When you spend the money to get block braids, you want to keep them looking fresh as long as possible. Maintaining your braids not only keeps them fresh, but it also keeps your hair and your scalp healthy so you have a variety of options for the next time you get your hair done. Block braids can help to keep your hair looking stylish while you grow it out, but don't forget that your hair still needs some attention while you have this convenient hairstyle.
Apply a light all-natural oil to your scalp two to three times per week. The oil conditions your braids and makes them softer, and it also adds a nice sheen to your hair. In addition, the oil keeps your scalp from getting itchy and dry. When your scalp is uncomfortable, you scratch your head, which loosens your braids. All-natural oils include jojoba, avocado, olive and other plant oils.
Squirt conditioning braid spray on your braids every day. Hold the bottle 6 to 8 inches from your head and spray all over. Like oil for your scalp, conditioning braid spray adds moisture to your hair, but it's light enough to use every day. If your braids get frizzy quickly, use the spray before bed and when you get up in the morning.
Wear a silk or satin scarf over your braids when you go to bed. As you roll back and forth on your pillow at night, your braids can become disheveled on cotton and polyester pillow cases. The silk or satin scarf prevents frizziness and keeps your braids looking smooth and fresh. In addition, put a silk or satin pillow case on your pillow in case the scarf falls off while you're sleeping.
Dilute your shampoo to avoid soapy buildup when you wash your hair. You should wash your braids once a week or once every other week. After you shampoo, spray a leave-in conditioner on your hair, but don't try to use a creamy conditioner. Creamy conditioners don't rinse out well, and your braids may start to feel waxy from the buildup.
Get your braids redone every 6 to 8 weeks. If you're very careful with your braids you may get them to last 12 weeks, but it's difficult to keep them looking fresh for so long. Also, leaving your braids in for an extended period of time can weaken your hair and cause breakage and even thinning. While your braids are out, trim the ends of your hair to keep them looking fresh for your next set of block braids.
Don't let your braider braid too tightly. Tight braids don't last longer, but they do pull on your hair and cause hair thinning.