Using Braid Extensions to Grow Hair

5 Do’s and Don’ts of Braid Extensions

It’s widely believed that braid extensions help to “grow” hair, which in part can be true. While they are certainly a great protective style that helps you retain length, here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Braid Extensions to keep in mind:

Using Braid Extensions to Grow Hair1. Braids don’t “make” or “promote” hair growth instead they help with length retention.  Every time you style and detangle there’s a risk of breakage.  It just happens. When your hair is braided, you dodge the risk of mechanical breakage from manipulation.  This is why braids are a great protective style.

Read More About Protective Styles

2. Wearing Braids Long-Term (more than 4-6 weeks without touch-ups) Can Decrease Length Retention. “Six weeks is the maximum I would recommend [leaving in extensions],” says Natural Hairstylist Diane Bailey. For many this is around the time that the hair begins to lock or mat.  Leaving them in longer makes it difficult to detangle. It’s also good to throughly clean your hair and scalp without the extension to prevent infection and other conditions of the scalp.

3. For those who have sensitive and thinning edges, you have a higher chance of experiencing traction alopecia or increased hair loss in those areas.  Its best that you avoid any and all tugging and tightness in this area.  This is a concern if you continuously wear braids back to back without any breaks. If you already have an issue with thinning or sensitive edges braid extensions may not be the best thing for your hair. Read: Oils Best for Regrowing Thinning Edges

4. Keep Them Loose. During my last trip to the braiding salon there were so many beautiful braided styles being created around me. But I couldn’t help but notice that many of these women were victims of traction alopecia. If you feel that your hair is being pulled too tightly kindly ask your stylist to reduce the tension that is being applied. Read Prevent and Treat Alopecia (Hair Loss)

5. I know they look pretty but the small teeny braids (micros) put a lot of tension on the hair. This isn’t to say that you can never wear micro braids if you want, but constantly wearing them may lead to thinning hair rather than healthy length retention. Plus, its not fun taking all those tiny braids down. Which if you don’t have the patience, micro braids might not be for you. In order for your protective styling to be beneficial it must protect your hair and scalp from breakage. Otherwise, if you rough house with your hair, all of the length that you retained can easily break off.

What are your tips for wearing braid extensions?

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58 thoughts on “5 Do’s and Don’ts of Braid Extensions

  1. Crystal

    I haven’t had my hair relaxed in almost two years. Trying to be natural since a beautican damage my hair badly leaving me with weak thin hair. some parts the hair broke off really short. I was just about to get my hair braided up but it sounds like it wouldn’t be good I don’t know what to do now. any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Norrelle Marcheur

      first try getting a hair cut. I know the firt thought is to retain however mch growth/hair you were left with after your relaxer accident (it’s happened to me before too 😦 ), but evening everything out is usually the best option. once your hair is even, it can grow together 🙂 use lots f oils and shea butter to beef up your hair’s thickness (if your hair is really thin, shea butter may be too heavy. try shea butter oil, or try using shea butter as a deep conditioning treatment before you wash your hair) … use soft bristled brushes, not mater how nicely those hard bristled brushes lay your edges down lol. get into the habit of BRUSHING your hair more than you COMB/DETANGLE your hair to prevent breakage. I’d also recommend finer combing, but I know it’s not for everyone. If you do begin finger combing, make sure your nails aren’t snagged, and you may need to remove your rings so that you don’t accidentally damage your hair. 🙂 of course you don’t have to make all these changes overnight, but little things like this really promote hair growth, HEALTHY hair growth. good luck on your hair journey 🙂

      Reply
      1. Crystal

        I will give it a try just need to think of a good style to cut my hair in to hid the bad spots. Thanks

  2. Jay Symone

    *thumbs up* for me the most important part is to really look out for those edges to make sure they aren’t being strained and also make sure your scalp is moisturized and not drying out.

