Tribal braids are beautiful and easy on the eye, and their intricate patterns make them elegant and sleek. These hairstyles give your hair the perfect combination of subtlety and uniqueness. Since this hairdo is becoming quite popular in our society today, we provide a complete guide to tribal braids to help you decide if it is right for you or not.
Ghana braids, box braids, and Fulani braids are commonly referred to as tribal braids because they are originally from African cultures. Used to describe braiding patterns with African roots, these hairstyles were symbolic in the past. It showed societal status, marital status, religion, and wealth. It is a protective hairstyle considered fashionable. Today, you can make tribal braids with accessories such as rings, beads, cuffs, and extensions.
So, how long do tribal braids last before changing them? Are they difficult to maintain? How do you care for them to ensure they last longer? Keep reading as we provide answers to these questions and other important things about Tribal Braids.
What Are Tribal Braids(Fulani Braids)?
Tribal Braids are braiding patterns that stem from African cultures. There are several tribal braids hairstyles, which include Fulani braids, Ghana braids and box braids. The Fulani braids remain the most popular style among them.
It is also good to add some form of decoration to the braids, ranging from Afrocentric wood to plastic beads. So, how do you install Fulani braids?
Fulani braids are sometimes faster to install on hair than other protective hairstyles. You make them using either the feed-in or cornrow technique. Here are some tools you would need to make this hairstyle successfully; Rat-tail comb, rubber band, hair clip, beads, and accessories. If you need hair extensions, they are fine too.
Steps On How To Make Fulani Braids
Want to make your tribal braids yourself? Below is a Fulani braids tutorial that would help you get beautiful braids.
- Part hair: This is the first step in making tribal braids. It involves sectioning your hair and applying shampoo and hair cream. The shampoo and hair cream would help make hair smoother while improving the moisture content of the scalp. But ensure that each section of the hair is thick as a pencil.
- Pick a section of parted hair: After parting the hair, pick out one section and divide it into three more subsections.
- Braid the hair: Braid the three sections divided into a three-section braid
- Add extension: If you are using extensions for your tribal braids, you can add them to your hair at this point. Repeat braiding until you have covered your entire hair.
- Secure tips with rubber bands: If not secured with a rubber band, the braids you make might loosen. So, to ensure they remain intact, secure the tip of each braid with a rubber band
- Dip in Hot water: After braiding the entire hair, you can dip it in boiling water. This process helps secure the hair, ensuring it does not loosen even after removing the rubber band
- Dry hair: Dry the hair with a towel using the pat-dry method
- Add accessories: After drying the hair, you can add accessories like beads and hair clips to further beautify the hair.
It is also important to note that making the perfect Fulani tribal braids or other types by yourself takes time, sometimes up to 6hours. The reason is that you might have to redo some braids, but if you employ the services of a salon, it might be done in two to three hours. However, this depends on the skill of the hairstylist and the thickness of your hair.
How Long Do They Last?
The tribal types of braids are long-lasting. They can last up to three to five weeks. However, you can rock them for even 8 weeks when you maintain them properly. When poorly maintained, they lose neatness fast, and you might have to loosen them sooner.
You can make tribal braids last longer by wetting them regularly and pat-drying them with a dry towel. It is important you always pat-dry when drying your braids so you do not disorient them.
How Much Do Tribal Braids Cost?
The price of making African tribal braids range from $90 to $250. The style and salon you use often determine the price you get to pay. The price you pay also depends on the hair length you choose and how many hair extensions you use to achieve the desired length.
Are They Hard To Maintain?
Tribal braids are not difficult to maintain. All you have to do is keep your scalp and hair hydrated and moisturized. Below are some ways to maintain Tribal braids.
Moisturize the Scalp
When wearing a protective hairstyle, always remember to maintain the health of your scalp. You can do this by moisturizing the hair. Wearing tribal braids leaves the scalp exposed. This exposure often results in dryness, flakiness, and irritation, among other unpleasant conditions. To prevent these conditions, you have to regularly moisturize and hydrate your hair and scalp.
To moisturize your scalp, all you need to do is fill a spray bottle with water mixed with lightweight oil like castor and tea tree oil. Then spritz this mixture onto your scalp evenly at least twice a week for optimal results.
