How to Keep Hair Moisturized Under Braid and Twist Extensions

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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?

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40 thoughts on “How to Keep Hair Moisturized Under Braid and Twist Extensions

  1. 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.

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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

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  4. 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

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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 scalp and then down the braids once a week but I don’t feel like that is cutting it. Any suggestions?

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  7. 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 I use when my hair is out: JCBO, coconut oil, grape seed oil, olive oil, shea butter. I make sure that JCBO is the ingredient I have the most of in the mixture. Sometimes I leave out the grape seed oil. Anyways, I have a spray bottle of just water and I spray my hair underneath. Then I put the oil mixture into an applicator bottle, shake it up, and just follow the parts/braids underneath. I do that every night. I also don’t keep my protective style in for more than 6 weeks because my scalp will go nuts lol. So when I took down my crochet style, my hair was super soft! And I definitely could tell there was a bit of growth.

    If you’re worried about your extensions picking up the smell of your oils (or anything else for that matter), just grab a dryer sheet and wipe down your extensions. It’ll pick the smell right up, and you don’t have to worry about washing them if you don’t have the time, or finding yet another product to cover the smell.

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    • 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.

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  8. 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.

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