Plaited hair is a great way to change your look or go from chemically processed to all-natural hair. But caring for these hairstyles can be time-consuming and costly. So how do you keep up your braided ’do? AOL Black Voices hairstylist Jamika Wilson offered a few tips.

Do a hair prep. Before tying up tresses, treat your hair to deep moisturizing and protein treatments. Why? These therapies work to hydrate hair cuticles and fortify weak, snap-prone strands. After braiding, apply leave-in conditioners to keep hair healthy and braids looking neater longer.

Moisturize braids. Moisture defends against braid-wearing’s pull and tug, and it’s key to avoid hair fall. To keep locks elastic, Wilson suggested oiling hair from root to tip. The added bonus? Scalp stays moisturized and flake-free.

Apply frizz-fighting spritzes. To avoid expensive extra salon visits, upkeep braided hairstyles with a braid spray, which will also add sleekness and a sheen. To protect hair while you sleep, tie a satin scarf around braids, Wilson advised.

Employ a strategic takedown. When it’s time to change your ’do, take Wilson’s advice. “The best way to take out your braids is to wet them first and then begin taking them out,” Wilson said. “And always make sure you comb your hair out before shampooing to prevent hair from matting.”

Re-braid right. Before re-styling hair, apply a deep conditioning repair treatment to restore possibly damaged strands. This guards against future braided hair breakage.

Click here to learn more about what thoughtless braiding techniques can do to your hair.