Aren’t we all looking for a quick fix to get healthier and longer hair? Everyone has heard of the tale that braids help grow. Braids have some benefits, like protecting your delicate hair or preventing tangles. Do braids help your hair grow?
Yes and No. Braiding your hair can help it grow by providing a stable structure that protects hair from breakage. However, braiding your hair doesn’t speed up the growth rate.
Whether you have braids or not, your hair will grow, but most people struggle with length retention. Although braids don’t change the rate at which hair grows, they are perfect for protecting your growth by preserving it from daily manipulation.
How Does Having Braids Help Grow your Natural Hair?
Unfortunately, braiding doesn’t speed up your hair growth rate, and hair growth will depend on factors such as diet, genetics, stress levels and lifestyle. This means that your hairstyle does not determine your hair growth rate, but braiding can help protect your hair by preventing breakage and strengthening its structure.
Braiding minimizes your hair’s friction when rubbed against surfaces such as sleeping on pillows or combing or brushing your hair. This automatically helps to reduce the frequency of hair loss and breakage.
Lastly, braids can also help keep your hair healthy and nourished as braiding locks in hydration, preventing frizziness and dryness. To ensure you maximize this benefit, you can ask your stylist to braid with oil to increase the moisture.
How Long Should You Keep Your Braids In to Allow your Hair to Grow?
How long you keep your braids on depends on the type of braids you get and their intensity. However, it’s advisable to keep your braids for about 6-8 weeks. The longer you have your braids in, the more they pull your scalp and hair follicles, and this sustained pressure can hurt your hair.
After unbraiding your hair, allow your hair and scalp to breathe for at least a week or two before braiding again. Just as braids can lock in moisture, they can also lock in oil and dirt. So, every time after braiding, you should give your hair a good cleaning and treatment.
Also, change the braiding style to avoid continuously weaving tightly close to the roots or scalp. Washing combined with scalp care and protection will help sustain your hairstyle while ensuring a healthy scalp and hair.
What are the Best Braids for Hair Growth?
Different braids are recommended for hair growth, but all braids can cause damage if not managed correctly. However, if you are looking for the types of braids that will do minimum damage, we got you.
a). Box Braids
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This classic kinky and natural hairstyle involves three-strand braids in a square-shaped hair division. Box braids are safer on your hair since each braid is thick, giving it more resistance and strength and minimizing breakage. However, if you want a lighter version of box braids, you should try the knotless braids.
b). Micro Braids
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These are tiny braids woven on the scalp tightly and are either braided on the part of the hair or the full hair length. Micro braids can stay in your hair for months, and they take hours to complete since each braid consists of a few strands of hair.
c). Crochet Braids
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These braids are also known as latch hook braids, where synthetic hair extensions are crocheted to someone’s natural hair using a crochet hook or a latch.
However, when crochet braids are pulled too tightly, weave the braid on as it can damage your hair follicles. This could be a perfect style if you don’t have time to wait for individual hair to get braided.
d). Faux Locs
These are not conventional braids but can be considered braids, and they are a protective hairstyle that makes your hair manageable. This hairstyle involves wrapping synthetic hair around the actual hair to give it a heavy dread-like look. Locks don’t give your hair special hair growth treatment, but they involve the hair being left alone and hence the growth.
How Will You Know Your Hair is Growing with Braids?
Often, growth is hardly visible in braided hair, but there are ways to see if your hair has grown. One way includes measuring your hair length using a measuring tape or a scale every 10-15 days.
Also, check your braid roots, and if they seem loose, it means your hair is growing. However, this doesn’t always mean your hair is growing because some styles like ponytails can cause your braids to move.
Can Braids Damage Your Hair?
Yes, tight braids can damage your hair by pulling and tugging the hair from the scalp. Also, they can lead to damage if they are poorly installed, left on for too long or when not taken care of well.
When installation involves pulling your hair strands from the roots with a lot of tension, your hair roots will break off, leading to a condition called traction alopecia. In addition, even a tight spiral braid can cause scalp damage and inflammation since the spiral pattern minimizes blood flow towards the vertex.
In addition, this tension-type will lead to white residue or bumps that will form on your hair’s base, which can be painful and discomforting. To prevent this from happening, try to loosen your braids, massage your scalp with essential oils and take breaks between braided hairstyles.