Here, braid expert Afi Attipoe guides you through the types, tools, strategies, natural hair prep, and aftercare
Let’s admit it, there’s never been a better time to plonk yourself in front of Netflix with a couple of packs of hair and get your (box) braid on. You could be carried out in the time it takes to re( watch) Tiger King, depending on your plait size and length, intertwining speed and break times, or spread it out over a couple of days or box sets. “ Fenn O’Meally‘s braids take the longest: 12 hours,” shares BeautyStack professional and braids professional Afi Attipoe “Typically, it would take me six or 7 hours to do someone’s box braids, 9 if they want small ones.”
Possibilities are, you have actually appreciated Sharmadean Reid‘s braids or Jorja Smith‘s in the past on Instagram and both are Attipoe’s workmanship. No matter the tone, texture, length, or style, the hairstylist is up for the obstacle, having begun braiding aged 13 and she confesses she finds the long process “healing”. After working at her mum’s buddy’s hairdresser at 15, and a stint at The Braid Bar in 2015, Attipoe chose to take a more high-fashion technique and invested a year helping fellow hairdressers on shoots. The 31- year-old’s hair viewpoint is basic: to do individuals’s braids as she would like her own hair to be done, in order to get the best outcomes. “I like it to be neat. I get disturbed if i’m strolling on the street and I see someone who has square and triangle partings. The balance, plait inconsistency: starting tight and ending loose, little things like that make a distinction.”
Attipoe is extremely clear on the advantages of intertwining and keeping braids. “It’ll keep you sane. Even if you’re stuck indoors does not indicate you must let yourself go. You can’t go to the nail shop, paint your own nails, shave your own legs. Don’t be in your house and turn into someone who’s shipwrecked.” This is certainly a time consuming and labour extensive hairstyle but remove the rush and expense (a hairdresser can charge over ₤100 a pop) besides the hair and you’re in creative control. When you’re ended up, your hair will be secured for as long as this lockdown lasts or 6 to eight weeks– whichever comes quicker. So all set, get set, and intertwine away with Attipoe’s thorough breakdown below.
” A tail comb — a comb with little teeth and a pointy metal end to part your hair, a broad tooth comb to comb through your own hair, and a paddle brush like a Tangle Teezer to comb out your extensions. I use Keracare Butter Cream, and possibly a bit of grease – Indian hemp oil since I like the smell. Or T444 Z hair food“
HUMAN BEING VS SYNTHETIC EXTENSIONS
” Genuine hair lasts longer and is more lightweight, however synthetic hair is more cost effective (₤ 1.99 a pack) and there’s a greater variety of colours. You ‘d probably require three packages of human hair, and I always tell individuals to get an additional packet as you do not want to run out. For 14 inches, it would have to do with ₤30 a pack. Human hair does not really work with big braids, simply fine braids like the ones Zoë Kravitz and Fenn O’Meally have.”
CHOICE A BRAID OR TWIST TYPE
“ Box braids are most popular. Maturing, I understood them as ‘single plaits’ however they are box braids now, maybe due to the fact that the partings remain in box shapes. Goddess braids are the same thing but from you feed in curly hair at the ends, plait it into the primary braid, then leave the end out. Kinky twists are single twists with kinky hair, rope twists utilize typical (straight) extensions like X-Pressions Enthusiasm twists are twists with curly hair. The various kind of hair and how it comes out (determines the name).”
TO PREP YOUR NATURAL HAIR …
” Make sure it’s cleaned, clean and detangled whatever your hair type. I would have to blow dry 4C hair so it’s quicker to intertwine. Make sure you’ve moisturised your hair as well and grease or oil your scalp.
SHOULD YOU TREAT EXTENSIONS BEFORE USE?
I have actually never ever had any problems or inflammation with the hair and neither have my clients. I pull the hair, so if I have actually had to cut it in half due to the fact that of the blunt end, I pull the hairs so the ends are irregular and it’s much easier for me to intertwine areas down to the end.
” Constantly have a mirror or more, one in front and one behind so you can see what you’re doing. To make it much easier, part your hair into four sections like a hot cross bun. Intertwine up each section: I normally start at the back but if you’re a beginner you could begin at the front so you can see what you’re doing. The mirrors and your fingers keep things symmetrical– feel it out and take a look. You can feel if a parting has gone wonky.”
TO KNOT THE ATTACHMENT OR NOT?
” A knotless braid is when you start braiding your own hair and you feed in the extension. Usually it’s knotted: get 2 pieces of hair, make sure one piece is narrower than the other, cross them over each other, and join the narrow sections together to produce a third piece that is the exact same size as the other 2 sections.
KEEP IT LIGHT AND SEAL COMPLETION
” I attempt not to pass by 3 and a half packs of hair. You can still achieve a complete appearance, just don’t utilize as much hair. You don’t require to load it out, you need spaces and when the hair grows out it will not look gappy. To seal the braids, plait them all the method down to completions and after that put them in hot water to make them less stiff. Some people want the ends out so you can knot it when you get to a particular point, include elastic bands, or burn completions with a candle (although you’ll pick up fluff).”
FEELING A BOB OR FRINGE?
” Figure out where you want it, depending on the length of your natural hair. Most braided bobs I’ve done have actually had elastics on the end due to the fact that the customers wanted the plaits medium-sized and I cut the hair close to the flexible bands so there’s not a big bit left out. Or I might, depending on the length of their hair, cut the extension length into 3 pieces, braid it right down to the end, then seal it with hot water.
BRAID THE RAINBOW
“ Catface has the very best colour variety for ombré hair. What I have actually found, and this is a client’s feedback as well after doing her hair with it two or 3 times, is that the hair didn’t last long. The extension texture is extremely soft so it’s for temporary styles as the hair gets unpleasant fast. X-pressions and Impression do colour and they’re coarser so they will last longer. In regards to mixing colours, stay in the same household so navy and royal blue, violet and then purple, mix burgundy and red. If you don’t want to do it all over your head, you can do the back section or the front. (To do ombre with two different colours and kinds of hair) feed in the various colour about three-quarters of the method down. You have to have the patience to determine the 2nd braid against the very first braid to make sure the coloured sections begin in the same location.”
TO MAKE YOUR BRAIDS LAST …
What my auntie utilized to do for me is clean my hair, dry it appropriately and oil my scalp after 2 or three weeks. If you have to trim the braids, do it. To grease your scalp, get a small spray bottle and put oil in it or utilize an oil shine spray