(Beauty Report Card)

10 Products I Use To Take Down My Braids Without Breakage

Taking down your braids doesn't have to be miserable.

Samantha Scott
how to take down braids
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It is once again time to do one of my most dreaded tasks: take down my braids. I’ve been wearing this particular protective style since middle school and despite two decades of experience, the process never really gets easier. It’s incredibly time-consuming and hard on my back, arms, and fingers. And yet, it must be done. Originally I’d planned to treat myself and go to my trusted braider to take my current style down and install the next one. But after moving apartments last month, I’m doing as much DIY as possible for the foreseeable future.

While experience hasn’t provided much ease, I’ve come up with a solid strategy to push through the process. Before I even touch my hair, I assemble TV shows, YouTube videos, and podcast episodes to keep myself entertained. This time around, the latest episode of Club Shay Shay with Mo’Nique is at the top of my queue. Then I block time out in my calendar, usually an entire weekend, and let folks know I’m not available...unless they want to help. Once my time is set and my media lineup is set, I can get started. I cut my braids as short as possible without cutting into my natural hair, working from back to front with products that have been battle-tested over the years. The ultimate goal is to minimize breakage and shedding and refresh my scalp and hair.

Here are the products I use to get it done.