Monday, 26 December 2011

Removing Yarn Braids

Hi all and Happy New Year!! 

It's that time! Yarn braid removal! 

I wore my yarn braids for 8 weeks, having installed them on October 15th. I started the removal on December 16th and finished on the 22nd of December.

I initially thought removal was going to be quick and easy, but I was wrong. I didn't spend most of the day removing the braids, just hours here and there, but it took longer than I expected. My first take down was quite quick - it was for a day or two with breaks and errands inbetween. 

Anyhow, taking down yarn braids requires care and caution because you could cause breakage to your hair if you don't remove them properly. 

Tools you may need:

  •  Scissors
  • Conditioner of choice (mine was Dr. Organic Manuka Honey Conditioner) 
  • Spray bottle with water 
Optional items may include: ponytail holders or sectioning clips

I mixed the left over conditioner with some water and put it in the spray bottle. I used the spray bottle to spritz my hair and the yarn braids to provide some extra slip so that the yarn can be removed easily.

To save time, it is best to cut off a section of the yarn where your hair is not present. Here I grabbed a braid and try to cut about 1/2 inch away from my actual hair. This saves time. Also since the yarn is burned at the end, it is much easier to cut the end off because unraveling that will take a lot of time. 

The bit of yarn cut... you can dispose of it. 


When removing the yarn braids, I tend to unravel the braids or unbraid them (I find this the easiest and fastest method). However, if you don't know which bit of yarn your hair has been braided with, removing yarn braids can be quite difficult. Mostly because your own hair can get tangled with the yarn, making unraveling the braid almost impossible. It is very important to be patient at this point. Try grabbing a string of yarn above the tangle and pull it out to help make the untangling process easier. The tangles you may face makes the process more time consuming but it is better than doing damage to your hair. 

After removing the yarn you can then finger or comb detangle the sections and twist/braid them together until all the yarn braids have been removed. After the removal, you can proceed to either shampooing, cowashing or deep conditioning, depending on your hair and scalp needs. 

A few things which you may face is a snapping sound when unravelling. Since yarn is a fibre, the snapping sound may occur as you are unravelling and separating the fibres. If you have very fine hair, you may find it difficult to differentiate between the yarn and your hair itself. It is therefore important to stay patient and use other tools such as a mirror or ask someone else to help you in the removal. 

The process of removing and sometimes installing yarn braids can take time. But I find that the benefits of wearing yarn braids outweighs the negatives because it is such a lightweight style and your hair stays in good condition (provided you stay on top of your regimen. This is why I'll be doing them again very soon.

Happy hair journey ^o^ 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Yarn Braids Maintenance Pt2: Deep Conditioning

Hi all,

Today's post is regarding deep conditioning your hair while wearing yarn braids. Wearing yarn braids does not mean you should be neglecting your hair. In fact, your hair regimen may be required to be more moisturising when wearing yarn braids. 

I have to admit though that during my first set of yarn braids from August til October, I did not deep condition once. But my hair still managed to be in good condition as I was cowashing and using moisturising shampoos quite often.

Anyhow, I do deep condition yarn braids on a weekly basis if I'm not lazy or busy. I also depend my deep treatments on how my hair feels. 

I am an avid ayurveda user and I use ayurveda on a weekly basis when my hair is out. However, I don't want any herbal residue left in my yarn braids (I have put my ayurveda and henna regimen on hold). I deep condition in another way, using a regular deep conditioner;

Choose a deep conditioner of your choice. I chose Palmer's Deep Conditioning Protein Pack. 

Squeeze the conditioner into a spray bottle and add water to it. You can add as much as you want depending on the consistency you want. I advice for it to not be very thin as it can drip when you're applying it to your hair, causing a mess! 

Spray the mixture onto your hair section by section and work it into your hair focusing on your actual hair.   
Put on a shower cap and you're done! 

This method is fairly easy. It's another way of keeping your own hair in good condition while wearing yarn braids. I prefer to dilute the deep conditioner in some water and then spraying it in because I find it easier as opposed to adding it to my hair by hand. 

I would highly advice against using deep conditioners with residues as it can get stuck in your yarn braids and hair, which is not a pleasant thing! Use something which is easy to wash out. 

Happy hair journey ^o^