My Braid Extensions Regimen

My Kinky (fake) Dreads are treated the same way as Senegalese Twists or any Braided extensions style

First published 2013

I am using the Crown and Glory technique to maintain my braids. Many people find the website confusing. So be sure to go to the landing page to see all the links. The basic principle is that in order to have healthy hair, one must wash/cleanse the hair regularly, but the style or technique for doing this is what matters. The technique applies to natural, relaxed, colour treated, braided, weaved, locked and all kinds of hair. I have used this method for caring for my hair while in braid/kinky twist extensions for about two years now.

Senegalese/Kinky Twists

Braid Regimen

The Crown and Glory Braid regimen is explained in more detail on their website. In summary, it involves ensuring that your hair is in good condition before you braid. I always pre-poo with coconut oil the night before braiding to deep condition my hair.

If possible, I will remove the alkaline base from the extension by rinsing and drying them before they are applied to the hair. This is not always possible, but if you are in the habit of reading instructions, you will note that this is recommended, especially when weaving hair.

Make sure the braids are not too tight and the parts are not too small. Masai micro twists look amazing, but I love myself and my hair far too much to ever do them. Not worth it. Not in a million years.

I usually rinse my braids with warm water in the evening after braiding or on the morning after. This is just to give the hair a chance to set and to minimise the pain/stress from braiding. No product or massage, just rinsing with warm water to soothe the scalp. I also find it helps to reduce on itching/allergic reaction to the chemicals on the extensions (especially if you didn’t rinse them before braiding).

After washing, I squeeze the water out of my braids and then place a towel over it to soak up excess water, then I cover my braids with a t-shirt to absorb the moisture. I only use a towel with braids. With my own hair I only ever use a t-shirt to absorb water.

These are the main oils that I use. Castor oil is the only one missing from
this picture. I generally use olive oil when I have run out of coconut oil

After washing my braids, I would normally apply coconut oil. However, with my fake dreads, I feel my  own hair is quite exposed, so I use castor oil because it is heavy. On wash days, I do not spray my hair. The oil is enough. From the next day, I spray my braids every day or every other day without fail using my moisturising spritz (water, aloe vera juice, Jojoba/Grapeseed oils and tea tree oil – which I keep in the fridge). Depending on what I have been doing that week, I may apply some coconut oil to the hair after spraying once during the week only. This would be if for any reason my hair has been wrapped in cotton or any other moisture sucking fabric. Or, if I have gone to the gym and rinsed my hair with water to wash away sweat, I would need some oil to trap in the moisture.

Remember, the danger of braids is that you forget about your hair, leading to dryness, which causes breakage. Spritzing daily or every other day is a must. Do not drench your hair as over-moisturising can lead to too much itchiness because the hair never gets a chance to dry.

Daily moisturising spritz ingredients

I am very careful to cover my hair when in a dusty environment, especially with these fake dreads. Oil attracts dirt, and castor oil even more. So I will often have a satin scarf on hand. Dust and dirt also contribute to build-up, which adds to tangles, so you want to minimise this as much as possible.

Also, I maintain my regular night time routine of tying my hair with a satin scarf and sleeping on a satin pillowcase. One night, I managed to squeeze my hair into a bonnet, but I noticed the stress on my hairline was not worth it as it was definitely pulling out my hair.

When bathing, I just wear a plastic grocery bag and tie it at the back of my head. A shower cap would probably pull on your hair line.

When styling hair, try to mix it up and bit with styles that don’t tress the hairline. You can undo all the good of braiding by losing your hairline. Again, not worth it.

The way you take down the braids is really important to minimise loss of hair due to product build up and naturally shed hair. Shedding hair is normal, but hair loss is not. If your hair line is disappearing and you keep on doing the same thing which is causing your hair to fall out, this is what Einstein called insanity  – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I always wash and condition my hair the night before take down and then apply coconut oil either to the final rinse (called an oil rinse) or apply it to my hair while it is still damp. This is because clean hair has less dirt and buildup so it is easier to detangle. The oil should be applied to damp hair so that the hair is well moisturised to help protect the hair during take down and detangling.

