SUN Spotlight On:
Soukundo Natural Hair Salon
5950 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Owner: Neneh Beh
Appts: Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday: Appointment Only; Tuesday and Thursday: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM; Friday and Saturday: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Specialties: Natural Hair, braids, locks, kinky twists (two- and one-strands), coils and sets) and rod sets
By Leah Fletcher
Wearing braided extensions is a good way to manage African American hair. You can style you hair in different ways and skip the pain of daily combings. You may also handle your hair less and therefore promote growth. Wearing your hair in braided extensions does require maintenance. There are simple steps you may take to keep your hair in good condition, according to Neneh Beh, owner of Soukundo Natural Hair Salon.
After getting your hair braided, you need to moisturize your hair as you did before it was braided, according to Beh, who operates her salon in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. “To moisturize your hair, message your scalp and hair with a natural oil like coconut oil, shea butter oil, or extra virgin oil” said Beh, who noted there are also some store-brought moisturizers you can use. “You should do this two to three times per week or every other day for extra dry hair,” she advised.
It is important to wash your hair while it has braid extensions according to Beh, who has been a professional braider for 15 years. The following instructions, she noted, will result in well-maintained braids. Your braids should be washed weekly or bi-weekly. Message your scalp gently while washing your hair, and rinse thoroughly. Next apply a conditioner to your hair. Make certain you leave no residue in your hair. Use a towel to squeeze water from your hair, and then allow it to air dry or dry it with a dryer.
While keeping your hair braided reduces the amount of breakage due to handling, keeping it in braids too long will cause more damage than if you combed it every day. “The hair can become so entangled that taking the braids out can cause excess breakage and damage’ said Beh, a native of Guinea, West Africa. ” For this reason, extension braids should be removed within six to eight weeks of braiding.”
In Beh’s opinion, it is pointless to wear braids for three months only to realize the condition of your hair is the same or worse, especially if the motive for braiding is to improve the overall well being of your hair.