Tips and Tricks: Highlight Braid

Tips and Tricks: Highlight Braid

Posted by I Kick Shins on Dec 2nd 2020

RastAfri's Highlight Braid is type of kanekalon jumbo braid that is low heat/hot water set and is multicolored. It’s  similar to products like Afreez’m Braid, Sensationnel Color Braid, Janet Collection Super Caribe, and pretty much any other low heat, multicolored hair on the market.

Color Bleeding

Before products like these came out, the only multicolored hair you could find was high heat. It took a while for manufacturers to figure out how to make the hair multicolored without changing its heat-reactive properties at the same time.

Highlight Braid gets around that issue by having the layers of dye for each color on the outside of the strands of hair, which makes the colors more delicate and prone to bleeding. The most common cause of bleeding is exposing the hair to oil-based hair products (not just straight oils, but products like moisturizers and conditioners that contain oils as well). The oils tend to break down the dye a bit, and that leads to it bleeding off of the hair.

Extended exposure to boiling water (like sealing dreads by submerging them in a pot) can also lead to bleeding, and it’s possible that other hair products that aren’t particularly oily could cause issues as well. Basically, it’s best to expect some bleeding and consider it an unexpected win if it doesn’t happen.

We recommend the following steps to reduce color bleeding when wearing Highlight Braid:

  • Do an ACV rinse on the hair before using it to help remove any excess dye.
  • When installing the hair, wear a cape or towel to protect your clothing from the dye.
  • Wear bonnets or sleep caps to keep the hair away from your skin when you sleep.
  • Choose a dark-colored pillow case that you don’t mind potentially staining.

Texture, Sealing, and Bunching

The texture of multicolored kanekalon like Highlight Braid is also a little bit spongy/squishy when sealed. If you’re doing braids, you’ll want to take a little more care when dipping the ends than when working with solid colors. We recommend braiding all the way down to the ends before dipping like in the photo on the left; if you leave a few inches at the bottom loose, you may end up with bunched ends like the photo on the right.


Braided down to the ends.


A few inches left loose at the ends.

If your heart is set on loose, straight ends, another option is to hold the hair straight while you dip it. Use tongs or pliers to hold onto the ends, and make sure to wear heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands. When you pull the hair out of the water, carefully folding a wash cloth onto it to flatten it a bit can also help.

Alternatives

Not a fan of all that extra work but still want multicolored braids? Fear not! There are still options.

Blended kanekalon jumbo braid colors can give you a multicolored look that’s not quite as bold as Highlight Braid, but much easier to work with. You can find our full selection of blended ombré colors  here.

Another option is to combine multiple solid colors down the length of a dread or braid. You can find our tutorials on two different ways of making multicolored dreads from solid jumbo braid here:

And there are some great YouTube tutorials on how to make multicolored braids here: