The seductive appeal of braids is well documented: the Queen of Sheba's braids caught the eye of King David and Cleopatra, with her legendry sleek black braids, managed to twirl both Marc Antony and Julius Caesar around her little finger!

Today braids are a fashion statement and can be worn in different ways to suit your personal style.

However, be warned: this is an intricate, time-consuming style, and unless you're confident about your own skills, it might be better to have them done professionally. 

Here's what to remember when getting your hair braided:

-   Braids take time to create.The long hours of sitting down become worth it, though, once you see the results.

-   The finer the strands, the longer the time required.

-   Braiding the hair in the same direction or style over a long period damages the hairline, which is a delicate, vulnerable area.

-   Change the direction of the braids occasionally or take a break between braiding to reduce the pressure.

Washing your braids

-   Use plastic clips to separate your braids into sections for shampooing.

-   Dilute shampoo with a little water and put into a plastic squeeze bottle with a tips that can get between the parts in your scalp.

-   Gently sluice your scalp with the shampoo.

-   Rinse with low-pressure water. Remember to keep the water temperature moderate, as hot water will dry out the scalp and strip it of its oils.

-   Blot your hair dry with a towel and apply leave-in conditioner.

-   Leave to dry naturally. Be careful not to shampoo braids too often, or you will dry out your scalp.

Braids can be kept in for up to for 2-3 months which makes for a more affordable and maintainable styling.

Do you have any braiding tips you would like to share? Leave us a comment in the box below.