Yarn Braids Maintenance Pt3: Drying Yarn Braids
I think most people who wear yarn braids could agree that washing and drying yarn braids is a very daunting process.
Wet yarn braids can be very heavy, so you have to handle your hair carefully while washing, especially around the edges. Also, improper drying can cause your yarn braids to give off an unpleasant smell. It’s always best to start washing your hair in yarn braids earlier on in the day if you do not use heat on your hair. This will give your yarn braids enough time to dry so that it is not damp, causing an unpleasant smell.
Soaking wet yarn braids
Damp yarn braids after squeezing out moisture
After washing my yarn braids I squeeze as much water out of it as possible. This reduces the heaviness and decreases the drying time. After squeezing, make a high bun or pony tail with the yarn braids so that they’re not hanging, weighing your hair down. Wrap it well with a towel and let it dry. Fully drying can take up to six hours. I suggest not adding any product to your hair until it is fully dry.
I shampoo my hair every two weeks in yarn braids instead of once a month because I tend to get a lot of build up in my braids. When I wear my hair out I shampoo it a lot less, about once a month but cowash once a week. Yarn braids are an easy and very light hairstyle, but the drying process can put some people off. Try to protective style in a way that is compatible with your lifestyle.
Happy hair journey ^o^
11:57 am • 3 February 2012 • 5 notes
Removing yarn braids.
Hi all and Happy New Year!!
It’s that time! Yarn braid removal!
I wore my yarn braids for 8 weeks, having installed them on October 15th. I started the removal on December 16th and finished on the 22nd of December.
I initially thought removal was going to be quick and easy, but I was wrong. I didn’t spend most of the day removing the braids, just hours here and there, but it took longer than I expected. My first take down was quite quick - it was for a day or two with breaks and errands inbetween.
Anyhow, taking down yarn braids requires care and caution because you could cause breakage to your hair if you don’t remove them properly.
- Conditioner of choice (mine was Dr. Organic Manuka Honey Conditioner)
- Spray bottle with water
Optional items may include: ponytail holders or sectioning clips
I mixed the left over conditioner with some water and put it in the spray bottle. I used the spray bottle to spritz my hair and the yarn braids to provide some extra slip so that the yarn can be removed easily.
To save time, it is best to cut off a section of the yarn where your hair is not present. Here I grabbed a braid and try to cut about 1/2 inch away from my actual hair. This saves time. Also since the yarn is burned at the end, it is much easier to cut the end off because unraveling that will take a lot of time.
The bit of yarn cut… you can dispose of it.
When removing the yarn braids, I tend to unravel the braids or unbraid them (I find this the easiest and fastest method). However, if you don’t know which bit of yarn your hair has been braided with, removing yarn braids can be quite difficult. Mostly because your own hair can get tangled with the yarn, making unraveling the braid almost impossible. It is very important to be patient at this point. Try grabbing a string of yarn above the tangle and pull it out to help make the untangling process easier. The tangles you may face makes the process more time consuming but it is better than doing damage to your hair.
After removing the yarn you can then finger or comb detangle the sections and twist/braid them together until all the yarn braids have been removed. After the removal, you can proceed to either shampooing, cowashing or deep conditioning, depending on your hair and scalp needs.
A few things which you may face is a snapping sound when unravelling. Since yarn is a fibre, the snapping sound may occur as you are unravelling and separating the fibres. If you have very fine hair, you may find it difficult to differentiate between the yarn and your hair itself. It is therefore important to stay patient and use other tools such as a mirror or ask someone else to help you in the removal.
The process of removing and sometimes installing yarn braids can take time. But I find that the benefits of wearing yarn braids outweighs the negatives because it is such a lightweight style and your hair stays in good condition (provided you stay on top of your regimen. This is why I’ll be doing them again very soon.
Happy hair journey ^o^
8:40 pm • 1 January 2012 • 8 notes
Yarn Braids Maintenance Pt2: Deep Conditioning
Today’s post is regarding deep conditioning your hair while wearing yarn braids. Wearing yarn braids does not mean you should be neglecting your hair. In fact, your hair regimen may be required to be more moisturising when wearing yarn braids.
I have to admit though that during my first set of yarn braids from August til October, I did not deep condition once. But my hair still managed to be in good condition as I was cowashing and using moisturising shampoos quite often.
Anyhow, I do deep condition yarn braids on a weekly basis if I’m not lazy or busy. I also depend my deep treatments on how my hair feels.
I am an avid ayurveda user and I use ayurveda on a weekly basis when my hair is out. However, I don’t want any herbal residue left in my yarn braids (I have put my ayurveda and henna regimen on hold). I deep condition in another way, using a regular deep conditioner;
Choose a deep conditioner of your choice. I chose Palmer’s Deep Conditioning Protein Pack.
Squeeze the conditioner into a spray bottle and add water to it. You can add as much as you want depending on the consistency you want. I advice for it to not be very thin as it can drip when you’re applying it to your hair, causing a mess!
Spray the mixture onto your hair section by section and work it into your hair focusing on your actual hair.
Put on a shower cap and you’re done!
This method is fairly easy. It’s another way of keeping your own hair in good condition while wearing yarn braids. I prefer to dilute the deep conditioner in some water and then spraying it in because I find it easier as opposed to adding it to my hair by hand.
I would highly advice against using deep conditioners with residues as it can get stuck in your yarn braids and hair, which is not a pleasant thing! Use something which is easy to wash out.
