Braid outs are one of my favorite natural hair styles! When I first went natural, I stayed away from braid outs, because I was a slow braider. But with practice, I became a faster braider and developed a technique that works for me and gives me consistent results. Every natural should have a go-to style. A style that is easy for you to do, doesn’t take a long time, and gives you the results you want. So here are the products and method I use to create my go-to style.
Here’s an acronym I use to help me remember the order in which to apply products to get the maximum results from my style: LOS. You want your braid out to be moisturized, shiny, and defined! Slay, honey!
L – Leave-in Conditioner – Make sure the first ingredient in the product you choose is water. This should be a light-weight product that moisturizes your hair, but doesn’t weigh the hair down. You may also opt to use a hair milk, which, depending on the brand will be about the same consistency as a leave-in conditioner; maybe a little heavier.
O – Oil – Use an oil to seal in the moisture from your leave-in conditioner. Some great options include coconut, olive, jojoba, or avocado oil. These oils are lightweight and will not only help your hair retain moisture, but also add shine. I try to avoid heavy oils such as castor oil because it weighs the hair down and you want your style to have movement. Like, blow in the wind movement J
S – Styler – My styler is usually a thick cream or a gel. You only need a small amount of styler since, again, you don’t want to weight the hair down. A cream styler will add additional moisture and provide definition. Using a gel will also define the hair, but will give it a little more hold than a styler. Just make sure your gel doesn’t contain alcohol because alcohol dries out the hair.
Here are the products I have been using recently to help me achieve my braid-outs.
L- My all-time favorite leave-in conditioner is the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner (say that 10 times fast!). This product moisturizes and defines my curls like no other! Seriously, 90% of the time, this product is in my hair. When Ulta had this brand on sale, I bought 3 of them….the last 3 they had on the shelf (sorry, not sorry).
O- I use a mixture of coconut and olive oil, which you can find at the grocery store. Make sure the oil is organic and un-refined so you can receive the maximum benefits from the product. I add the oils to an applicator bottle for easier use.
S- I use the Design Essentials Defining Crème Gel. A little goes a long way! It has a thick buttery consistency and smells great.
I part my hair in the direction I want my hair to fall. I prefer a side part to give my hair more volume.
Make sure each section is thoroughly detangled before braiding by using a wide tooth comb or a Denman brush. I only detangle after the products above are added to my hair to reduce breakage.
I braid each section until I get to about 1 inch from the bottom of my hair and then I two-strand twist. This gives a nice curl at the ends so my ends don’t look blunt (and boring!).
Since I do a side part, I end up with 6 braids on one side and 8 braids on the other side.
The number of braids you create depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. For a more defined look, have more braids. For a wavier look, have fewer braids. I will have about 20 braids for a more defined look and between 14-16 braids for a wavier look.
I allow my hair to air-dry overnight and I sleep on a satin pillow case, which I bought from Walmart.
Make sure your hair is completely dry before you remove your braids to reduce frizz.
After I take down all my braids, I fluff and separate to achieve my desired look. I separate my hair where the hair naturally separates. Don’t force the braid to separate or that will lead to frizz. I have a lot of hair, so I don’t do a ton of fluffing since my hair will get bigger throughout the day.
Then I use an edge control to slick down my edges and prevent fly-a-ways in the crown area. I use the Curls Passion Fruit Control Paste, which is another GOAT product for me!
To finish the look, I spray a little hair spray to reduce frizz. I use the Tressume Extra Hold Hair Spray. It has a pleasant smell, reduces frizz, and doesn’t leave my hair helmet hard!
At night, I sleep with a loc soc over my hair.
I don’t re-braid my hair each night. Some people choose to re-braid at night, but I am a self-proclaimed “lazy natural” so……. I use the loc soc to preserve my style. But you can choose to re-braid each night in larger sections.
And there you have it! My products and steps to achieve my braid out. I also encourage you to experiment with different stylers and with the different number of braids to add a variety!
So, tell me, what are some of your favorite products to help you achieve your go-to style? And what is your go-to style?