Shampoo Regimen

QUESTION – what person in their right mind would not wash their pots, pans and plates, would not bathe, or not change their clothes or bedding for 3 months? A mad person, right? Then why in the world do some women think it is acceptable NOT to wash their hair for two or even three months. That is just disgusting. Even before I came across the Crown and Glory shampoo regimen, I always used to wash my hair at least every two weeks when it was braided regardless of what everybody said. If I didn’t use shampoo, I would at least rinse with warm water. This is going back as far as 15 years ago when I was at university. Dry shampooing with apple cider vinegar or some other mix is cleaning the hair, so even if water is not used, it counts. NB: a note on dry shampoo. Many people use methylated spirit, which is an alcohol design to dry out. This is a very BAD idea as methylated spirit is too harsh for hair or skin. Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in water is best, followed by properly moisturising your hair after it has been stripped of all oil to minimise breakage.

Shampooing your hair is really important. First of all, because your hair needs to be cleaned regularly to remove dirt and product build-up which when not taken away, prevent the hair from being properly moisturised. Without moisturising, hair is weak and prone to breakage. Hair that is not clean also lacks natural shine and looks dull, leading to one applying more and more products, leading to more dirt and build-up and breakage.

Secondly, dirty hair is GROSS. In fact, not only does it look dirty, it STINKS. Have you ever pulled away from someone because her weave/braids stank? Have you ever seen the look on guy’s (men’s) faces when they notice this too? Ughh!

Click here to read about the Crown and Glory Shampoo regimen. In summary, you should not wash your hair the same way you would when your hair is loose. This means NOT rubbing the shampoo or conditioner into your hair and scalp and then massaging the hair and scalp. If you do this to braided hair, you encourage tangles and also loosen/disturb the braids.

The mist bottle on the left is for moisturising spritz.
The trigger gun bottle on the right is for shampoo.
In this picture it contains some left over moisturising spritz

Pour some shampoo into a large bottle, add lukewarm water and shake to mix thoroughly. I find that warm water encourages suds, so tepid or cold water is better. Rinse your hair with warm water for about two minutes. This is to ensure your hair is thoroughly wet and any dirt or oil that can be rinsed away has done so. Then spray the shampoo onto your scalp especially, taking care to spray in between the parts. Also spray the length of your hair. Then, allow the shampoo to sit on your hair for a few minutes then gently squeeze your braids. You are in effect massaging the hair, but not disturbing it. Rinse thoroughly and then do the same with conditioner.

I find that with braids, I only use shampoo once a month. Every other week, I will just co-wash (with conditioner only). I will definitely use shampoo the first time and the night before take down.

So this is Masuka’s version of the Crown and Glory technique. It has definitely helped me and I hope it will help you too.

 

Disclaimer

I have to be honest and say that when I first came across this website two years ago, I think they had much more information on it than they do now. It seems there is a far greater emphasis on selling/marketing their own products as opposed to the technique itself. For this reason, I apologise in advance if you feel that you do not get all the information that you wanted. However, this is just my own impression and I could be wrong about the site.

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13 responses to “My Braid Extensions Regimen

    • A year later and you can buy Jojoba oil at our monthly ZedHair workshops. You can also get it from Crossroads Shopping Centre (Lush Living). You can get grapeseed oil there too and sometimes in Shoprite, next to the olive and avocado oil.

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  2. this is soooo enlightening thanks. can this regimen work for fishtail(mukule) i usually have it in for 2 weeks

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    • Thank you Kangwa. It should work, but if you are only going to keep the fishtail cornrows in for two weeks, you may decide to do an apple cider vinegar rinse instead of shampoo (1/4tsp [a quarter teaspoon] ACV in 120ml water. Mix in a spray bottle and spray the hair and allow to drip dry or wrap an old t-shirt over it to absorb the water). Just be sure to moisturise and seal well afterward.vBut because the of extreme damage fishtail does to the hairline, the oil rinse before take down is a good idea.

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  5. its always amazing to see many Zambians going natural besides so happy to come across Zambian blogs so proud of you guys . I have been natural for my entire life but started take care of it recently the challenge that have is were to find natural products in Zambia.

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  6. Hi there – since the grow afro hair long website is no longer viable, could you please post the information that you linked to – so the regimen and other information? Thanks! Claudia Ipsilitti

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    • Hi Claudia, I have read through my post again (it was written years ago) and I think the information on what I do and why I do it is sufficiently explained. Linking to their site was just for accreditation of source, but MY braid extension regimen is fully covered here.

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  7. Thank you for this information. I love how you documented your personalized ‘Crown and Glory Method’. It’s so clear!

    Appreciate it, and you and the styles you had in the picture are beautiful!

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