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Wearing braided extensions is one smart style option, but you can also braid your natural hair and look just as stylish. You may not want the added bulk of extensions or perhaps you want to braid your hair yourself instead of relying on a professional braider. With so many different ways to wear braids, you can easily create a variety of styles to suit any occasion. Consider how much time you want to devote to braiding, and you're on your way to choosing the right braided style for you.
Braided extensions aren't for everyone. Some women are allergic to the chemicals used to treat extension hair, while others don't want to pay for additional hair. You can braid your own hair and gain several benefits from any braided style. Braids are a protective hairdo that's especially beneficial to women with dry hair; keeping hair braided prevents loose strands from rubbing against rough fabrics and breaking. Braids are also low maintenance. While braiding time may be lengthy, once your hair is braided, you don't have to do any additional styling until you change your 'do. Braids hold up well for those who lead active lifestyles, so if you exercise frequently, you may want to braid your hair and forget about it while you work out.
Braid damp or dry hair. Prep hair with moisturizing products such as natural oils, including olive, coconut or sweet almond. Comb through well and braid hair as desired. Apply more moisturizer to your hair's ends, which are usually drier than the rest of your tresses. Avoid heavy products like petroleum or beeswax, since these only coat the hair and attract dust.
The more braids you have, the longer it will take to style them, but the longer they will last. You can create two French braids on either side of your head, which won't take a long time, or you can braid dozens of mini braids, which could take hours, though this style can last for weeks. You may also want to consider combo styles, such as cornrow braids at the front of your head that flow into loose hair at the back. Create braided updos, such as goddess braids, which fit into a workplace environment. A basic braid style such of 12 to 24 braids can be pulled back into a ponytail or bun or left loose, using a headband as an accessory.
Once your hair is braided, cover it at night with a satin or silk scarf. This not only keeps moisture in, it also prevents braids from becoming frizzy. In the morning, smooth over braids with a light application of oil or spritz with a moisturizing braid spray. Daily care only takes minutes.