    Reply
    1. blacknaps

      Edges are especially important to me as well. I think it’s one of my biggest fears to have thinned out edges, so after I take out this set of box braids, I definitely will take a long and extended break from extensions.

      Reply
  3. Acire

    When wearing extensions, get a spray bottle with oil and water and keep your braids moisturized under the extensions. when you take them down the hair is soft and detangled. I used Hair trigger growth elixir under my braids every two weeks before I went to the salon to have my extensions washed and then in between olive oil.

    Reply
  4. Elle Smith

    The best braid style I’ve had are Bubble Braids from Braid Heaven Salon. It looks natural and protects your hair. I highly recommend.

    Reply
  5. Domi

    Yarn braids and JBCO!! I do this 6 months at a time..touch up at the 3rd month..up to a 4 month break with no braids..the reason I’d rather yarn than hair extentions is bc it lasts longer (for me) and the older it gets the more they look like dreads..I really appreciate this article though!!

    Reply
  6. tokunbo

    I have 4c type of hair, most times it just wants be left alone.am planning on not doing any protective styles for the next 2months.what do u think I can do to keep from tangling?.I really want to leave it out.thanks

    Reply
  7. Katnissandpeeta

    I would really love to get microbraids but I’m kinda scared because I don’t want to lose my edges. I never had an edge problem and my hair was pretty healthy up until I dyed it :-/ it’s not that damaged but it isn’t as strong as it used to be. I’m kinda scared but then I want to try it at the same time . Btw I never had braid on my hair but my aunts always have braids in their hair and one of them has a slight aloepecia case

    Reply
  8. keyshia

    I am going to be swimming for three months and I don’t want braids what do I do? I currently have a perm.

    Reply
    1. Tamara Post author

      You will need to shampoo your hair after each swim. This will be very drying to your hair and may cause some breakage. You may want to saturate your hair will tap water and conditioner before swimming and wear a swim cap.

      Reply
  9. katix3

    Hi I’m 16 years old and I’m newly natural I transitioned for a year then big chopped this year in April. I got my hair braided in June and it’s been 6 weeks and my mom doesn’t want me to take my braids out just yet. I was going to take them out tomorrow but she said keep em in. I REALLY want to take them out because my scalp is itchy and I miss my curly tresses! Any tips on what I can do to persuade her on letting me take them out?

    Reply
    1. ret074

      tell your mom your afraid your hair will lock up. It is possible. if she says no just oil your scalp.

      Reply
  10. Briana Latai

    I’m tired of perms and I want my natural curl pattern back. Do I have to cut all of my hair and start over? If so, can I get braids until it grows out?

    Reply
    1. tweety

      You do not have to cut your hair. You can get braids, cornrows, flat twists, crochet braids, yarn twists, Marley twist,, until your hair gets the length you want and then cut it.

      Reply
  11. Brenda White

    Has the Marley twist, but the new growth is turning Grey and I will like to dye it. Is it possible to dye having the Marley twist.

    Reply
    1. tweety

      Dye your hair with the twist in?, I wouldn’t. You should take them out and then dye. Also you may want to wait 2 weeks after dying hair before putting twist back in or braids. Your hair will be slightly weaker and you don’t want to risk damages.

      Reply
  12. thena raine

    Hi i’ve been natural my whole life but my hair won’t grow back to the length when it was when i was younger. What do i need to do to get my hair back to it’s former length?

    Reply
  13. prossy

    I have natural so far2 years and i want to stay natural, what products can i use to avoid the blow drying because it is too painfull on my side?Please helpme.thank you

    Reply
  14. Yve

    I had box braids installed about 4 weeks ago and when I stood up to leave the shop I got a muscle spasm in my neck. When I tried to work the muscle by messaging it, I got another. In fact, in a 24 hr period I had experienced 3 neck spasms and for several days I had moderate sensitivity in the area where I had injured the muscle. Additionally, after about 2 weeks my braids began slipping, all over, at the roots. Now 4 weeks my hair looks like it has experienced significant growth, at least 1 inch. I have concluded 2 things that I believe have contributed to the slipping: my braids are too heavy and my hair sections are too small to support the weight of the synthetic hair. This was my first time having braids in about 15 years. While I knew the look I was going for, I was ignorant of proper technique. If you are new to braids, I suggest you consult the services of a licensed, professional hair stylist or ask her to recommend someone. They will likely be more expensive but you’ll also likely end up with a better product.

