I’m undoing my braids

5 Oct

Operation undo braids has begun.  I began taking them out yesterday.  As a detangler I am using Jo’M Hair Softener.  I usually use Organic Root Stimulator Softening Hair and Scalp Lotion but I discovered I had run out.  The Jo’M Hair Softener is working just as well.  I am undoing my braids the same way I undo my daughter’s.  The process is:

  • I begin by washing my hair.  I always wash shortly before I undo the braids to get rid of any dirt, dust etc.  It’s also more pleasant to undo clean braids!
  • I cut off the ends to make it easier and to shorten the amount of time I will spend undoing the braids.  I’m careful not to cut my hair in the process.
  • I apply some detangler to the braids, concentrating on the base of the braid.  I do this to soften my hair as well as to soften the knot found at the base of the braid.  This results in less breakage.
  • I then undo the braid
  • I make sure to detangle the hair from each single braid before continuing to undo another braid.  This helps in that when I am finally done, I won’t have a head full off knots to deal with.  If I feel I need more hair softener, I just apply it to the hair while detangling.
  • The whole process takes me a few days because I dedicate just an hour or two to undoing the braids each day.  I find that if I sit down and undo the whole head in one sitting, I become tired and am no longer gentle.  I also find I start skimping on the detangling and this makes me lose hair to breakage unnecessarily.
  • After undoing a small section, I twist the hair in that section to prevent it tangling (as shown in the pic above).
  • I have a wide headband which I wear to cover up the fact that I am undoing my braids.  I tie the braids in a bun and wear the headband to cover my own hair.  With the popularity of turbans these days, I think they would make the perfect cover up.

I should be done with my whole head by Sunday.  I then plan to go for another 2 weeks before getting a fresh relaxer.

Related Article

How I undo my daughter’s braids





11 Responses to “I’m undoing my braids”

  1. millie 05 October, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    il be sure to TRY remove my braids the way you do,I usually get so impatient:( im sure it goes a long way in avoiding unnecessary breakage.

    • Tendayi 05 October, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      It does make a difference!

  2. Andiswa 05 October, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Hi Tendayi, thanks for this post. Will sure use it because I have my hair in braids most of the time and I always end up with knots and losing lots of hair, so much so that I’ve been tempted to say goodbye to braids for good. I also like the idea of taking the braids bit by bit because I know with me, by the time I’m done very later in the day, I’m irritated and tired! Not very nice

    • Tendayi 05 October, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Bit by bit works best for me. Just an houror 2 and then I stop and carry on tomorrow. It makes it much easier.

  3. Palesa 08 October, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Its 11:45 pm and ladies I am frustrated!!!! I’m exactly 4 weeks post relaxer…..and its bin a struggle and a litre!!! I SUFFER from breakage, not shedding but BREAKAGE

    Iv taken to taking care of my hair (it was rada damaged) maybe might explain my impatience but I mean?? Really??

    I condition every ada nyt, depending on how dry my hair is, I seal with coconut oil and for the past few days hav taken to bergamont essence, sleep with a silk pillow case and avoid direct sunlight….mara aisuka maan…kuyafiwa

    Iv broken (mind the pun) down my problem to a protein vs moisture balance….my hair is 999% hard keratin and breaks like cream crackers on new years eve!!! Moisturizer tips anyone?? I’m talking brand names, location and price…..please speak from experience……..#there floats yet anada cracked strand

    Oh and the whole 3 washes weekly…….lol wooo

    • Tendayi 09 October, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Are you sure its a moisture deficiancy Palesa? You might actually be needing some protein. What do you use to moisturise and to condition your hair?

    • Tendayi 09 October, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Also what do you use to wash?

  4. Bibi 14 October, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Hi Ladies ! Finally some south African hair care Amen Jehova ! I’m your typical urban belle who googles hair tips daily and often fall short in hair categories cause there’s no affiliate to AFRICAN natural hair just “African American” natural hair and as we know their not the same thing ! Their hairs more managable, less kinky , far shinnier and grows faster . But regardless I’ve recieved some good care tips , but I’d like to hear from you

    1. Castor Oil ?? Really ? I mean the repulsive smells is just the begining for me but is there a friendlier version than the stereotypical version of this laxative ?

    2. Cholesterol ?? My mother was an advant fan of the dark and lovely tub before she got her dreads . Is it a good product for conditions hair ? I just took out my braids after 3 months and I’m sitting here with my heAd full of knots , from African American research seems like my way forward before the wash is a detangler, a conditioner , a wide tooth comb and a shower … Hmmmm

    I’m not really sure if my super kinky , extre frizzy course African hair will agree . I’ve got a shower cap on hoping the humidity will loosen the knots but we have to wait to see . Any advise will be appriciated , thanks ladies

    • Tendayi 15 October, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      Hi Bibi!!

      Castor oil is the truth! The smell is not that bad really! Just use plain castor oil, that has no added colour or flavour. The castor oil made to use as a laxative sometimes has added stuff to make it easier to swallow.

      As for knots after removing braids – my advise would be that next time keep your braids for a max of 8 weeks. Around 12 weeks the knots become close to unbearable. The longer you keep braids on the worse the knots are when you take them out.

      When you remove braids, make sure you remove all knots and thoroughly detangle your hair before washing it. If you put water on knots they become almost impossible to detangle!

  5. Titi 11 November, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Hi Tendayi,

    I’ve gone through the site trying to find a post covering how you wash your hair immeditately after taking them down. Sorry if I’ve missed it, but please can you give a quick run down.


    • Tendayi 11 November, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      I don’t have a post detailing specifically that. Once I take off the braids and the hair is detangled thoroughly then I wash the hair the same as every other time when I do not have braids. If I have a lot of new growth I may section the hair into 4 sections and braid each section up. This enables me to wash one section at a time to minimise tangles. It allows me to concentrate on a small section rather than the whole head at once.

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