How to Take Care of African Twists & Braids

Braids and twists can be attractive styles for all ages.
Braids and twists can be attractive styles for all ages. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

It is hard to have a bad hair day when your hair is braided or twisted. Waking up each morning and merely shaking or hand-combing your hair into place is an appealing benefit of these styles. Because braids and twists are able to remain in your hair for several weeks at a time, it is important to perform care and maintenance that will keep them healthy and attractive for the duration you wear them.

Things You'll Need

  • Gentle shampoo
  • Leave-in conditioner

Wash your braids at least every 1 to 2 weeks with a gentle shampoo or one that has been diluted. Diluted shampoo increases the likelihood that all of the soap and residual suds will be washed away without you needing to scrub your braids or twists too vigorously. You can also use a stocking cap when washing to hold the braids tight and cut down on unraveling or frizzing.

Apply a light leave-in conditioner rather than creamy traditional conditioners after washing your hair. Your usual conditioner can cause buildup in the body of your braids.

Spray a moisturizing spray made for braids on the hair. These sprays moisturize your natural hair and also help to keep extension hair soft. They can be used daily on the extension part of your hair, but do not spray it onto your scalp daily as this can cause buildup on your scalp.

Tie your hair up at night. A satin scarf can prevent your braids or twists from rubbing against your bedding and pillowcase, which can cause frizzing or your hairstyle to loosen.

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