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No More Wet Braidouts! 6 Tips for Getting Braidouts to Dry In Time

Avatar • Jan 1, 2014


By Tia of Angel’s Ringlets

Late night workouts. The 9:00pm co-wash. After hours skinny dip (I have yet to try–but it’s still on my list). Whatever the reason is, at some point, we’ve all had to deal with a damp/wet braidout in the morning. For me, I leave the gym at 9:30pm sometimes (why is this the only time out of the day that I can squeeze in time to take care of myself)?

So I jump in the shower by 10–10:15pm, and co-wash or just rinse my hair with water. Detangle as needed.

Steps that I take in order to avoid having a wet or damp braidout in the morning:

  • Before I begin braiding, I leave my “naked hair” (no product whatsoever) open to air dry. Air drying will happen quicker if there isn’t any product on the hair to seal the water in. That’s why methods such as the LOC (Water or Water Based Leave-in, Oil, Creamy Conditioner or Butter–method of product application) work so effectively. They truly keep the hair moist. Well, that’s not what we’re trying to do at this point. We are trying to reach from point “A” (Wet Hair), to Point “B” (Dry Braidout in the Morning). For those of you who are not wanting to air dry your hair loose, section off approximately 5 or 6 portions of hair and loosely band the roots and maybe the ends. This will slow down the air dry portion of this process, but in time you will come to trust that coily hair will NOT KNOT up while drying loose.
  • I like to air dry while I’m getting dressed for bed. I don’t really have too much time to air dry, so I’d say that I probably air dry for about 10 minutes. Next up, I start with a section of hair and take a soft t‑shirt and blot my hair from roots to ends. Holding the t shirt on the more “wet” portions of hair for about a minute. This will sop up excess water that didn’t air dry.
  • So now I have “naked”, damp hair. No dripping at this point. All of the excess water should be gone. It is important to do small sized braids (but since it’s late, we don’t have time for all of that). I usually make sure to do approximately 9 plaits. If I do big, chunky plaits, then the hair will probably not dry overnight. The smaller the plaits, the quicker they will dry overnight.
  • I use MINIMAL products when I plait my hair for a braidout late at night. The more products used, the less likely the hair will get to dry overnight. Thicker products tend to seal in moisture. Again, that’s not what we’re going for. We need this to dry in the morning. I usually rely on the water to set my hair, and I may add a mid-light oil (like olive oil) to my hair after it was air dried and t‑shirt dried. THAT’S IT. No butters, or anything thick–or the hair will not dry overnight.
  • Once my hair has been plait, I keep the plaits open and loose. No bonnets, no scarves. If I want to lay down my edges with a scarf, I tie the scarf only on the edges. I do not pin up my plaits. I don’t tie them back either. If I pull the plaits together, then the hair will not dry overnight. They will keep each other wet if they’re bunched together.
  • In the morning, if I feel a bit of dampness (which may or may not happen due to the weather being chilly), I will take out my blow dryer, and blow dry (on medium setting) from the root of the plait down to the mid shaft. The root is mostly where the dampness is found (if any). Doing this to 9 plaits takes me about 5–10 minutes.
  •  Once I take down  the braidout, I assess if any additional blow drying is needed. The  video below shows exactly how I (sometimes) add the finishing touches to my resulting braidout. This process ensures a frizz resistant braidout  that will do minimal “rising”. This braidout will keep definition and  will hang lower than a braidout that did not have an opportunity to dry fully.


  • HOW DO YOU GET YOUR LATE NIGHT PLAITS TO DRY FOR A MORNING BRAIDOUT?

    Please Note: A major factor in the drying process is the hair’s POROSITY. Low porosity hair usually has a problem drying in a timely manner. Moisture is difficult to impart into the hair shaft, and once it is–it takes a long time to dry. High porosity dries up really quick–a different kind of problem. Adjust your hair routine and products based on your hair’s needs.

