping the roots and edges covered so that they don’t frizz during friction created when sleeping,” she continues.
2. Knot your scarf opposite to how you sleep
Simple tricks and tips for wrapping your style centers around where you knot it. “You should knot the wrap in the front if you sleep in your back and knot it the back if you are a stomach sleeper. This will avoid any discomfort when sleeping with your braided style,” she explains.
3. Splurge on silky
While you can improv when it comes to wrapping the hair, the kind of wrap you use will make a difference. “A silky wrap is best to minimize friction and dryness and avoid hair loss,” says Naeemah.
4. Don’t stop your sleep
Don’t let the braids affect an otherwise restful night – the wrapped style should never feel uncomfortable, even if you’re a wild sleeper. “Sleeping shouldn’t be compromised because you have braids. You should be able to sleep as you normally would,” she encourages.
5. Apply serum on the hairline
While you don’t want to slather on gel the morning after to attempt to slick your braids back into your head, a little product can help. Naeemah recommends a moisturizing serum along the hairline applied every other day to help ease dryness.
6. Don’t overthink your wrapping technique
It turns out, I have maybe been blowing this out of proportion all along – hair wrapping should be easy. “If you’re comfortable with tying your shoelaces, then wrapping your hair at night to protect your braids should be simple,” she notes.
7. Reset your scalp with a cleansing oil
Once you’re over your braided style and take out your braids it’s important to follow up with a good scalp detox to keep hair healthy. She suggests using amika Reset Pink Charcoal Scalp Cleansing Oil: $25 so that you can remove any impurities and buildup.
HERE’s how to prevent an itchy scalp when sporting a protective style.