“During one of our BHS Street interviews we met a woman who shared a horror story with us. On one occasion she had gotten braids and left them in for 3 years. 3 YEARS. When she removed the braids her hair came with it. She was left with bald spots all over her head. Now, I'm hoping none of you would make this devastating mistake. But sometime we get lazy and decide - hey four months in the same protective style can't be that bad right? WRONG.” Says Reakash. Protective styling is meant to be short-term temporary. We recommend protective styling for a month at a time - 2 months maximum. Any longer than that and your new growth will stretch and damage; this completely negates the point of protective styling. Protective styling is to give your fragile ends a break and focus on attaining new growth. According to Tanya Pebbles, 12 weeks is the absolute longest time your hair should be in breads. "If you take care of [your braids], keeping up with moisture and scalp cleansing, you can keep your hair in for 12 weeks. Any longer and the hair starts to dread and break." Remember to subscribe, hit the LIKE button and Keep watching this video to the end as that is where it even reveals more secrets on how to maintain braids with natural hair. Whether you fashion your own hair into individual braids or you opt for synthetic extensions in order to get longer wear from the hairstyle, taking care of your braids not only keeps them looking great, it's also necessary for maintaining the health of your tresses. These maintenance tips are designed to make sure your braids look fabulous for as long as you wear them while also maintaining your own healthy locks! “When picking a braiding salon or stylist it’s important to assess their professional experience,” explains Aminata Diagne N’Diaye, Owner of Aminata Africa Hair Braiding. “This way you can really gauge their level of expertise and choose who’s right for the particular hairstyle you are looking to get. The proof is always in the pudding. Always ask yourself: Is this person a skilled braider? A great weaver or talented hair cutter? With hair styling, practice makes perfect so make sure you check out some of their work and or client testimonies before sitting in the chair. As a client, always ask which stylist the salon owner or receptionist would recommend—they tend to secretly know every stylist’s strengths and weaknesses.” Picture this: You wake up, get out of bed, and head to the kitchen to make yourself some breakfast. On your way to the fridge you glance out the window and…snow. You roll your eyes in slight annoyance. Time to protective style. Whether you are protecting your hair from the ever-changing Cape Town climate, tired of your twist-outs, frustrated with transitioning, or if you just want to change it up – protective styling is a great way to protect your hair and make it lower maintenance. The BIGGEST mistake women make when protective styling is braiding their hair up and ignoring it for two months. If your hair is in braids make sure you follow these 9 essential maintenance secrets. You’ll thank me when you unravel your braids and your hair is healthy, strong, and long. Braids are a great protective style and can last up to two months if taken care properly, but what about the damage to your natural hair? Thembeka Mgobhozi, stylist and owner of Sphalaphala salon in Durban also shares 5 ways to make sure your natural hair is taken care of while with braids. Let’s be honest. Braids take a lot of time and cost a good bit of money. There are several reasons you may choose to get braids for yourself or your daughter, and we know most of them. So, to make sure that your investment goes a long way we have some steps for you to take. Who wants to spend money or time making their hair look good with braiding only to see it go down rapidly after 2-weeks? Nobody. If you do the following things you will be in a much better position after you decide to drop upwards of 2000 Rands or MADD hours in a salon. visitors know a little more about you.