Wash Your Braids
While most people believe you should not wash your hair when you have tribal braids on, you actually should. Washing your braids helps clean your scalp, and frequent washing helps prevent the buildup of hair products. It also helps prevent irritation, dryness, and other hair conditions that you might not find comfortable.
When washing your braids, you must use a clarifying shampoo, as it helps remove foreign bodies from the scalp. Add the shampoo to a spray bottle and dilute it with water for the best result. Spray the mixture on your scalp and massage it in. Do this carefully so you do not injure yourself in the process. Rinse out the shampoo and follow the same steps when applying a conditioner.
After shampoo and conditioning, squeeze out water from your hair using a towel. A microfiber towel is often preferable because of its moisture-absorbing abilities. You can also decide to air dry or blow-dry your hair but ensure your hair is completely dry after this wash. This is to prevent the growth of mildew and other moisture-loving microorganisms
Do Not Wear Tight Hairstyles Often
One of the beauties of tribal braids is the number of wearing options it affords you. However, if you want your braids to last longer than usual, you must reduce the frequency of keeping them in tight looks. This includes buns, high ponytails, etc. Tight hairstyles expose your hair to certain dangers like frizz and breakage. It also weakens your hair along the edges and roots.
This does not mean you should not wear your hair just as you desire, but reduce tight hairstyles if you want your tribal braids to last longer.
Redo Braid Edges
If you want to wear your braids for a long time, always redo the edges once every four weeks. You can also use lightweight oils on those areas to keep them moist. Also, when you redo or retouch your hair along its edges, it gives the impression that you remade the whole hair. This leaves your tribal braids looking as new as ever.
Protect Your Braids When You Sleep
Sleeping without covering your hair or braids will make it becomes dull because of moisture and shine loss. Also, sleeping with your hair exposed could result in frizz, friction, and dryness.
You can wrap it in a silk or satin scarf or even a bonnet to protect your hair. Another way to do this is using a silk pillowcase when you sleep.
Do They Hurt?
Tribal braids should not hurt. However, it might be a bit painful if it is your first time doing it. But on completion, you should feel comfortable. If you feel hurt, do inform your hairstylist.
While Tribal braids should not hurt, preparing your hair properly for the process makes it as seamless as possible. How do you prepare your hair for tribal braids?
Before wearing braids, you must undergo an intense protein treatment at least twice. This ensures your hair and scalp get strong enough to handle the extra weight and tension braids bring.
Clean Hair And Scalp
Your hair and scalp must be free from impurities before your braid. You can clean your hair by using a clarifying shampoo. This shampoo would help rid hair of excess products or residue.
Moisturize Hair And Scalp
The rule of thumb here is that the more moisture you leave on your hair, the better moisturized it stays through the braiding process. Use lightweight oils like coconut and Olive oil to moisturize your hair before braiding
Work Through Tangles
Tangled hair does not make good braids, so ensure you work through the tangles. You can do this using a wide-toothed comb so you don’t stress your hair strands. Loosen smaller knots with your fingers to ensure no pain results during the braiding process.
How Do I Care For My Tribal Braids?
You care for your braids by washing them. This wash helps reduce the buildup of products on your scalp. However, there are other ways you can care for your Tribal braids. Here are a few tips below.
Pretreat Your Hair
This part involves washing and conditioning your hair appropriately before the braiding process. This part helps improve the hair’s moisture content, making future care easier.
Don’t Rub Braids When You Wash Them
Wash your braids with clarifying shampoo to rid your hair and scalp of dirt and buildup. Ensure to wash from scalp to end using a vertical movement to prevent frizz on the braids and root. After washing, spray your braids daily with a mixture of lightweight oil and water.
Always Dry Your Braid Before Styling
If you style braids before they dry, it could develop unpleasant scalp issues like dandruff. It could also initiate the growth of microorganisms like fungus and mildew.
After washing, ensure you sit under a hooded dryer for at least half an hour. If you do not have a hooded dryer, air-dry your braids. Do not style until they are completely dry.
Tribal braids have been around for a long time, and they are a protective hairstyle that helps keep your hair safe. They are easy to make and do not cost much to maintain. If your tribal braids hurt, keep your stylist informed, as they should not hurt.
To ensure your braids last long, you have to maintain them well. One way to do this is by covering your hair while you sleep with a silk scarf or using a silk pillow. Are you still undecided on your next hairdo? Consider making tribal braids.