    Reply
  15. Uniquequa

    I am getting my natural hair in twist braids today and i am not sure should i get it twist braid from the root to the end or braid from the root and twist to the end and how long should i keep my hairbin twist braids?

    Reply
  16. Jacqueline Farmer

    I recently got the Marley Braids and I immediately began to experience sever neck pain. I am only able to wear my hair pinned up in a style. I am contemplating getting the crochet braids. Are they nearly as heavy as the Marley Braids? Should I get a perm prior to getting them? I will be leaving the country and I am not sure of how accessible Black hair stylist are in Kuwait.

    Reply
  17. Wipeout17

    When you blowdry your hair do you begin combing at the ends? If not, you should. It reduces tangling, knotting, and pain.

    Reply
  18. Alaiyah

    I believe number 2 varies for each person. I can leave braids in for 3 months and still have my edges, and not much shedding. It depends on how you take care of your braids. Too much styling can cause breakage and not cleaning your hair can cause the matting (which is dirt)

    Reply
  19. asheley miller

    And she said sorry and wtf r u on a site like this with a name like that smh u need to get your life cuz that nigger word u love so much will be ur last come to Cleveland Ohio and see how far you get

    Reply
  20. Natural Sista

    I have been natural for one year now, I cut my hair in June and it’s slowly growing back, so I’m thinking about getting senseless twist this Saturday but my edges are very weak and thinning, but I really want to try this hair style out to feel pretty with length again, so how can I treat my hair edges to make sure they don’t break off within weeks?

    Reply
  21. Lindsay W.

    What is the best and cheapest way to get microbraid human hair extensions? Is it a sew in or…? And does it matter if my hair is shorter some places like my bangs? I’d love it if someone had a referral for a braider in Tampa, FL.

    Reply
  22. Pingback: Hair Growth Braid Extensions | Hair Growth Diet

  23. Miranda

    Hi, my hairline has broken off due to a bad batch of relaxer. It has started growing back and because my hair is short and i cannot relax it again I am struggling to style my hair. I am considering putting in braids but im scared that my hair will fall out as it is still very weak. Please help.

    Reply
  24. Osby

    I used to relax my hair but I decided to go natural been natural for 2 years now my hair starting to break should I apply braids to my hair or continue treating my hair

    Reply
    1. Isabel

      If all the relaxed hair is not cut off, the relaxed portion is going to break. I suggest nice corn roll hairstyles if you want to go the braid route, loose braids are going to stress your hsir. Wash and do condition your hair and redo every2 or 3 weeks. Don’t leave the braids longer than that.

      Reply
  25. Ayshia bryant

    My hair broke off really bad and it is less the one fourth of an inch long. Will it ever grow pack. What can I do help

    Reply
    1. Mimi

      I read about hair breakage they always said cut you ends before you start to braiding your hair give it more strength.. if your hair is not growing after taking your braids out you maybe need to trim as much as you thickness length.. look it’s hair it will always growth back fast blink of a eye keep doing deep conditioning or hot oil treatment my favorite Jamaican black castor oil.. rich black oil sunny isle. Definitely help your hair get the thickness..

      Reply
  26. Noni

    My hair growth is extremely slow and the last faux locs I did made that portion of my hair bald also I HV no hair around my edges what should I do

    Reply
    1. Mimi

      Try Jamaican black castor oil the real rich dark oil look them up sunny isle or another brand it’s help hair growth hot oil treatment.. I hope this help.

      Reply

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