Loc’d and Loaded: Braided Updo

There’s something about Carnival time that causes women to be a bit more adventurous with their hair styles. More colour and creativity always seems to come out whether it be for the fetes or the two greatest days on the road. Considering the melting pot that is Trinidad and Tobago in itself, there are so many varying hair textures and almost every lady is trying to keep it cute yet hassle-free so that they can focus on having a great time. One of the most common requests for the road that normally pack the hair salons is definitely braided extensions. Hairstylist and extensions extraordinaire, Kimberly Edwards-Daniel from the Kim Eds salon, tells us how this simple-yet-stylish braided updo is perfect for the Carnival season,  especially as a protective style. Protective styling is always better for the season for the simple reason that you won’t need to style your hair constantly before and after the partying. Whether it be mud, water, paint or powder, protective styles make it easier to protect the hair from any direct damage.

We know deciding which braided style to do for the season might make you a bit weary. I mean, when it comes to braids you run the risk of either looking like your teenage self again or you might just discover your inner diva that you didn’t realize existed all along. After meeting with hairstylist Kimberly, who demonstrated a perfect braided updo for the road, we have answers to many of your questions to help you decide whether or not this look is for you.

Who can wear a braided updo?

Women of all hair types can get this amazing look for the season. Ideally, women should have at least four inches in hair length. Ladies, don’t get too worried if your hair is shorter — it doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve this look with hair that’s shorter than 4 inches. It’s just easier on your stylist and would last longer since it results less flyaways.

How should you prep your hair?

All protective braids should be done on freshly-washed hair. Chances are you’d leave the braided style in for a week or two — even longer if the braids are done in a smaller size. Therefore, you really want to ensure your scalp is clean to minimize any itchy feeling. In any case, if you have build up or a flaky scalp, you wouldn’t want to be seeing evidence of it in your new braided look. Additionally, for naturals, hairstylists tend to blow out the hair to accomplish a sleek finish because we know those curls and kinks can be stubborn. If you’re uncomfortable with the stylist washing and applying heat to your natural hair, of course, you can prep it yourself before following your regular routine. Doing this would also save you some time in the salon chair.

Products required?

Typically, your hairstylist would ask you to purchase from a beauty supply store one to two packs of X-pressions or Kankelon hair to be braided into your hair (depending on the desired length of extensions) as well as a hair jam or a similar product for holding the hair in place. If you’re lucky, your stylist may already provide these products and you’d just have to show up with the hair prepped for styling.

How long does the styling process take?

The good thing about this type of hairstyle is that it doesn’t have to take long hours of you sitting in the salon chair when you’re on a tight schedule or you’re probably late to meet your team to hit the fete. This style, if the stylist chooses to prep your hair for you, can be done in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Hairstylist Kim Edwards tells us the style is simple enough that it can be done in short time, which makes it ideal for the season when women just want a quick-yet-cute hair-do for events.

How to maintain the look?

This is also quite a simple process, which is why so many women choose this look for carnival. It’s as simple as applying some mousse (any brand of your choice) over all the hair at night as well as some jam to the edges to keep them laid and slayed for the next day. Ensure to use a satin bonnet or scarf at night to secure the look as you sleep at night and you’ll be set for the a week or two.

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