Beautiful Braids turned 5 years old in Sept of 2020. During this time I have been working on ideas. I didn't want to continue just braiding. I wanted to do more and as your reading this blog and you view my videos and new upcoming products. I am interested in helping you.
What hasn't changed is the braiding industry in New Zealand. I am still hearing horror stories from people and clients about botched braiding jobs or just not being told how to care for their braids. Incorrect information is being given, that hinders and ruins clients braids. Incorrect braiding techniques are still being done which leads braids to fall out or have to be taken out because they are extremely tight.
Behind the scenes I write to people and tell them how to care for their braids. I receive images and pictures of irritated scalps, loose braids. I feel there is a lack of structure in the braiding industry here in New Zealand. Things that you won't dare do in the United States. Are being done here in New Zealand every week. Because clients of clients naivety.
I really would like to see more transparency and more education given to this sector of hairstyling. In the meantime my blogs will help you and also watching my stories on instagram and facebook.
Learning how to braid can be overwhelming. The more you do it, the more you learn. You continue learning new things every few months. I would like to harp on this idea of charging cheap rates for continuous periods of time. Under charging your work, time and effort can leave you feeling used at the end of the day.
When you are first beginning to braid, you charge at your experience level. So yes it means you just might be cheap for a while to get your self up and running. But its important that as you grow in experience, so do your prices. Look...I know times are rough and you can very well take whatever money you can get. But there comes a time when you need to step up.
I have heard many stories from young up and coming braiders. Who feel like they work so hard to do styles that take long periods of time to do. But they feel like what people are willing to pay doesn't equate. For example if your clientele are Uni students, don't expect to charge like a big dog. Expect to cater your services to them. Meaning styles that take shorter periods of time to braid, for example medium or large box braids. Be creative and come up with specials, like bring a friend..get $10 off your dutch braids.
Being creative, taking pride in your work, learning how to better yourself will refine your braiding game. Always be ahead of everyone else, think of things that no one is doing. Give yourself a time frame that you feel you can start to charge a bit more for you work. It can be in 8 months time, set a date, know by how much you will increase your prices.
Good braids takes great skill and is something that can literally take many many hours to complete. Its very physical and takes lots of patience and stamina. I started thinking my highest charge would be $200, even for work that would take me 9 hours to do. There is no way in hell I would charge that little for that amount of work. Think of Tattoo artists and hairstylists, they charge according to the amount of work and hours it takes. I go by quality of work and experience.
Remember you can cater to both those with lower funds and those with wider wallets. Dont get bullied into having to charge $120 for braids you know should cost more. Let them go elsewhere.
When you are ready to stand up for yourself it will be an easy transition
You would think that I wouldn't have to do a blog post on this matter. But from the years I have been braiding professionally, I have heard it all. And this is the one that angers me the most. When braiders give out false information on how to take care of your braids, thats if they give you any information in the first place.
I have heard you dont wash your hair, I have heard all you do is oil your scalp with coconut oil for weeks. Do you know how smelly your scalp and hair would be if you didn't wash your hair and oiled it with coconut oil!.
Please note, that depending on the health of your scalp, you only need to wash your braids and scalp once a week or once every week and a half. With only a clear shampoo, no conditioner. Be gentle with your braids, treat them with care and remember that I am always here to give you the best advice :)
Traction alopecia is a form of acquired hair loss, that results from prolonged or repetitive tension on the scalp hair.
This picture looks horrible, I know...but this is a lady who has gone to one braider time after time. The braider would braid hair hair too tightly and she would continually have her hair up in a high ponytail. Sometimes people dont see what others can see. Over time her hair thinned in the front and eventually grew back very slowly. This is a typical case of a braid lover with lack of knowledge on how to treat their hair when they do have braids in.
This happens to people of all ages and ethnicities, sometimes with just doing a tight ponytail day after day. Its important you learn, that braids will always be a bit snug the first time you get them. But they shouldn't be excessively painful for days after. Its best if this does happen to keep your braids down in low styles. Do not go back to the same braider and treat your scalp with care. By asking the chemist for antiseptic ointments, putting a cold compress on the area and maybe even taking it all out.
Braids when done right and your well informed. Should be a way for your natural hair to rest and grow. Having high ponytails and flipping the braids about, should be done going into week 2. The first 2 weeks you should focus on low styles and keeping the braids in the direction of install. After the 2 week mark, your braid would have relaxed more, especially after washing. So you can then do styles that require more manipulation. Be easy with your braids, research the best braider for you. If you have the knowledge, you will have the power.
One of the ways to make your braids stand out from the rest is you braids prep routine. This can literally make or break a hair style. If you don't know how, then please visit my videos to learn how to. I show you how to cut it to various lengths and what the process actually entails. If you still feel like you can't be bothered doing it yourself. Then you can purchase pre stretched braids. They are limited in color selection though. So its always good to at least try to learn how to prep them the right way.