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Conversation with Asian woman about plaiting hair when wet


Well-Known Member
I am 4b/4a natural and every time I let my hair airdry I get less breakage and drama when braiding. The only problem is it take FOREVA to airdry. This week I tried putting my hair in about 8 twists (4 each side same ones from washing and dcing) sitting under the dryer for 30min before bed. My hair was mostly dry this morning before braiding. So I think I will continue to do this.


grabbing life by the pussy
i can't do my hair when dry.:nono: it won't move, it's super tangled, breaks like crazy, just a mess.

my hair can only be manipulated when wet or damp.
So I went to the beauty supply store to look at hair falls. I am trying to keep my hands out of my hair in 2011. I had my hair in 2 plaits a little past shoulder length (my hair is currently almost mid-back length when straight). I don't usually wear my hair out like this but my 5 year old had the same style so we were quite cute.

Anyway, the Asian later at the counter asked me if my hair was wet. I stated yes and that I plait my hair after I wash it. She said that hair is very fragile when it is wet and she is surprised that I have any hair at all, especially such long hair. She said that is also probably why my braid is so thick until it reaches the shoulder and then it really thins out. She said that it is best to air dry your hair and then braid or style it after it is completely dry. I told her that I have big hair and if I don't braid it, I would look crazy. She said that she can see that I have thick curly hair and if I just put a silk scarf on it while wet, then that would smooth it down. She also said our hair (my daughter and I) is quite beautiful and don't waste our money on wigs. She said try it for a few months and I should see a lot more length and health in my hair. She didn't even let me look at a fall! I just bought conditioner and left.

What do you think?

Wait i'm confused :help: . If you are midback length why take her advice? She couldn't even tell your length and decided to made random comments like she is an expert :blah: . All she does is sell grease and weaves. I also wouldn't have bought anything if I couldn't get my fall. Ignore her and stick with your reggie :look: .


Aka frostoppa
Yes it is true that hair is at its weakest point when it is wet. That is because the hair can stretch to 50% of its length while it is wet. Whether or not your hair will suffer severe damage will it is wet is dependent upon your hair's elasticity (which is balanced with the use of moisture and protein). Because hair is so susceptible to breakage and damage while it is wet, it is best to be as gentle as possible with your hair while it is in its most fragile state. Yes you can still style it while it is wet, you just have to be extra careful, and you should be okay.

Also, that is why coconut oil is a good protection to use on your hair while it is wet (before shampooing for me), because it helps to guard against protein loss....


New Member
Wow! Great comments everyone!
Yes, my hair is layered so the plaits do get thinner at the ends. My hair just grows that way. I really think that the lady was just being helpful, nosey, but still helpful. I too only comb my hair when wet with conditioner and I have no problem with tangles or breakage when air drying. My issue is that my hair dries out, not up in a fro and not down, just out. It is quite weird and so that is why I do the plaits.

Also I did try drying last night, without plaits and in a silk scarf. I wrapped the scarf around twice to cover all the hair. My hair came out almost straight but way too flat to my liking. Oh well.


Well-Known Member
Tip: If you airdry with a just a scarf your hair will dry however you leave it. So for ladies who say they get a TWA from airdrying then all you're doing is washing and going thus the shrinkage. You need to apply whatever products you use then comb your hair back and pin it up if it's long or wrap it then put the scarf on. Your hair will be stretched not shrunken. And as Nijilah found out it will be flat and not poofy. For less flatness twist it then put the scarf on. I never braid/plait while wet because I get lots of broken hairs that's a no no for me.

ETA: Texture has nothing to do with airdrying success. I'm a type 4 and it works for me. It's all about technique not texture.
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Well-Known Member
Maybe if u plait/braid it with out product in your hair; i normally air dry after I detangle but my hair is coated in coconut oil or jojoba. If I wanted until Roxy was dry---it would be a disaster to detangle.


Well-Known Member
I'm relaxed - I let my hair airdry before detangling now & I get much less breakage. (Unless I'm doing a rollerset - then I set it soaking wet w/ a product that has a lot of slip.) But, I remember Anthony Dickey saying that natural hair should be detangled and handled when wet and relaxed hair is much more fragile and better handled dry.

eta: I put my soaking wet hair in my turbie twist and let it sit for like 20 minutes. When I take it down, it's 50-75% dry from the turbie twist. I then apply my leave-ins and let my hair airdry the rest of the way.


New Member
I see both sides here and I think that those who agree with the Asian woman and those who disagree are all correct. I would advise keeping your hair in the sections after you have washed it and banding those sections or putting them in large twists. Then when your hair has dried about 75% (so, no more dripping; just damp and lightly moist to the touch), take out the large twists and use your fingers and slippery conditioner (try mixing in oil) to fashion the two braids. If you do braids on wet hair, it will lead to breakage at the ends over time and the breakage may be so subtle that you hardly notice it. Styling dry type 4 hair, however, is a no-no for most of us. So, do something in between and see how you like the results.


Well-Known Member
her advice makes sense, I personally could not imagine manipulating my hair for a braid out/ twist out after air drying.. (I can hear the snaps of my hair breaking in a comb just thinking about it)
my hair is just much easier to comb, smooth, and braid when wet..


Well-Known Member
She knows her stuff. Yes hair is fragile when wet, that's why I comb it damp not soaking wet (unless matted I saturate it with conditioner and comb in the shower) because it's more pliable and stretches easily. Therefore reducing detangling sessions. The silk scarf is what I use to smooth my hair out. In fact I put a silk scarf over my twists on my entire head except I let the twists hang out and I get a flatter longer twist.


New Member
What is the t-shirt method? Also will drying hair in Bantu knots be as bad as drying hair in braids does anyone think?


Well-Known Member
Isn't the advice the asian lady gave similar to the T-shirt method of airdrying that's been talked about on here before?

Not really. I believe the T-shirt method is to only but the t-shirt or scarf around your edges. Effective airdrying needs your entire head to be covered not just the edges.


New Member
Sounds like great advice. Lately I have been lazy with my hair and when I let it airdry before I style I have less hair in my hands. I don't even use a scarf to lay down my hair becuase I wear a bun 90% of the time. I am going to try this for a while a see how it goes.