The quote: “The braid is always stronger than the strand” by Ryan Graudin, speaks volumes about the importance of braiding our hair. In Indian culture, women have been braiding their hair for ages. Not only does it add to the aesthetic, but it is also considered good for the hair. Nowadays, with many hair styling and fashion products out there, it is but natural that braids may not be on your list for work or even a casual day out. However, braiding those locks before you hit the sack could be one of the most important things you can do to care for your locks while you sleep in peace. Here are a few reasons, why:
1. It Prevents Breakage
Although frequent visits to the salon and trimming might help manage split ends to some extent, braiding your hair regularly is a great way to help prevent hair breakage and split ends rather than just chopping them off. This is because when you turn or toss in sleep, your hair rubbing the pillow causes friction leading to hair damage and subsequent split ends. Braiding your hair helps keep them in place and prevents damage from friction.
2. It Helps Retain Moisture In Your Hair
Remember when your mom or grandma used to oil your hair before going to bed and braid it nicely? The reason being braiding is a beautiful way to ensure your strands do not lose their moisture while you are sleeping. The rubbing of loose strands against the pillow while in sleep can lead to moisture loss. Investing just 10 minutes in braiding that hair can help lock in moisture leading to shiny, nourished, and healthier hair. You don’t need to have rapunzel-long hair to braid your locks properly, it is easier if you have shoulder-length hair too. Keep in mind to braid it loosely but firmly instead of letting most of the hair out or tightening it so much that it yanks on your scalp. The natural oils of your hair will remain intact and won’t get lost on your pillow covers and bedsheet.
3. Reduces Tangling Of Hair
Do you often wake up with awful tangles, detangling which not only results in loss of time but also in hair loss? Just braiding your hair before going to sleep can make a huge difference! Braiding prevents hair from getting tangled amongst itself, leading to tangle-free, healthy hair. Start with brushing your hair thoroughly and gently. Make sure it is detangled from the scalp to the end. Give your scalp a quick-dry hand massage if daily oiling is not a thing for you. Proceed with your light braiding after and wake up with minimal tangles. Your hair will not only stay sane and not get frizzy, but will also be safe from breakage.
4. Saves Time The Next Day
Do you love curling your hair or adding waves to it before going to work? Then braiding your hair the night before is the best way to add waves to your hair without touching those heat tools. It adds volume and waves to your hair the next day and helps you get ready in minutes instead of spending hours getting those wavy curls.
5. Helps Reduce Acne/ Pimples
Wondering how the two are related? Well, our hair ends up collecting a lot of dust and grime throughout the day. When we sleep at night, this hair tends to rub against our cheeks and foreheads, leading to clogging of oil glands. As we all know, when our oil glands get contaminated with dirt or get clogged, the result is one nice bright pimple the very next day. So the best way to keep those strands out of your face is to braid them nicely.
6. Helps Hair Grow Faster
Does your hair seem to grow real slow? Do you keep waiting for it to reach a particular length so that you can either straighten it or go for that perfect cut? Well, try braiding your hair, especially at night. This is because braiding of hair helps give it a structure, which helps it grow stronger and faster. However, to help your strands grow real fast, try looser braids like french braids, linear plaits, or fishtail braids, which do not pull at the roots or cause hair loss.
7. Wonderful Way To Defrizz Hair
Does unruly hair bother you? Anti-frizz products might help those strands settle down for some time, but in the long run, the harmful chemicals in them will only end up spoiling your hair. The best way out? Braid those locks. It helps retain moisture which reduces the frizziness of hair, making it smoother and softer. The strands stay in one place instead of rubbing against your sheets and giving rise to split ends and tangles.
8. Leads To Stronger Hair
Just like fibers are stronger when woven into a rope, our hair also becomes stronger when braided. Braiding helps provide a structure to our hair, which reduces the chances of breakage and damage. It helps hair grow stronger and longer.
However, there are a few things to be kept in mind while braiding your hair to get the optimal benefits from it:
1. Keep It Loose
As briefly mentioned previously, too tightly braided hair can pull at the roots, thereby causing hair loss. Be gentle while braiding your hair to prevent tugging at the hair or putting pressure on the roots. When you start with the first tie, make sure it is a bit loose at the scalp to prevent scalp pain as well as breakage. You don’t have to worry about neatness while going to sleep, so lightly braid the locks until the end, instead of leaving a chunk at the end. If you leave a chunk, it will anyway make the hair ends break faster.
2. Avoid Braiding Wet Hair
Dry your hair thoroughly before braiding it, as the braiding of wet hair can lead to fungal infection in the scalp and hair breakage. The main rule is to never go to bed with damp or wet hair. However, if you are too beat and tired after a long day and have to do that, tie it into a loose bun instead of braiding the strands.
3. Avoid Leaving A Chunk Of Hair In The End
You might find it stylish to make a few braids and leave the chunk of the hair open. However, this defeats the entire purpose of braiding, causing damage to the open hair. Also, when you open your hair, you might find the shape funny, with half hair in waves and a half straight.
So to sum it up, just 10 minutes of caring for your hair before you sleep by simply braiding it can give you that strong, healthy, and lustrous hair that you always wanted. Once you make it a habit, you will realize how your hair is slowly becoming more healthy and luscious. What other benefits of braiding do you know about? Let us know in the comments.