A technique I've been doing on & off for a few years now is, braiding the roots of my hair.
I do this mainly to decrease the amount of tangles I get, & to have some sort of control over my hair.
I currently have 48 braided roots on my head as I speak. The more sections I have, comes more versatility with styles & the easier the process of finger detangling is. I usually will do anywhere between 30-60 sections. Below I have listed the pros & cons, so as to explain a little better.
•Keeps hair sectioned
As a natural, we tend to keep our hair in sections during many things. Washing, moisturizing & sealing, detangling,etc. Doing that just makes our lives easier, it keeps groups of hair separate & dare I say it...more manageable. With this method, my hair stays sectioned. Styles become easier to do, since its pretty much already parted. I can even wet my entire head when wash day comes around, with out having the fear of it becoming a matted & tangled mess,because I didn't loosely braid it beforehand.
•My styles look neater at the roots If you've ever had box braids, you may have seen that even after a week or two, they still look decent. You may have a little fuzz goin on, but not much as opposed to twists which fluff up,frizz & loosen a lot faster. All it takes is a bit of gel or some other product, & a scarf left on over night for your braids to look good as new. The same principle applies to my braided roots. I can also just re do the braids in the front to refresh the style.
•Makes finger detangling easier
I simply take down each section one by one, finger detangle & rebraid. That's it!
•Shed hairs stay put
The problem with shed hairs, especially on afro textured hair is when they fall, they do not completely FALL. Meaning, they cling onto the healthy, unshed hair causing tangles & sometimes even knots . I still have some "sheddies" that gather at bottom of my hair, but its not a problem like it once was. The majority of them are caught in the braided root.
•Style versatility as if it were loose hair
I am able to do some styles, that otherwise would be a headache to do on loose hair. I just love french braids! :) but because of the length, curls, density of my hair, & probably laziness, I am not able to. You know how easy it is to braid hair that has already been braided, or even twisted? Same thing here. ;)
•Spacey & visible parts
Because I finger part, my parts are less visible. And after a few days, I don't have that "spacey" look going on. If you're someone who loves to use a comb to part or who has less than medium density hair, know that your parts will be alot more visible.
•The roots coming unraveled
If you have a really loose curl pattern or don't braid down at least 1/4 to 1/2" it may unravel. Also, if you are relaxed or transitioning, you will need at least 1/2" of new growth to try this method & no less than medium density hair. Keep in mind that the more you wet, & condition your hair w/ the roots braided, over time they will loosen. Some may even come completly unraveled because of this, all you can do it just re braid.
•Your true length is hidden
Shrinkage is something we as naturals are extremely familier with. Depending on the tightness of our curls, it may shrink up to as much as 75% of its actual length. My hair is waistlength, but it can shrink up to my ears if I let it. When I braid or twist my hair, it automatically takes off 1"-2" of my length (I measured lol),so braiding my roots isn't any different.
This method may benefit you IF:
-Your hair is past SL (shoulder length) stretched
-The majority of your curls are tighter aka kinkier
-You have medium to high density hair, that's difficult to part with a comb.
-You have major issues with tangling/matting because your curls weigh more on the "kinkier" side
I hope that this post was helpful to somebody! let me know if you have tried this method, & how it worked out.
Till next time!!