The Washable Braid
Let’s start by talking scalp health and care.
Did you know you are supposed to wash your braided extensions to remove dead skin cells and product build-up, which can cause scalp irritation? Our scalps are the same fundamental structure as the rest of the skin on our bodies. However, the human scalp has more sweat glands when compared to the other parts of the human body. It becomes dirty easily and the dead skin cells fall away from the human body in flakes. In most cases, hair strands don’t allow for the flakes to fall to the floor, this causes build up on the scalp.
The scalp also has less of a natural barrier to keep moisture in. Constant washing can strip the outer layer of moisture from your hair strands. For this reason, many braid wearers will not wash their braids during the install period. This can end up causing more harm than anticipated depending on the hair care routine that is practiced.
RUWA® braiding hair was designed to allow the flexibility of regular washes while maintaining any braided style. The special Aquatex® coating repels water unlike traditional braiding hair, which absorbs up to 2xs its weight in water. This added weight causes stress to the natural hair follicle which can create added damage to an already weaken scalp. The coating allows up to 5 water-repellent shampoos during the protective install. The human hair strand is made up of 13% water and can experience extreme breakage and tangling when dehydrated. Most of the hair strand’s water intake comes from the body’s digestive system process, however, up to 31% of water can be absorbed through the cuticle.
The health of the hair cuticle should always be a top priority when wearing protective styles. Regular maintenance visits to your stylist will help elongate your braided install. Scheduling trims and dustings before getting braids will ensure that ends of the hair are smooth and strong during the braiding process. This will also help combat any “frizzing” that is caused by damaged and exposed ends when washing and drying braids. Sealing the cuticle after washing and conditioning is a very important step to ensuring the internal moisture of the hair shaft.
Gentle cleansers and moistures can help reduce the stripping of internal moisture that frequent washing can cause. So, grab your sulfate and paraben-free shampoo and conditioner to wash that scalp. Whether you are addicted to slaying your baby hair with edge control or spend hours in the gym your scalp needs to be cleaned just like the rest of your skin. No matter what your style of choice is healthy hair begins with a healthy routine and consistency.