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G status: When you can go to an African braid shop… and have them braid your OWN hair.

Avatar • Feb 11, 2010

This is a re-post from the awesome blog Naturally Leslie.
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Have you ever gotten so fed up with your hair that you need to do something you’ve never done before? Well, I did! This past Saturday I woke up and decided that I needed a change. I had been thinking about a good protective style that could also be versatile and cute. While I love my two-strand twists, I get bored easily and they are not wash- friendly. I also felt like I had been doing too much to my hair too often- too much combing, twisting, blow drying, etc.

I have seen many fotki and YouTube vids showcasing naturals with lovely sets of box braids. Big ones, skinny ones, long ones, and short ones. The women wearing these styles say that it can take anywhere from 4 hours to 2 days to complete a set! I was a little hesitant to spend that kind of time and then not be happy with the result. So on Saturday, I got up and lightly blew my hair out, sectioned and braided about six large braids and made my way to the nearest African World of Braids shop. The last time I had my hair done at a braid shop, it was in Greensboro to get my lovely twists. I had hair added that time around. This time, I decided I wanted to try box braids on my own hair, without the added extensions.

I got to the shop and explained to the lady what I wanted to do. She sat me down and began undoing my braids, one at a time. I purposely blew my hair out and brushed it well so there would be no snags. All the experiences I’ve had at braid shops in the past included them ripping through my hair with a fine toothed comb! So I tried to prevent too much of that kind of damage on the front end.

She worked for four hours straight, braiding away like a champ. By the time 2 p.m. rolled around, I walked out with a head full of mini braids. The whole time, all the ladies in the shop were speaking in French and some of what sounded like an African language. I never asked where they were from but it was cool to hear the languages being tossed back and forth across the shop.

So here are the pics of what my hair looks like. I have been playing around with it and I can wear ponytails, pin-ups, and more. I am hoping to keep these in for at least 5 weeks…we’ll see. This morning I co-washed them with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration and when I got out of the shower I took a small amount of the HEHH and raked it through my braids. After that I raked through some Fantasia IC aloe gel. I melted a small amount of coconut oil in my hands and applied it to my scalp. Take a look at the results:

This was from the first day before I wet them. It is nice to see my length without having straightened my hair.

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These next pics are after I co-washed this morning. It was so nice to wash and go without tangles, snarles, 30 minutes detangling sessions, etc. You know.

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The right side of my braids. She made them so tight and neat.

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Side view

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My curly curly ends! The ends did not look like this until I showered this morning. Until then, the braids were slightly stiffer and the ends were fluffy. Now the braids are not as tight at the scalp, they have more movement, and the ends coiled right up.

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Back View

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For more of Leslie check out her blog HERE.

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simplicidee
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simplicidee

Aight G! i see you! LoL. These were a nice set! And your hair is so long!

Braids are so very versatile!! I was getting a bit bored with mine. I thought they were scruffy looking and just blahhh. Soo, slapped in some curlers before I went to sleep. Woke up and pinned up the front, and BOOM! i loveded it! LoL. I might change the braids to twists just to change up, but the braids’ll return, medium sized for now. Thanks for sharing!

Didi
Guest

nice braids!

Gem
Guest

I love this idea. Going to keep up with her and her progress with them.

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

Love is!!! You’re hair looks great!!! I have a question, a lot of times when they add in the fake hair, they braid it really tight; was it any different when they braid you’re actual hair??

vonnie
Guest

very nice, hair is long!

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Steph
Guest

Cool! I like the curly ends, too. Can’t wait till my hair gets that long again so I can try a style like that!

andrea
Guest
andrea

This is the goal I’m currently working on, beautiful head of hair!

la coccinelle
Guest

I use to get my own hair braided all the time when I was a little girl in Senegal. This was the way a couple of my friends wore their own hair as well.

wannabewriter
Guest

hmmmm.…great idea…nice braids too!

shayna
Guest
shayna

Loveeee her hair, and the braids look GREAT. Can’t wait until my braids get that long 🙂

Amma Mama
Guest
Amma Mama

OOOOOoooooo I LIKE!!!!

Lynn
Guest

This post title had me immediately grinning from ear to ear. What a grand day that will be for me — hopefully within the year! :o)

My best, Lynn
*finally got my natural blog up and running…stop on in..

Msnappy
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Msnappy

Looks good but keep those ends protected!!

Brit
Guest
Brit

love it! two snaps and a twist!

Naturally Leslie
Guest

Thanks to everyone for the supportive comments! To answer one question, it WAS a little tight when they first did them. But after about 2 days I was fine. When I washed them the first time, they loosened up significantly so it was much better. Thanks again for the love and encouragement everybody and good luck on all of your personal hair journeys!

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

I lurve lurve LOVE your blog. This one (BGLH)and yours are the only blogs I pass on to my natural friends. I know there are more out there, but I find your tutorials SO easy to follow. I even plugged you on my interview on this blog : ) BGLH is awesome for the tutorials! I must say — for being natural for over 10 years, I did not know what I was doing until I came across these two blogs. You two ladies are making an amazing difference in African American lives! I have passed these blogs onto my… Read more »

Thania
Guest
Thania

I’ve been to the African’s Hair Braiding Salon sometime before i decided to go natural. My hair was past shoulder length and they actually told me they don’t braid hair with weaves in! lol! funny… i told them i wasn’t wearing a weave — is it really inconceivable for some to believe a black woman without mixed race heritage, can have strong, thick, long hair?!?

R
Guest
R

When my hair was shorter, I went to my local African salon, I was so excited to get my own hair braided. Long story short, she told me it wouldn’ look right and talked me into adding the extensions. I took thoses tight suckers out the next morning. Sometimes its just not worth it!

Exit105NJ
Guest
Exit105NJ

This is so good to see, i showed my eight year old daughter and she just loved it, i have been all natural for the past 10 yearsd and its not a problem for me because my hair is not hard to deal with, my daughters hair is a bit more of a challenge to do and she see’s all her little friends with perms and extentions and she wants that too, i keep telling her first of all your way to young for that mess, and second of all there is nothing wrong with natural hair, i tell her… Read more »

naturalmelisa
Guest
naturalmelisa

Hi ! Your hair is so pretty! I was so happy to put two strand twists in my own hair last week-and luv it. Now, I have a NEW goal-Oct 24th 2012(4 yrs natural)- I want to be able to go have someone braid my hair like that!!! You have inspired me!

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

cute!

seo
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