Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Braid Story

Tight Braids with curly hairs
image courtesy here
I remember having thick, shoulder length and lustrous curly hairs when I was a kid. My hair were so curly that after washing and drying, all my hairs used to gather over my head instead of flowing down. My mother used to oil them and braid them in tight braids, to appease my grandfather as he used to find my gathered hair untidy. Over the years, they lost curls and became wavy (not sure of the reasons but too much of tight braids must have worked their magic) and also became thinner and frizzy.

I was about 14yrs. old when I realised how bad my hairs had become. I always had dandruff in them, hair were falling  in dozens and ends had splits. Having lost my original healthy long curls, I began my quest to gain good hairs again and zeroed in on Amla-Reetha-Shikakai routine (as this is what my mother told me). I had shoulder length hairs then. With the healthy recipe, hair started growing again and in next five years I had long braid which ended below my waist. Though my hairs could not gain their thickness and were too thin to make two braids, I was happy with their overall look and used to love my long braid. Being wavy, my braid would turn into a coil at the end and would look very cute. Braiding also helped me in taking care of my hair because they tended to get tangled easily due to frizzles. French braid and Fish braid (khajoor braid) were my favourite styles.
Single braid
image courtesy here

I remember one incident from my college days. Everybody saw me in a single braid always as I never left my hair open. Once during a function in my hostel, I wore a saree and left my long and naturally wavy hairs open. Complements flowed my way for my beautiful hairs. Even this could not reduce my love for braid then and next day I was again flaunting it.

My braid story continued for few years until I fell in love with steps in hairs (step cut). I went ahead and got my long hairs chopped off to flaunt this new obsession. Since I had wavy hairs, this cut was quite low maintenance for me and I could easily manage it. I was happy with my new look and style but suddenly split ends returned. This time instead of only trimming (as it is a temporary solution and does not prevent splitting), I decided to look for the cause of split ends and here is what I came up with:

In scientific terms split ends are called Trichoptlosis. Wikipedia defines it as "splitting or fraying of the hair-shaft due to excessive heat and mechanical stress".
  • Thermal stress can be caused by use of curling iron, dryers, too much exposure in sun etc. 
  • Mechanical stress occurs due to excessive combing, putting comb in tangled hairs, teasing hairs etc.
  • Chemicals used for perming and colouring etc. also cause hair ends to fray as chemicals used in them strip hairs of natural moisturizers and protective scales. 
  • Some times tight hair bands also damage hairs.
  • Excessive dryness is also one of the reasons for split ends.
Armed with this knowledge, now I was ready to fight the problem. Use of chemicals or heat were not the reason for my hair damage as I had never applied any chemical or used irons/dryers. I figured out either excessive dryness or exposure to sun were causing my hair woes. I decided to get my hairs trimmed and put these practices in my routine to prevent splitting:
  • Regularly oil your hairs.
  • Use a mild shampoo and keep hairs clean.
  • Use a good conditioner to keep hairs hydrated. It can be any thing natural like Henna, Eggs, Curd, Vinegar etc. or some ready made conditioner depending upon your hair type.
  • Protect from prolonged exposure to sun and tie them while riding some vehicle to prevent tangles.
  • Use soft brushes/combs.
  • If you still suffer from split ends, use products especially developed for preventing split ends. Though these products do not repair split ends, they seal frayed ends together preventing further damage to hairs. 
One such product was recently launched by my favourite shampoo brand Dove, Dove Split Ends Rescue System. According to DoveThe Dove Split End Rescue Shampoo and conditioner is a part of  Dove Damage Solutions range to help bring split-ends together. It has fiber actives that work on the deepest level of your hair, to give you up to 4x lesser split-ends (based on lab test with regular use of Dove Split Ends Rescue System +Conditioner system vs. non.-conditioning shampoo).

My hairs are now healthy and split ends free. Suddenly world has taken a fancy to fish tail braids and I am happy to rekindle my romance with braids. Though now I keep my hair length short but still my fish tail braid looks gorgeous.

Taking good care of hairs is the only way to a happy mane story. So all you wannabe Rapunzels......nourish your hair and have fun with your looks.


Disclaimer: I have written this post as part of Indiblogger's 'Beautiful Ends to your Beautiful Braids!' contest and have received products mentioned in the post from Dove.


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