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D' Shonda Brown

Source: D’ Shonda Brown / D’ Shonda Brown

After nearly two months of experimenting with my fro, I think she was getting sick and tired of me drenching her in product after product. I decided to give her a break and try to box braid my own hair (or at least attempt to) using my limited-edition Braid Box from black-owned brand, Latched & Hooked

MUST READ: This Online Class Is Teaching Black Women How To Braid Without The Shame

I washed my hair using my Urban Hydration shampoo and pulled out my sister’s blowdryer. With my hair now voluminous and dry all the way through, I was shocked to see that there was minimal shedding and it smelled like honey. Just to make sure there was no dry piece of hair in sight, I worked through my hair with a few drops of my NUELE Hair Serum throughout my head.

D' Shonda Brown

Source: D’ Shonda Brown / D’ Shonda Brown

I had been studying YouTube videos for weeks, hoping to find tutorial fit or braiding beginners like myself. I found the perfect DIY jumbo braids technique using rubber bands.

After tackling the first two rows of parting in my head, I asked my sister to help me with the back because I knew that they would look absolutely terrible if I attempted to part my hair myself. Once all of the rubber bands were placed evenly in my mini sections, I went through each braid with Honey Blow Out Balm mixed with Shine N’ Jam Conditioning Gel to lock my hair steady in place. I took the “Suga Momma” colored extensions and began to work my way through the tresses, which were a bit tough to begin with as there was a lot of shedding, which is typical for braiding hair. I was initially frustrated with all the tangling and knotting, but after a few paddle brushes to the hair and shedding reduced, I was ready to go all over again.

D' Shonda Brown

Source: D’ Shonda Brown / D’ Shonda Brown

On my first few attempts, the hair didn’t take to the rubber band, so I decided to do the old school method and do without. I also noticed that the bigger the braids, the more difficult it was for me to braid the hair so I ended up using smaller pieces of hair. Not the size of jumbo braids, but not the size of microbraids. A nice, happy medium. With minimal help from my sister, i managed to braid my whole head. The ombre color blended beautifully with my natural hair and this caramelized brown gave me some inspo to try on my real hair. 

Unlike most synthetic hair, Latched and Hooked extensions felt light and itch-free, which is a major problem for me when I get my hair done in braiding shops. I dipped the ends of my hair in a pot of boiling hot water to secure the ends then worked through my scalp with Blue Magic and Canvas Beauty Brand’s regrowth serum. I completed the process with some moose to also relieve the tightness. I took a good look in the mirror and said to myself, “yassss, you did that!” It may not have been the exact size that I initially wanted, but the entire point of this process was for me to learn, grow and appreciate the art of hair braiding.

D' Shonda Brown

Source: D’ Shonda Brown / D’ Shonda Brown

Overall, the process took nearly three hours including failed attempts. Kudos to you ladies who do this on the regular.

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