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The lovely Solange Knowles

Reader’s Question:
I have twist extensions… How do I keep my hair moisturised?

My Answer:

In my opinion, the best way to moisturize twists (or any other braid) extensions is to use a water-based spritz followed by sealing with an oil.  This method allows for sufficient moisture without contributing to meshing, loc-ing, or severe product buildup.  Heavier products, especially thick butters, can build up near the roots and facilitate meshing or loc-ing, especially in kinkier strands.  If you REALLY want to use them, though, I suggest staying as far away from your roots as possible and only using the butter once or twice between washes.

That being said, what are some good spritzes and oils to use?  Well, let us start with the oils.  Light and somewhat odorless oils, such as grapeseed and jojoba, are my top suggestions.  Coconut oil may be used, but beware that your extensions will smell of the oil (and that may or may not be okay, depending on how you feel).  Olive oil is less odorous but heavy.

Now for the spritzes:  A water-based one is a good start.  A water- and glycerin-based one may be even better, depending on what your hair likes.  I list a few spritz recipes in this post.  If you would rather buy one, I suggest looking for those geared towards braids (e.g., African Pride).

Finally, the moisturizing regimen while wearing twist extensions: Spritz anywhere from daily to weekly, depending on what your hair requires.  I would not suggest going beyond a week (particularly in the later stages of the wear) because the extensions themselves may be drying.  This is especially possible if you used synthetic hair for braiding.  As for sealing, that can occur anywhere from every few days to weekly.  Sealing daily can attract dirt to the hair quicker than usual thus leading to increased frequency in washing.

Ladies, how do you keep your hair moisturized while rocking extensions?

Chinwe

Healthy hair care tips and more!
http://www.healthyhairbody.com

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48 Comments on "How to Keep Hair Moisturized Under Braid and Twist Extensions"

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Johanna

I braid my own hair and actually do Senegalese twists because box braids break my hair no matter what (I have high density fine 4a4b hair). I usually just rinse my hair out everyday, and cowash every 3-4 days WITH the extensions in lol. I wear them in a bun to work, so I’m not concerned about how it looks when down. If I want to wear my braids down then, a spritz bottle is good, but my scalp gets angry quickly if it goes too long without a wash.

Afro Poodle Ramen Noodle
Afro Poodle Ramen Noodle

I have mine up in cornrows now and I feel like theyre the best for my hair.Individuals are too harsh on my hair because of the lint afterwards even if I do put a scarf on it every night.

Robin Jones
It’s been about 2 years now of transitioning from the perm to all natural hair. During the process I’ve worn braids in different types. My natural hair is very tightly coiled so I guess I’m 4c. This is so hard for me because my hair is very soft, but in the morning my hair is beautiful and at the end of the day it looks rough! I two strand twist my hair at night, use Carol’s daughter hair balm and Cantu leave in conditioner. My cabinet is full of products that my hair does not like! When I stretch my… Read more »
Le Whinny de Grace
This is so me. I love natural hair- but this struggle is too real. Shrinkage and my 4c natural hair are besties, if i must say. I can’t wear my hair natural for 12hours without having to stare in a mirror and gape at the horror that has become my hair. I thread everynight to atleast stretch my hair out a bit… Its hopeless. I’m still reading around to find a treatment that would get me a day without shrinkage, just a day. The crazy part is I’m reducing my heat use but look, I don’t think I can go… Read more »
Dominique

I’m two months post relaxer and have had individual twists in for about a month. I do loc method every 1-2 days. ( water or Shea moisture yucca and baobab thinking growth milk, coconut oil and jbco mixture or eden bodyworks peppermint temple balm, then as I am double butter) then once a week I co wash and deep condition.