    Tia writes for Angel’s Ringlets, a natural hair blog that experiments with 3 different curl patterns, and shares findings. The ultimate goal is mastering any hair-type and eliminating the guess work.

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    momofIV
    momofIV
    6 years ago

    I have found a blow dryer that has a cold setting (not referring to cold shot)and I’m able to dry my hair with it. I love it. I dry my hair with NO HEAT. This awesome blowdryer is called Babyliss Portofino Pro 6600. It has 6 settings including no heat (aka “cold”) which is perfect for my natural hair. I’ve been looking forever for a blowdryer that can blow natural hair without heat and this is the one for me. My hair is soft and shiny and controlled…awesome product. Here is a link for their product: http://www.babylissus.com/product.php?pcID=206_153&product_id=132 They sell it… Read more »

    Tabatha
    Tabatha
    6 years ago

    I have to use cool setting on my blow dryer. Air drying does not go well with my hair. It is coily, but it still knots up. But I am trying to get a decent braid or twist out.

    ManeOriginsHair
    6 years ago

    The babyliss dryer looks like a good one. I wonder if it would even better with a diffuser attachment ? That would be a good healthier non damaging way to dry hair without harsh heat, especially for those where air drying doesn’t work or it takes too long.

    momofIV
    momofIV
    6 years ago

    You are right…I forgot to mention it comes with an awesome diffuser and 3 different sized concentrators

    PMS
    PMS
    6 years ago

    So glad I have fine low density hair when it comes to dry time. My hair can dry overnight if I wash at 10pm and be up and gone out the door at 6am. Now the trade off is low volumne hair. I don’t see no one be moaning thick hair lol.

    Ugonna Wosu
    Ugonna Wosu
    6 years ago

    I would do it on a non wash day, and make sure I don’t moisturize and seal or put gel or anything beforehand. Or, I’d braid my hair immediately after washing and conditioning with NO leave ins beforehand.

    trackback

    […]  Once I take down  the braidout, I assess if any additional blow drying is needed. The  video below shows exactly how I (sometimes) add the finishing touches to my resulting braidout. This process ensures a frizz resistant braidout  that will do minimal “rising”. This braidout will keep definition and  will hang lower than a braidout that did not have an opportunity to dry  fully. No More Wet Braidouts! 6 Tips for Getting Your Braidout to Dry In Time | Black Girl with Long Hair. […]

    alex
    6 years ago

    Wet braidouts is really a common problem by some women. It can cause discomfort and bad hair day. Your drying tips will be very helpful for them. I agree that the thicker products are used in hair the harder that the hair will dry that soon.

    lahblooplah
    lahblooplah
    6 years ago

    LOL if i let my hair air dry I will have ridic shrinkage. I mean I’ll look like I did the big chop a few months ago. The knotting is no joke. This article is nice tho. I wish this would apply to me. However it takes my hair 2 days to be fully dry (in braids) so I have days in the week where my hair is just under wraps.

    lahblooplah
    lahblooplah
    6 years ago

    NVM i just read the banding thing. Hmm.. might try it out

    rachel
    rachel
    6 years ago

    I just sit in front of a fan dries in about 1- 2 hours ..then i’m out…lol

    claudene
    6 years ago

    I love this post. Thank you for sharing

    Deepak
    6 years ago
    Reply to  claudene

    I must show appreciation to this wretir for rescuing me from such a matter. Just after checking through the world wide web and seeing views which were not pleasant, I believed my entire life was done. Being alive minus the solutions to the problems you have solved by means of this blog post is a crucial case, and ones that might have badly affected my career if I had not come across your blog post. Your own talents and kindness in maneuvering all areas was important. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a… Read more »

    shanners
    shanners
    6 years ago

    I can’t seem to find the video o.O

    SuzyQ
    SuzyQ
    6 years ago

    Do you experience dry hair (esp) in the winter when you use this method? If you do not add any products oil, butters seems like the braid out would be dry? Or do you add oils after you take the braids out? Doe it absorb?

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