Preparing The Hair For Braiding
Thoroughly clean the hair and scalp. Hair should be dry, softened, and free of snarls, tangles, or knots.
Before you begin braiding the client’s hair, look for bald, thinning, or damaged hair areas. These problem areas will affect the style of the braiding design. Texture, length, and hair condition will determine the style design around the problem areas.
Before you proceed with any braiding service, examine the scalp for scratches, abrasions, sores, irritations, birthmarks, or moles.
Be certain that the natural hair and the client’s scalp condition can support the braiding style that you choose.
Lubricating/Moisturizing The Hair
Select a natural hair care product that will help soften the hair as well as moisten the scalp.
The preparation should provide a light coat of moisture to the strands that will aid the braiding process.
TEXTURE ON TEXTURE: NATURAL TEXTURIZING TECHNIQUES
There are many hair-setting options for defining the curl pattern of your client’s hair. Each client’s hair and hair texture are as unique as their fingerprints. However, you will find similarities in textures that can help you identify which setting technique would be best for a particular texture.
Tightly Coiled Textured Hair/Two-Strand Twist
Since tightly coiled textured hair tends to be quite dry and can tangle easily, routinely deep condition and set with a moisturizing curling cream and the two-strand twist method. Use a dryer until the hair is completely dry, then untwist the two sections of each two-strand twist and separate the two sections, one at a time, at least once more.
Coily/Curly Hair: Two-Strand Flat-Twist Method
Coily or curly hair with a longer curl pattern can show definition more readily if you use the two- strand twist or two-strand flat twist method, and open each section more times than you can with a tightly coiled pattern.
Short, Coily Hair: “Comb Twist” or Single-Strand Twist
For short, coily hair, an effective technique is the comb twist, or single-strand twist method. After the setting has been completed, apply a gentle holding solution and dry the hair; then you can leave the style as is or separate each curl until you have made each curl multiply two to three times.
Thick, Long, Coily Hair with Slightly Elongated Curl Pattern: “The Chubby Twist”
For this technique, you will set hair in the two-strand twist method, using a setting cream or solution, dry, then separate each two strand twist only once.
All Textures, Chemically Relaxed Hair, and Those Who Are Transitioning: Flexi-Rod Set
Flexi-rod set perm rods are used to set hair spirally.
Straw sets use plastic straws that are cut for the appropriate length of hair and used to set hair spirally.
Bantu knots (Nubian knots or a knot out) are created by twisting and twirling a geometric section of hair around its base. These knots can be worn as a style or as a way of setting the hair. When the knots are worn as a style, geometric designs can be parted into the head to separate each section.
Finger combing is a technique of evenly distributing a product throughout each strand of hair while it is still wet, using the fingers on both of your hands like a comb. This technique creates more definition of the client’s natural curl pattern.