Cici

I am also a braid wearer !! Right now i have in Marley twists. I just installed them yesterday. I am hoping to keep them 2 months. All of May And june tambien. I will refresh them every three weeks. Meantime in between time whenever i have braids i use Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Leave In Conditioner, and to seal, Softee Coconut Oil . Two things daily no hassle . At night scarf it up sometimes i spritz with water before going to bed . For the most part no itching even in the hot sun

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[…] on moisturizing your hair in box braids: How to Keep Hair Moisturized Under Braid and Twist Extensions by Black Girl Long Hair Protective Style Basics: Keeping Your Hair Moisturized by Roots Don’t […]

Hannie

I’m a braid wearer! 🙂
– Satin red scarf each night
– Deep condition & wash together each week
– Put ginseng oil and Kuza indian hemp pomade every day.

Tali

does the pomade-use make your hair or scalp greasy at all? or cause faster buildup?

Jlo1972

I spray my cornrows with S Curl moisturizing activator. It works wonders.

K10
First of all, I have to say that my hair prefers crochet braid twists rather than individual twists/braids (like Solange above). Even though with them being individual you can get to your scalp a bit easier, I prefer crochet because you don’t have to worry about product buildup as much. Also, when you massage your scalp with your oils, unraveling is more likely to happen with individuals. And of course it’s less pull on your hair if you do crochet. I hope that made sense. So, honestly all I do when I have crochet twists is really the same mixture… Read more »
K10

I forgot to mention that I also mix a water-based conditioner in the JCBO mix. And then a sock-bonnet to tie it down at night.

Mimi
I am fairly new to the curly hair world. My beautiful Ethiopian daughter came home almost three years ago now. Yet, I cannot seem to find a good system for keeping her braids moisturized. She loves wearing them in braids or twists (especially if I add yarn extensions) but she gets so much buildup at the roots where I started the braids that it is difficult to get out. I used to spray them down daily, but it would get super frizzy. Then I was told NOT to get them wet for that reason and just apply oil to her… Read more »
Krystal

I just wanted to comment that I just discovered that the KimmayTube Leave-in works great as a braid moisturizer and sealant. Before I was using a water-based spritz with glycerin followed by an oil, which works ok. But, the Kimmaytube leave-in is one step and keeps my hair moisturized for much longer than the water-based spritz I was using. Just be sure to use a light water-based leave-in like Kinky Curly Knot Today.

Also, I like using my Q-redew for quick steam treatments, which means I don’t have to get my hair wet.

Amadou

That’s great been nat for 1yr6 months its great I uae a special blend of oil by@ sires natural blend for my fam made out of olive oil n I use tres semme moisture plus really like it.i think shea butter is a bit heavy so maybe dnt put much every day as it will lock your pours.also if your mixture is absorbed quickly n hair still dryit mean u need oil more often until your hair is satisfied it regulates

Yvonne

I put olive oil and water (2 parts oil to one part water) in a spray bottle and I spray it on daily. This has been most effective | shake before using|. Additionally, if I see buildup around my roots I spritz with water and Apple cider vinegar (1 part vinegar to two parts water). These tips keeps braids/locks protected and moisturized

Jade

I recently had my hair braided and am transitioning, 10 months now. To keep my hair moisturized lightly I use Carol’s Daughter scalp and hair oil along with the hair sheen to keep my braids shiny and healthy looking while preventing product buildup. My scalp dries out quickly especially with the heat outside, so nightly I like to massage in the scalp oil to prevent flakes and hair loss at the roots.

Key

I installed marley twist about 2 weeks ago and I use water, shea moisture leave in conditioner, & tea tree oil to keep my hair moisturized. I was wondering is this a good mix for my type of hair? (4b, ends still permed) Also my hair tends to soak up oil, like it never seems to stay moisturized. SN: decided i would go natural. havent had a perm in 4 months.

Jaz

I have in chunky kinky twists that r very similar to havana twists. I love em. I moisturize daily with my own mix of cantu shea butter leave in conditioner, jojoba & coconut oil and h2O in a spray bottle. It works great for my hair and maybe once a week ill oil my hair with just the jojoba or coconut oil alone. Works for me!

Ang

how often should i use a blow dryer for a type 4b/4c hair after deep conditioning and also what is the correct way to use ACV to remove dandruff?

