I was recently asked whether it was harmful to dye hair and then subsequently braid it.
The answer is YES. The reason is simple:
When you have your hair dyed, the cuticle layer has to be lifted in order to let the dye in. The cuticle layer is then flattened again but the very act of lifting and flattening the layer weakens it. At times, the cuticle layer doesn't get re-flattened properly leading to hair damage.
If you then go to braid your hair you're braiding hair who's protein infrastructure has been weakened. The likelihood of incurring hair breakage is therefore higher.
When can you braid your hair again?
I would say wait until about 6 weeks have passed or when you have about half an inch of new hair growth before you braid your hair. Your new growth won't have been dyed and will be stronger - the protein infrastructure will be intact. In addition, after a few deep conditions and hot oil treatments the color-treated hair will have been re-fortified and will therefore be more ready to hold a braid. Relaxing hair weakens hair more than dyeing natural hair.
Have you braided your hair quite soon after dyeing it and faced a bad result due to that?
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward