There were two incidences where I decided to try and handle my own extension-involved protective style, but only one of the two came out decently. Towards the end of the summer, perhaps a week or two before I would become a college freshman, I was really craving to have my beloved green box braids back – or singles as I know them. My mother had offered to set me an appointment with my usual braider but I was feeling adventurous and thought, “Those twists came out pretty okay… why can’t my braids?” So, I set out to take on the challenge of putting my own singles in.
I went out and bought five packs of Kanekalon hair, two were green and three were in 1B. Before I even started, I had made up in my mind I would cut the bundles in half; I didn’t care to have them super long and I did not favor another three days of doing hair for length’s sake. I also decided to have my hair sectioned beforehand, so the week before, I had twisted my hair into the section sizes I wanted. Of course, I made minor changes but the pre-separation made the process go a little smoother. Whenever I do my hair, I always start from the back, so the back three or four rows were mostly 1B. I wanted to conserve my green packs as much as possible, as well as make sure the visual parts of my head were well colored. I didn’t use a brush or comb as far as I can remember unless I absolutely needed to detangle something; I let the curly nature of the twists assist in locking into the braid, only going over my hair with a spritz of water and some of my Shea mix.
The styling process went by rather smoothly. By the evening, around the time I decided to sleep, I had finished half my head. Perhaps it was the movies and shows that helped things fly by, but I managed to finish in less than three days – about one and a half. Sealing the ends was done later, at my sister’s house (No, my mother didn’t suddenly have another child, I consider her as close as blood is all). To give my braids a nice crimpy texture, I braided the braids into bigger, jumbo braids… if that made any sense. I dipped the jumbo braids into boiling water for a few seconds and made sure to be cautious as not to burn myself. After pat-drying them a bit, I left the braids in overnight. The next day, I got dressed and did my casual makeup that I usually do, and took down my jumbo braids. I was very pleased with my results. I was not expecting them to look as good as they did, especially with a middle part. But for my first attempt, I’d say I did pretty good. The test was durability.
Later in the day, we went to a picnic-like thing, me, twin, and mother dearest. However, it was very hot that day and there was a pool; twin and I wasted no time to enjoy it. After changing into our bathing suits (and taking a few pictures of course), we went to the pool. We had our fun, we ate, we got back in the pool after we digested, and probably more that I can’t remember. For some reason, my favorite thing about swimming is when I have my braids. While some pull their hair back into a ponytail, I like to leave mine out and swim freely.
I slept the entire ride back, I’m sure. When we got back, mother dearest had pre-established everyone was washing their hair. I had no problem with this, I usually do so after marinating in chlorine anyway. The shampoo twin uses has sulfates in it, which some aren’t opposed to. I’m not “some”. She offered me a conditioner of some sort instead, I think a Sea Breeze product. I used that to co-wash, also letting it sit while I showered. I sealed with my Shea mix afterwards, as well as helped her with her hair. I offered to detangle before she started twisting her hair and I used my mix as well. Not only is it great at detangling but it softened her hair as well. She watched anime while twisting her hair; I fell asleep during the process.
My hair hadn’t held through the way I’d have liked it to. It became frizzy rather quickly and my hair started to poke through the shaft of some of the braids. Luckily, I had hats and hoodies to help me to the end of the month at least, where I cut and removed the braids. I do wish they had held out a little better, but I’m not opposed to trying again. Maybe I’ll do so later, but let’s skip to the second of the two trials…