Braids are great for any season! As you may know, braids are a great protective hairstyle that gives your hair a rest and allows it to grow while maintaining a cute style that can be worn many different ways with an infinite number of patterns and techniques. Braids are incredibly versatile and very easy to work with. However, braids, like any other protective style, can be quite a commitment, so if you plan on getting braids, here are a few things you’ll need to consider, including how long your hair needs to be for braids.
Prepare Your Hair for Installation
Starting with a great foundation will help your protective style last as long as possible and lead to an easy installation. Your hair will be braided up for about a month, so it’s important to make sure that your scalp is properly clarified and the hair is conditioned well. A dirty scalp can clog and damage your pores, stunting your hair growth and therefore defeating the purpose of the protective style. Clarifying the scalp will allow for a fresh canvas. After your scalp is clarified, it is important to restore the moisture your hair has lost. Braided styles require less frequent wash times so your hair will need all of the moisture it can get! Deep condition the hair to get the hair ready for it’s new journey.
Take Care of Your Hair at Night
Just like you would care for your hair when you get it done, braids are no exception. To keep your braids fresh and lasting longer, be sure to wrap up your hair with a nice silk head wrap. This will prevent any friction which can cause major frizzing while you sleep. If you do not want to wrap your hair up, try sleeping on a silk pillowcase instead. This will protect your edges from frizzing, therefore, delaying the need for a touchup.
Moisturize Your Scalp
Because your braids don’t need to be washed as often as you would wash your natural hair, you will find that your scalp can become pretty dry. It is important to rehydrate your scalp by spraying it with water. You can use other products like coconut oil to soothe your dry scalp as well but try to avoid product build-up as it will clog your pores. A dry scalp is an itchy scalp so be sure to keep it clean and moisturized!
Take Down Your Protective Style on Time
Protective styles are meant to protect the hair from any heat and chemicals you may be using on it regularly. However, protective styles are temporary. As tempting as it may be to leave your braids in for as long as possible, leaving them in for too long can pull on your hair and cause serious damage. Different braiding styles have different installation periods so keep in mind how long you will be able to keep your style and when it is time to take it out!
Give Your Hair a Break Between Installs
Although braids are fun and make styling your hair much easier, they can also weigh your hair down, which can lead to breakage. Be sure to give your hair a break in between protective styles to allow it to breathe and recuperate. This time in between installs is the perfect opportunity to apply strengthening masks, deep conditioning treatments and any other necessary steps to keep your hair healthy and hydrated.
How Long Does Your Hair Need to be for Braids?
The length of hair required for braids depends on the style you want. Below are some of the examples:
- Box Braids: For box braids, your hair should be at least 2 inches (5 cm) long to provide enough hair to grip during the process.
- Cornrows: Cornrows can be done with short hair with a minimum length of about 1.5 to 2 inches (4-5 cm) to secure the braiding.
- Twists: Two-strand twists can be done on shorter hair, starting at around 2 inches (5 cm) in length. However, longer hair provides more versatility in twist styles.
- Feed-In Braids: For feed-in braids, a length of at least 3 inches (7.5 cm) is recommended to secure the extensions properly.
Before getting braids, remember that your hair texture, density, and desired style play a vital role. Consult with a professional braider to assess your hair and determine the best braiding style that matches your preference.
Braids are a great way to help your hair grow. Using human hair, rather than synthetic hair will keep your hair more moisturized, as it’s not as drying as synthetic hair. Check out our bulk hair for braiding to find the perfect hair for your braids, and follow our guide to learn how to use them to braid!