Jennifer

Also, for your dandruff (sorry I just saw that part). Ginger oil is very good, (better) although it is strong; it is a non irritating oil. However, it shouldn’t be used in high concentrations. It’s very good for dandruff. What you do is, apply Ginger oil in moderation on your scalp and massage well. Leave it overnight. In the morning, you wash with tepid water.

Jennifer

Ang, I’m 4c. I just stumpled on this post so you might not necessarily need this reply.
You can use a blow dryer on your hair, but not too often, because as we all know; too much heat damages all hair types. However, when you want to use a blow dryer (try not to use it too often, please), after washing your hair and before drying it; apply a generous amount of unrefined Shea butter. After than you can blowdry.

Tameka

My comment sounds super simple compared to everyone else. I just spray Carols Daughter BLACK VANILLA or TUI (MOISTURIZING) leave-in conditioner. When I wear my hair in Twist-Style Individuals with synthetic hair. I have a couple of pics on Instagram. Just look up Meekhills.

Lori
I use a mix of water, oil (almond or olive) and aloe vera gel. Last time I used 1 part oil, one part aloe vera and 5 parts water. I put it in a spray bottle and spray my roots and edges every day. I also clean my scalp with dilute ACV on a cotton ball once a week or whenever it starts itching. For the 1st time in years, I never get dandruff anymore. My hair is also growing very fast latey. After cleansing my scalp, I’ve been using warm shea butter/coconut oil on my scalp. My hair loves… Read more »
Bria-Symone

I use a Rosewater and glycerin water spray I bought at Whole Foods then I use coconut oil every other day at night. If you live in a cold climate do NOT put pure coconut oil on before you leave the house because it will solidify and be white chunks in your hair.

Diedre
Using Glycerine on braids extensions can be a little tricky. Even without braids, using glycerine more than once a week can leave quite a bit of build-up on hair and attract dust (especially in hot climates). There would have to be very little glycerine added to the water-based mix. I have been using only water and a light oil (like coconut oil) to moisturise my braids and now that I am actually in the process of removing my braids after 6 weeks, my hair is incredibly moisturised and strong. Maybe it is because the oil is great at helping hair… Read more »
andrea

Great Post I’m glad to see that I have been doing the right things with extensions/kinky twists

JLL

I’ve used Taliah Waajid’s Protective Mist Bodifier for years. It’s cheap, it doesn’t build up, and the smell doesn’t “turn,” if you know what I mean (If you used African Pride, you definitely know LOL)

Julia

Normally I use almond oil. I heard that it was incredibly good for hair health and it seems to be working well. I do think sometimes it depends on the person though, because friend’s recommendations don’t always come through.

kayon

When i were braids my hair scrach me so bad i want to buy top brass for the dandruff, but what to buy to keep it soft and shining?
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K10
Someone else may be able to inform you on a better product, but I use ORS braid/oil sheen to keep them soft/shiny. No need to use it everyday, and be careful with it, it can be extremely oily! Sometimes if I don’t want to be bothered with that, I just mix my oils together that I use to moisturize my scalp (JCBO, coconut oil, tea tree oil, olive oil, etc.) and just rub it on the twists/braids. Also, if the hair you’re using is a bit coarse, you may want to soak it in apple cider vinegar first, to get… Read more »
Juju

I use Oyin Frank Juice when wearing my kinky twists and found that to do wonders. When I took my twists down my hair was incredibly moisturizered and I didn’t even seal! I would spray some oil sheen mix for shine purposes but that’s it.

Toni
I am transitioning and I am wearing my third set of Senegalese twists. So far I have managed to not suffer any major damage to my hair by incorporating the following: leaving my hair uncovered while showering, spritzing with Pantene detangling spray about 3-4 times per week, sealing with either sweet almond, olive, or Eden Body Works peppermint jojoba oil mix, and wrapping my hair in satin scarf at bedtime. The pantene spray has castor oil in it. I’m not sure if the creamy products attributed to matting for me, but they definitely caused icky buildup which is why I… Read more »
jennifer

Pantene detangling spray??? This is very interesting. Does it help with keeping your hair from locking up?

