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Cornrows(Tips, Warnings, and Things You'll Need)

TIPS
  • People with straighter or slicker hair may need to use what is called "aqua wax" or a protein hair gel to help the style last, and to preclude the need for extra tension during styling.
  • If you do not wish to wet the hair first, you may consider at least using a hair cream or hair mask or leave in conditioner. (However if you wet fragile hair it could cause breakage because hair shrinks as it dries.) Some people don't like to wet the hair, and this is fine. However, if you don't, you will need to be extra mindful of tension. Use a featherlight touch.
  • Precise braiding, not pulling hard from the scalp, is what makes a long lasting style. Pulling too hard from the scalp does nothing to help a style to last. It only leads to pain and hair loss.
  • Hair can be washed with cornrows in. Simply wear a stocking cap over it, and use a shower massager or water pick to force water underneath the braids. Use a diluted shampoo and water mixture to wash, clear water to rinse, and spritz the hair with a leave in conditioner or hair oil afterwards.
  • If you tuck the hair under, you are making an "invisible" track braid, and if you reach for hair from beneath outwards, you are making a "visible" track braid.
  • People with fine or sleek, straight hair may want to use some sort of braid spray to help make the hair "stickier" so that the braid does not fall out as it's being put in the slicker, fine hair.
  • Narrow braids stay in longer than larger ones.


WARNINGS

  • This style should not hurt. If you can see the scalp is raised, or the person is complaining that it's painful, back it up and start over. Too much braid tension can cause traction alopecia (a specific type of hair loss), and it might be permanent. It can also lead to infections and irritations.
  • To keep braids in place, use a moisturizing flexible hair gel or aqua wax during styling.
  • Wear a scarf or durag while sleeping, and braids will stay for up to one week. After that they'll probably need to be redone, depending on how thick the rows are.
  • For curlier or "nappy" hair, braids can last for up to a month.


THINGS YOU'LL NEED

  • A rat tailed comb. These can be found at many beauty supply stores, but if you can't find one, the end of a tint brush may suffice.
  • Coated rubber bands for hair.
  • Plenty of time.
  • Be careful in the sun. It is very easy to get a sunburn on your scalp, because the rows will expose the skin. Rub in sunscreen or wear a hat.
  • You may need hair grease and/or aqua wax.
    • For straight hair you may need to use a hair wax that is based on distilled water, not oil. It looks sort of like a firm gel. Aquarius Wax and Ice Wax are good ones. Butch Wax may do the job, but it is a little oily.
    • Very tightly curly hair should be treated with a moisturizer that does not break down too soon. This excludes most hair creams. The best thing to use is a hair food or hair grease, or a natural oil mixture.
  • Spray bottle to dampen if hair gets too dry.
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