5 Tips for Getting Professionally Braided Extensions in Natural Hair

After a recent visit to a professional hair braiding shop, I left with more knowledge about what to do before, during and after getting professional braided extensions. Hopefully you can learn from my recent experience and be better equipped for this type of hair styling.


Here are 5 Tips for Getting Professionally Braided Extensions in Natural Hair:

  1. Be mindful that just because a license hangs on the wall, it does not mean that the stylist is properly equipped to “handle” your “type” of hair. If your natural hair is thick, curly or even fine and straight, it is best not to assume that the hair stylist knows the proper way to manage your hair. Should your stylist do anything to you hair that is an absolute “no-no” for the health of your hair, do not be afraid to vocalize your concerns.
  2. Be sure that you hair is not only washed (which is a given) but blown out/ stretched. (If your hair has no curls after being washed, you can skip this part). Otherwise, when stylists have many clients waiting for their hair to be braided, they are sometimes tempted to cut corners by decreasing the level of care shown to your hair. By blowing out or stretching your own hair, you can make sure that any corners cut will not lead future hair cuts due to heat damage.
  3. Bring your own comb/brush/hair gel/products. Due to the high frequency of clients that many professional hair braiding salons have, some stylists tend to neglect proper practices for comb sterilization and decreasing cross contamination through product use. Do yourself and you hair a favor by bringing your own hair tools and products. However, you should be observant. If the environment in which the braiding will take place is not up to your standard of cleanliness, find one that is.
  4. Bring photographs of the style that you want. Hair braiding takes some time. The last thing you want is to sit for hours only to end up with a style does not look like what you described. Bring a variety of photographs to help illustrate the style that you want. It will pay off in the long run.
  5. Bring some form of entertainment. Bring a book, charge up your cell, or bring a tablet because you will sit for a few hours (depending on your style) while getting your hair braided.
  6. BONUSBe ready to lose at least one night’s rest following your hair braiding session. To many hair stylists, neatness and tightness are analogous.  The pain can last for up to three days after getting your hair braided. Spraying oils in your scalp and the steam from your shower might help to ease the pain. If you’re thinking, “I’ll tell them to braid my hair loosely”  that directive usually falls on seemingly deaf ears.

Wearing your hair in braided extensions is a fun way to get through the summer with minimal hair care. Just make sure that the styling promotes healthy hair and does not undo months of proper hair care.

Have you braided your hair recently? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.



Photo by Jean.

This photo used for this article was taken by a friend/client named Jean during his “Intro to Using Your DSLR” one-on-one tutorial. He is a quick learner and I am certain that he will build a gorgeous portfolio soon. If you have a DSLR and are still shooting in Auto mode, send an email to tuts@jaylabastien.com for more information on one-on-one classes.


4 thoughts on “5 Tips for Getting Professionally Braided Extensions in Natural Hair

    • True indeed. There are a lot of professional hair stylists that are good at what they do and knowledgeable but unfortunately a license is not always indicative of this knowledge.

  1. Pingback: Protective Styles | OohMyHair

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