Start on clean hair! Especially because of the hair wax you will be using, if your hair is dirty it will make a mess and look a mess. With that said, clean hair and scalp is important and best way to start a fresh new look.
2nd step is optional but I do it because my hair is very curly and shrinks 50%. I use a blow dryer to stretch my hair although I could also use other (healthier) methods. But since my hair was still a little wet from washing it, this was the easiest and faster way to get it stretched.
Next I moisturise and oil my hair and scalp.
I know a lot of people don’t like to oil their scalp for personal reasons and I am not one of those people. I always oil my scalp and then distribute the oil to my entire hair. Especially for braiding may hair I like to use a heavy oil like castor oil, to prevent dryness and breakage of my hair.
My favourite brand is this one from KREYOL ESSENCE. From all the castor oils I have used in my life this one comes the closest to the one I usually use which I get from my mother who gets it straight from Haiti. The thickness and the smell is so similar and it feels the same. Trust me I am a faithfull user of castor oil ever since I was a child. This article HERE is about the one I get from my mom. If you live in Curacao you can get this one from my mother as well. She sells it at the market in the city center.