Rochelle

Thanks for this post bglh! I just got yarn braids so this is right on time! 🙂 I just mix water and grapeseed oil together in a bottle, shake it up, and then spritz.. My only concern is my scalp, because I get dandruff pretty bad. It also starts to itch, so I know I need tea tree oil, but any suggestions for the dandruff?

kena

Grapeseed oil is actually great for the scalp if massaged in the scalp it works wonders for dandruff

Toni

It helps me when I use diluted apple cider vinegar on my scalp before I shampoo. Not only does it help with flaky scalp, but it also helps with product buildup that can attribute to itchy scalp and odor. I just spray it on and massage it as if I am shampooing my hair then let it sit for about ten minutes. Then I shampoo normally.

Rochelle

Thank you! I will try this Wednesday!

Mya
Awesome post! And perfect timing. I am currently wearing kinky twists and I moisturize every few days with the Infusium 23 Pro-vitamin Leave-in Hair Treatment Moisturizing Formula. It has glycerin and amino acids, leaving my hair soft with a protein boost for strength. I don’t seal with oil because I have acne-prone skin. I’m in the middle of researching oils and butters that won’t break me out. My kinky hair loves Shea butter, but my skin HATES it. I also get bad reactions from coconut oil. No more Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Cantu Leave- in for me 🙁… Read more »
CrimsonDiva

I agree with Mya. My HAIR and scalp love certain products, but my skin, on the other hand, has a FIT. Case in point: pure extra virgin olive oil. I only use it on my scalp when I notice it’s irritated or dry, but if just a DROP falls onto my face, it’s a done deal. My face becomes extremely irritated and dry. Unfortunately, pure coconut does the same thing. So an article, or two, on this would be very helpful.

DiJah

Never rocked extensions before but I’m planning on getting some Patra/Janet Jackson ‘Poetic Justice’ braids this winter.
My hair gets greasy easily so I was thinking some aloe vera juice/ water mix at night OR the Shea Moisture curl & shine mist.

kxlot79

If your hair gets greasy easily you might want to try just plain water spritzes out first, to see if that’s enough. If your hair gets greasy easily, it can be more time consuming properly cleaning it on wash day when you add other products to it while in extensions, particularly because greasy hair attracts lint and debris. That plus extensions could be a major aggravation for you and I wouldn’t want a negative first time experience with extensions to deter you from experimenting more with them. Hope that helps! 🙂

dee

GOOD ADVICE I PUT ALOE VERA JUICE IN MY SPRITZ AND FOR EXTRA MOISTER I SEAT UNDER HAIR STEAMER. NO OILS FOR ME MY BRAIDS ARE WAY TO LONG AND THICK TO BE TRYING THAT

sherelle

I use aromatherapy oil like castor oil,lavender oil,castor oil and tea tree oil on my hair when I have cane row extensions in it makes hair smells good ,loosen tightness and stops itching

Tati
I wear havana twists in the winter as my protective style. After experimenting with a few spritz recipes and regimens, I’ve found my ideal regimen. Every night before bed, I lightly spritz my hair with plain water, focusing on the roots. I let it dry till its only slightly damp, and then spray on my mix of water, glycerin, jojoba oil, olive oil, and several drops of rosemary E.O. I add 3-4 drops of tea tree oil to the mix a few days before my wash day, to alleviate any itching. I focus spraying this onto my scalp. After it’s… Read more »
curlyrobby

i currently have in havana twists. when you took em up, did your seem as if locked ?

Tabatha
There are so many braid sprays out there that I never know what to get.They all claim the same thing. This was intresting. When I wa sin High School I used African Pride braid spray and it was not good for my hair, it dried my hair out really quick, so my cousin made me a mixture of Some oil I can’t remember what kind and a little water and a leave in conditioner and that worked a little better for me. But I never used oil to seal, so that is new for me. I have to keep it… Read more »
Doris

For my part I only use oils: castor oil, jasmine oil and almond oil. Uusally not at the same time. I used castor oil for the edges (cause my hairline is dry), almond oil to keep my hair healthy and moisturize. Jasmine oil scent is wonderful therefore I use it only one a week to avoir build up!
What do you think?
I don’t use spritzes!!

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