Celebrities, without a doubt, have one of the biggest influences on beauty trends. All your favorite celebrity has to do is hit the red carpet wearing a new designer or slaying a new ‘do and the next day your social media feeds are filled with copycats. While some celebrity-inspired trends are fleeting, others have real staying power.
In 2016, a certain uber-famous singer had everyone getting in formation when she debuted her flawless lemonade hair. Two years later, the style is still at hot as ever. Continue reading for everything you need to know about how to slay lemonade braids.
What are lemonade braids?
Lemonade braids are long cornrows braided in small, simple designs. The most common lemonade hair designs are several small cornrows going straight back from your hairline or small cornrows braided horizontally across your head. The thing that differentiates lemonade hair from regular cornrows is the princess-worthy length.
If you’re lucky enough to have been naturally blessed with down-to-there hair, you will be able to pull off this look without any help from extensions. If you’re like the rest of us, however, you’ll need to add hair extensions to your ‘do to complete your lemonade look.
While there are cornrow designs typically associated with lemonade hair, the real beauty of the trend is that it is extremely versatile. With small cornrows and long hair, the design possibilities are endless.
Now that you’ve got music video-worthy hair, you need to know how to properly care for it.
How do you care for lemonade braids?
The most important step in the care of any braid is to make sure your braids are properly installed. The number one mistake people make when getting braids is having their hair braided too tightly. Any style that is too pulled too tight puts you at risk of developing traction alopecia, a form of hair loss primarily caused by pulling the hair.
Regularly styling your hair in ways that require pulling can cause scarring—and potentially permanent hair loss. If you feel like your hair is being pulled too tightly, don’t hesitate to speak up.
With proper care, braids can often last several weeks. However, wearing one hairstyle for weeks at a time doesn’t mean you can slack off on your hair care routine. Your hair and scalp need lots of love to stay healthy, just like when your hair isn’t braided.
Lemonade braids will take several hours to install, so you’ll probably want to keep them installed for more than a week. This means you’ll need to wash your hair while it remains braided. Shampoo your hair using your everyday technique, making sure to be gentle and avoid disturbing your style too much. Follow up your shampoo with a hydrating conditioner to make sure your hair looks and feels moisturized.
Once you’ve washed and conditioned your hair, you’ll need to make sure your braids are completely dry before styling them. If you’ve added extra hair to your ‘do, you may want to use a blow dryer or hooded dryer. Leaving your hair even a little bit damp (particularly near the scalp) means a risk of developing dandruff, fungus, or even mildew.
If you don’t have time to completely wash and condition your hair regularly, invest in a good astringent—we recommend witch hazel. It will remove dirt and buildup, keeping your scalp healthy between washes. Apply the astringent with cotton swabs to ensure you clean every nook and cranny of your scalp. Your head will thank you.
Now you’re equipped with all of the knowledge, you need to slay lemonade hair all year long.