Spending hours in the braider’s chair can feel tedious, but it doesn’t have to be! This guide offers tips to transform the braiding process into a rewarding and productive experience.
You will find recommendations for things to do, entertainment options, and ways to pass the time until the magical reveal of your new hair.
Whether you want to catch up on reading, relax and meditate, learn something new, or get creative, we have a thing or two for you. Follow our recommendations on activities, entertainment options, planning tools, and self-care rituals that will make your braiding session fly by.
Come prepared to optimize every minute instead of painfully watching the clock. Our advice will help you make the most of your time so you leave with fabulous new braids and feel refreshed, inspired, and accomplished.
Table of Contents
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Getting your hair braided isn’t just about achieving a stunning new look; it’s also a golden opportunity to unwind and relax. As you sit back and let the stylist work their magic, why not transform your chair into a sanctuary of peace?
I remember during one of my braiding sessions, I was feeling particularly anxious about an upcoming event. I started deep breathing, and, it not only calmed my nerves but also made the time pass more quickly. It turned my braiding session into a moment of zen!
Deep Breathing Exercises
Start with simple deep breathing exercises. Close your eyes, inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. This technique, known as diaphragmatic breathing, can significantly reduce stress levels. Try doing a set of ten deep breaths every half hour. It’s a simple but powerful relaxation technique.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation apps like Headspace offer short, guided sessions perfect for a braiding appointment. Even just 10-15 minutes of meditation can help clear your mind and ease any discomfort from sitting for long periods.
Listening to Calming Music
Create a playlist of calming music or nature sounds. Or, lose yourself in an audiobook – it’s like having someone read to you. I often find myself lost in an audiobook’s world, making the hours of braiding fly by.
These relaxation techniques are not just about passing the time, they’re about giving it a new meaning. Next time you find yourself in the braiding chair, remember it’s a chance to not only transform your hair but also your state of mind.
Catching Up on Entertainment
A braiding appointment presents prime entertainment time. Whether you’re into drama, comedy, documentaries, or podcasts, this is your personal ‘me time’ to catch up on all that entertainment you’ve been missing out on.
Binge a Series or Movie
This is the perfect opportunity to finally start that hot new show or watch a movie that’s been on your list. During an especially long session, I managed to finish a comedy series season. I remember laughing aloud at the witty jokes, getting curious looks around the salon. Just bring some comfortable headphones.
Listen to Podcasts and Audiobooks
I’ve found that listening to podcasts or audiobooks can be incredibly enjoyable during braiding. Whether it’s a gripping true crime story or a bestselling novel, the hours fly by. Plus, it’s a great way to multitask – getting entertained and educated while you get your hair done.
I often browse it before my appointments to download a couple of episodes in advance. There’s no better time to treat yourself to favorite stories than braiding sessions.
Why not make your braiding session a personal classroom? With hours at your disposal, it’s the ideal chance to learn something new. From language lessons to online courses, the possibilities for expanding your mind mid-styling are endless.
Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Apps like Duolingo make it easy and fun. I remember practicing Spanish during my braiding sessions, and it felt like hitting two birds with one stone – getting a new hairstyle and learning a language!
Online Courses and Webinars
There are countless online courses available on platforms like Coursera or Skillshare, covering everything from digital marketing to photography. Once, I participated in a course on graphic design while getting my hair braided. I left the salon with not only a fresh hairstyle but also with new abilities.
Educational Podcasts and Audiobooks
You can learn a lot from educational podcasts and audiobooks. Topics can be anything, from history to science, making sessions both fun and informative. I often choose a podcast about history, so each session feels like a time-traveling adventure.
Your braiding appointment can be more than just a hairdo session, it can be a time of learning and personal growth. Next, we’ll dive into how you can socialize and build connections while sitting in the braider’s chair.
While the transformation of your hair takes place, don’t miss the chance to transform your social life too! Braiding sessions are a unique opportunity for socializing, whether it’s with your braider, the other clients, or friends.
Chat with Your Stylist
Building a rapport with your braider can turn a routine appointment into a pleasant social experience. I’ve had some of the most heartwarming conversations with my braider, discussing everything under the sun. It’s amazing how these interactions can add a personal touch to the braiding experience.
Make New Friends
Strike up conversations with others getting their hair done too. You may be surprised what common ground you share.
Bring a Friend
If allowed, invite a friend to join, even if they aren’t getting styled. They can simply chat and keep you company, making time fly. My friend and I have “braid dates” where we go with each other.
Check Social Media
In moments of quiet, use social media to connect with others. Share updates on your braiding process, engage with friends’ posts or even join new online communities and groups. I often use this time to post a ‘braid-in-progress’ selfie and interact with my friends online.
The social aspects of braiding sessions are invaluable – from the connections made to the conversations had. Next, we’ll explore planning and organizing during styling.
Planning and Organizing
A braiding session offers rare uninterrupted time. Making it a quiet haven for planning and organizing amid busy schedules.
Set Goals and Make To-Do Lists
Jot down goals, tasks, or grocery lists while hands work through your hair. The gentle salon buzz puts me in productive mode.
Once, I outlined an entire home renovation plan while braiding. By the end, I had a complete checklist and timeline – incredibly satisfying!
Schedule appointments, set reminders, or plan events. I often sync family calendars and arrange activities in the chair.