Happy hair journey ^o^
11:31 pm • 4 December 2011 • 10 notes
Yarn Braids Maintenance Pt1: Washing with shampoo
Every few weeks I shampoo my hair. I only shampoo my hair about once or twice a month. I used to shampoo a lot more in the past (which would result in dry hair and very dry scalp). I’ve been shampooing a couple of times a month over the past 6 - 8 months and this has really helped with the moisture levels of my hair and scalp.
Kinky Curly Knot Today is one of my favourite shampoo’s
There are a number of shampoo’s which I use and Kinky Curly Knot Today is one of them. I sometimes rotate between shampoo’s depending on a number of factors. For example, if I shampoo much more often (such as in the Summer), I will use Giovanni’s Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo.
Now onto washing yarn braids. Some people who wear yarn braids, will choose to not shampoo their hair. These reasons may include wanting to keep their yarn braids looking neat or avoiding the daunting task of washing yarn braids. I’m one of those people who do need to wash their hair no matter what.
I use the following steps to wash my scalp while my hair is in yarn braids;
- First I prepoo my hair. The length of time I do it, varies, but I try to keep this as short as possible because washing yarn braids requires a lot of time.
- I divide my hair in four sections and I wet my hair under the shower head and I squeeze a few drops of shampoo into the palm of my hand. I work on one section of my scalp first, working the shampoo into my scalp using the pads of my fingers to cleanse it. I avoid shampooing the length of my hair to keep its moisture.
- I repeat step two for the other three sections of my hair.
- I rinse after a minute or so and I repeat all the steps again for the second time.
After shampooing my hair, I squeeze the excess water out of the yarn. After this I put the yarn braids into a high ponytail and I wrap it into a microfiber towel (wet yarn braids can feel very heavy, hence why I squeeze out the excess water and put it into a ponytail. Remember to also handle your hair very carefully because the weight of the yarn braids can cause tension on your edges).
Drying yarn braids completely can take hours (especially if you air dry it). Therefore washing yarn braids is something I really and only do during the weekends and I start this process in the afternoon. Improper drying of yarn braids and sleeping on it gives it a damp feeling the next day and a mildew/musty smell. To completely avoid this, it needs to be dried thoroughly.
A couple of concerns which I know some people will have is, ”will the yarn braids still look neat?”, ”won’t the yarn come loose at the roots?”. My answer to the first question is yes. The yarn will not be affected by this process, however, it may shrink during the washing process. It will return to its normal length after it has fully dried. Acrylic yarn will continue to look neat as the fibers aren’t so much affected by washing. My answer to the second question is that it should not come loose at the roots provided you have installed them firmly and correctly (the yarn needs to be attached to the hair securely but keep in mind that it shouldn’t be too tight or be installed in any way in which it can cause damage to your hair). I haven’t had any issues with my yarn braids coming loose due to the washing process. Handling my hair on a daily basis, wearing the yarn braids for extended weeks, shed hair and hair growth, are factors which have made my yarn braids loose at the roots.
Happy Hair Journey ^o^
11:33 pm • 24 November 2011 • 11 notes
How I did my yarn braids (genie locs)
This is a tutorial of the yarn braid/genie locs protective style I have done recently. I worked on it for a week (due to lack of free time) and I completed the style last weekend.
This is my second time using yarn braids as a protective style. I first did this in August. It was very easy to manage and maintain and it was the ideal protective style for me while going on vacation. I had the yarn braids in for about eight weeks and this didn’t lead to any issues with my hair (breakage or thinning edges).
- 100% acrylic yarn
- Four sectioning clips
- Spray bottle (contains water, aloe vera juice and rose water).
- Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade
- Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream
I sectioned my hair in four and worked section by section. I finger parted (I prefer to finger part, rather than using a rat tail comb to) further sections for braiding and used the sectioning clips to keep other hair out of the way.
I lightly spritzed the hair to be braided, then used a little bit of Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream and finally sealed with Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade.
I then took two strings of yarn and interlocked them as shown on the left. I spritzed the strings and pulled it taut and proceeded to braiding the section of hair.
I made sure the yarn was secured to my hair without putting any tension on my hair or scalp.
After finishing the braid, I tied the ends together to prevent the yarn from unraveling.
After I finished braiding all sections of hair, I cut the strings from the knot, just leaving the knot. I went over the knots with a candle flame to tie it to prevent it from unravelling (be really careful when doing this, don’t hold the flame by the yarn for too long or otherwise it will catch fire).
My finished results;
What I like the most about yarn braids;
- They are very light
- They are easy to moisturise and keep your hair moisturised
- They are less harsh on your hair (in comparison to synthetic braids)
- They are inexpensive (I got my yarn from House of Fraser’s, the brand Patons and it only cost me about £1.99)
- They are versatile
- They make your hair look like locs, without you having to loc your hair.
While there are upsides to having yarn braids, there are also some downsides;
- They feel heavy when wet
- Takes too long to dry
- Removing yarn braids can be time consuming
- They can loc in your hair if you leave them in for too long
I enjoy having yarn braids. I feel my hair gets moisturised better while the weight of the yarn is not putting any tension on my hair or my scalp.
Before doing yarn braids, be sure it is something you want to do as it can be time consuming to put in and take out. Be sure you are buying acrylic yarn and not cotton wool. The reason for this is because wool locs in your hair. To distinguish between the two, read the information labels and also look at the price (yarn tends to be much cheaper than wool). You can also twist yarn into your hair and make yarn twists instead.
Happy hair journey ^o^
9:59 pm • 29 October 2011 • 17 notes