My apologies! I really hate it when people post a topic about a particular hairstyle and forget to mention how they maintained it for the next couple days or weeks. I mean, what’s the point if I can’t maintain it and it looks like a hot mess after day 1, right? So for that I apologize and, without further adieu, here are the following products I used to maintain my crochet braids:
1. Vaseline Total Moisture Body Lotion
What?!? Body lotion????
I know what you’re thinking and calm down. Yes, body lotion! Not just any body lotion, but the good stuff that penetrates really dry skin. Why? I’ll tell you why. Because synthetic hair, much like afro-textured hair (but more so), is one thirsty fiber!
As outlined in the crochet tutorial, when installing the bulk hair, you’ll need to split it into either 2 or 3 strands. But splitting the original strand will fray it. Coating the original strand with some deep moisturizing lotion will limit the amount of fraying that happens once split. Even better, it acts as an excellent leave-in conditioner. No worries–the lotion isn’t actually going on your hair, but it does help prevent the synthetic hair from drying up and looking like a pile of fake hair on your head. The hair will feel luscious and you may even have a hard time not touching it.
I also raked lotion through the strands about every 2-3 days to maintain the moisture if it seemed the hair was getting unnaturally dry.
2. Just For Me Hair Milk with Shea Butter, Soymilk and Honey
I use this product to add some extra moisture to the synthetic hair. Since you’ll more than likely be cutting your hair into a style that suits you, the ends won’t be bonded like traditional braids. Ergo (yes I said “ergo”), it may dry out between “lotion treatments.” A little misting will allow the hair to appropriately soak up the lotion (and any other moisture products you see fit).
I also use this product to moisturize my edges on a daily basis. Since I go to sleep with this hair tucked into a bonnet, silk scarf, or some combination of both (it’s big hair), my edges will be pressed down the next day. But if I forget to brush my edges into the direction I wanted them to lay, they may end up being just a flat curly bunch the next morning. This spray fixes all of that.
3. Demert Wig & Weave Lusterizer and Conditioner
In addition to the Just For Me Hair Milk, I would sometimes need this wig spray to give the synthetic hair back some life. A couple sprits and it looked like it was practically just out of the bag. It really is a miracle worker.
Caution: It is very much like traditional hairspray in the sense that it’ll burn your nostrils if you spray it in a closed room. Therefore, I used it sparingly and only when the synthetic hair looked like serious therapy was in order. Hold the bottle at least 12 inches from your hair to prevent it getting all the way through to your natural hair.
4. Shea Moisture African Black Soap Dandruff & Dry Scalp Elixir
I love Shea Moisture products! I haven’t experimented with a whole lot of other products, but so far, Shea Moisture products are doing a great job and smell oh so delicious!
I use this spray every couple of days in combination with some witch hazel to clean the scalp and prevent dandruff and any itching. This allows me to go up to 2 weeks without washing my hair.
Side Note: if you workout a lot, you may have to either use these two products more frequently, or wash your hair every week. The more washes you do, the shorter the braids will last.
5. Organic Coconut oil
I love coconut oil–you could call me a coconut oil junkie. But this oil does wonders for my scalp and hair. I try to use it no more than twice a week to avoid a lot of buildup.
6. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-wash Conditioning Cleanser
Once I finally reached the 2 week mark, I washed my hair with this co-wash. Once again, it is Shea Moisture. It leaves my real hair moisturized while providing a light cleansing that will take me through the next two weeks until I take out the braids and do a thorough cleansing wash.
This is what my hair looked like after my initial co-wash of my first DIY crochet braids.
I doubt my hair really grew that fast, and this is probably a product of the fact that my first attempt at cornrowing my hair was lackluster at best.
7. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Perfect Edges
This product. This product right here. This was my saving grace! Like I said, my first cornrow attempt was not what I’d call a complete success. But as the hair got looser and my roots began to clearly show, this moisturizing gel laid my edges down perfectly and allowed me to use hair bands to successfully blend my new growth/slippage with the synthetic hair. Result? The synthetic hair ended up looking like it was my actual hair.
So there you have it. This is the process that took me to week 3. It’s the process that I’m hoping will take my next attempt through to week 4 (progress and update post to come soon!).
Peace, Love, and Live Life Full,