Is There A ‘Safe’ Way To Wear A Braidout?

Further to my post on the main site about braidouts, I wanted to state categorically that I love me a braidout! I’ve always preferred myself curly not to mention that it is the easiest way to style my hair week in week out.

As I said in last week’s newsletter I had a few emails from you guys protesting the innocence of braid outs on the charge of ‘breakage causer’. You asked me if I hadtried this or that technique etc. Anyway, one of you was kind enough to point me in the direction of Miss Jessies dry twist out 101 tutorial. I have tried this techique in the past but just to humor you guys I decided to give it a once over again and here are the results.

In both instances below I started with freshly washed and blown out hair:



In this try, I applied a water based gel on each section before braiding and allowing to air dry overnight. As you can see with the braids below, shrinkage was instantaneous.



Makes a very pretty braidout

Makes a very pretty braidout 2

Pros: The braid out is defined and keeps very well for a week with only pineappling at night
Cons: The hair shrinks as the days go on which means that the result is the same as with every other braid out. Breakage and SSK’s while detangling. Not impressed

My second attempt was to use an lower water content moisturizer for the braid out. I used Elasta QP Mango Butter and again I started with freshly washed and blown out hair. The resulting braid out was stretched, shiny and wonderful!

Braid out with Mango butter



By day two the definition has all but disappeared!

No definition braid out

Pros: One of the loveliest braidouts ever
Cons: The style does not keep long enough so I would have to re-braid nightly. This would mean more manipulation which ultimately means more breakage!

Here are my final thoughts. Even though braid outs are wonderful, for me they will still remain a once-in-a-while style. Definitely not a week to week hairstyle for length retention. When I use a high water based product I get way too much shrinkage. And when I use a low water based product, I get very little shrinkage but very little definition!

I will continue to search for a safe way to do a braid out. If I can find a hair styling product that does not have water but holds the hair very well, I may well find a way for me to wear a braid out every week.

My rule remains Shrinkage = Tangles = Breakage when detangling which will ultimately hurt my length retention efforts.

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