Declutter Your Email
It’s also the perfect chance to organize your devices. Sort emails, tidy files, or unsubscribe from unused newsletters. I once dedicated a session to inbox cleanup and felt a wave of relief.
You can step out with not only a fabulous new look, but also plans neatly in order and mind refreshed. Next, we’ll explore creative outlets to tap into mid-styling.
While the stylist works their creative magic on your hair, why not channel some creativity of your own? Your braiding session can be a great opportunity to engage in light, hands-on creative activities.
Sketch or Doodle
Bring along a sketchbook and some pencils. I often find that the relaxed ambiance of the braiding salon inspires some of my best sketches. It’s not about creating a masterpiece, it’s about enjoying the process and letting your creativity flow.
Knit or Crochet
If you’re into knitting or crocheting, these are perfect activities to keep your hands busy without requiring too much movement. I’ve seen many people working on scarves or hats while sitting in the chair. It’s a productive and relaxing way to pass the time.
Whether it’s journaling, poetry, or starting that novel you’ve always wanted to write, use this time for writing. Thoughts and words flow freely in this environment.
Craft Small Projects
Portable crafts like beadwork or cross-stitch can be fulfilling. They don’t require space, can be easily paused, and serve as great conversation starters.
As much as caring for your hair, braiding can nurture your creative spirit. Drawing, crafting, or writing are just a few of the many creative pursuits possible. In the next section, we’ll look at how to take care of yourself during these often lengthy sessions.
The transformation happening on our heads is important, but self-care is equally important during a braiding session. Long hours in the salon chair can be taxing, but with the right strategies, you can turn this time into a self-care ritual.
Mind Your Neck and Back
Sitting for long periods can strain your neck and back. I’ve learned to take short breaks to stretch and adjust my posture. A simple neck roll or shoulder shrug every hour can work wonders. Also, consider bringing a small cushion or asking for a chair with better back support to help you stay comfortable.
Breathe and Relax
Relax your mind and body with mindful breathing exercises or visualization techniques. I sometimes visualize a peaceful scene while synchronizing my breath with the sound of waves or wind. This is my mini escape that renews me from within.
Make sure you pay attention to your skin as well. If you have sensitive skin, consider bringing your own products, like a gentle moisturizer or scalp oil, especially if you’re prone to irritation from the products used at the salon.
Boost Your Mood
Use this time to reflect, practice gratitude, or simply enjoy the moment of being cared for. I find that acknowledging the effort I’m putting into self-care positively affects my mood and self-esteem.
Nutrition and Hydration
While the stylist weaves their magic, it’s important to remember that nourishing your body is just as important as beautifying your hair. A braiding session often lasts several hours, making nutrition and hydration essential.
It is important to stay hydrated, especially during lengthy hair appointments. I always bring a water bottle with me and make sure to take small sips throughout the session. Staying hydrated helps in maintaining focus and energy, and it keeps those pesky headaches away.
Long braiding sessions can stretch over mealtimes, so packing healthy snacks is a must. Opt for easy-to-eat, non-messy foods like nuts, granola bars, or fruits. I’ve found that snacking on these not only keeps hunger pangs away but also boosts my mood and energy levels.
If you anticipate being at the salon over lunch or dinner time, plan accordingly. A light meal before your appointment can keep you feeling full. Some salons might allow eating during the session, so you could consider bringing a small, easy-to-consume meal like a sandwich or a salad.
Also, practice mindful eating. Savor snacks rather than rushing. Attention to nutrition and water intake makes sessions smoother. Let’s now look at how you can use this time for fashion and style inspiration.
Fashion and Style Inspiration
Imagine your full look as your hair transforms into a braided masterpiece. Use your free time to dive into fashion and hairstyle inspiration.
Browse Blogs and Magazines
Armed with my tablet or smartphone, I love to scroll through fashion blogs and online magazines during braiding sessions. It’s amazing how many new ideas and trends you can discover. I often bookmark looks or items that catch my eye, imagining how they would pair with my new hairstyle.
Pinterest is a treasure trove of style ideas. During my appointment, I create a new board and pin everything from hairstyles to outfits that I feel would complement my new look. It’s a fun and visual way to get inspiration and set your style goals.
Use this time to plan out your outfits for the week. Think about how your new braids will work with different looks. Will they give a bohemian touch to a casual outfit? Or add an edge to a formal look? In my mind, I am constantly creating new combinations for my wardrobe.
Exploring Hair Accessories
Hair accessories shouldn’t be overlooked. Look up ideas for headbands, clips, beads or other accessories that would complement your braids. The right accessories can complement your look and make your hairstyle stand out.
Getting braided is a great opportunity not only to change your hairstyle but also to upgrade your overall look. Get inspired by new fashion ideas so you’re ready to turn heads when you leave the salon.
Getting your hair braided can be so much more than just a beauty treatment. As we’ve seen, it allows us to practice self-care, learn, and connect with others.
During my own braiding sessions, I’ve been able to be present and de-stress easily. I’ve discovered new music, picked up hair tips from stylists, and created bonds with friends and clients. Each session leaves me not just with a new hairstyle, but with new insights, connections, and a rejuvenated spirit.
I encourage you to try these activities during your next braiding appointment. Embrace this time as an opportunity for more than just hair care – see it as a moment for self-care, learning, and connection. And, most importantly, enjoy the process and that satisfying sense of fulfillment it brings.