If you’re wondering whether or not braids are good for African American hair, you’ve come to the right place. From my personal experience and my hairstylist’s expertise, I have all the answers for you right here!
Braids are good for African American hair as braids promote hair growth as long as you follow proper hair care routines to avoid hair damage. This includes avoiding very thin or tight braids, prepping your hair beforehand by using deep-conditioning or protein treatments, and finally, not relaxing your hair before braiding it.
Keep reading if you’d like to find out exactly how to get the most out of your braids in order to not only grow your hair but to keep it healthy and strong!
How To Make Sure Your Hair Grows With Braids
Braids can either be the best thing for your hair or the worst. If you’re interested in finding out how to get the most out of your braids in terms of hair growth and healthy hair, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look!
To make sure your hair grows whilst it is braided, the most important things that you need to do is to deep-condition your hair or do a protein treatment beforehand to prep your hair, keep your hair clean by washing it once a week, and moisturize your hair whilst it’s braided to increase its elasticity, after every wash day.
Keep reading to find out exactly what you need to do to make sure that your hair grows whilst it’s braided!
1. Do a deep-conditioning or protein treatment before braiding
Before you get your hair braided, ensure that it is prepped for the weeks that it will be braided by strengthening your hair strands using a deep conditioning treatment or even a protein treatment. Do this at least 2 or 3 days before you get your hair braided.
The best deep-conditioning treatment on the market right now is the Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner By Arvazallia, you can purchase this from Amazon for only $12.95. This deep-conditioning treatment nourishes your hair with the highest grade of argan oil and is both sulfate-free and paraben-free; it can be used on hair that is natural or hair that is permed.
The best protein treatment on the market right now is the Aphogee Two-step Protein Treatment, also from Amazon, for only $23.69. This protein treatment will stop and prevent any hair breakage; it’s ideal for permed, relaxed, or tinted hair.
2. Detangle your hair
The day before braiding your hair, be sure to detangle it using a wide-tooth comb and a detangling product like the Biolage Hydrasource Conditioning Balm. By detangling your own hair instead of letting your hairstylist or braider detangle it, you will shed and break less hair as you’re able to take your time with it and be gentle. You can buy this product from Amazon for only $30. It also doubles as a leave-in conditioner, you get the best of both worlds.
3. Don’t make your braids too thin
Thin braids should only be for the front of your hair (your edges) to reduce tension and pulling caused by thicker braids at the front. For the rest of your hair, use thicker braids on thicker sections to reduce breakage.
If possible, switch up your braid style now and again by giving up braids and doing cornrows, twists, or single plaits using your own natural hair as hair extensions in some styles can actually cause hair shedding and breakage.
4. Practice proper haircare with braided hair
Just because your hair is braided, it doesn’t mean that you should stop taking care of it. In fact, this is the most crucial time to practice haircare, especially if you have braided your hair using extensions.
You should be washing your hair at least once a week or once every 10 days with braided hair, even more regularly if you have an active lifestyle whereby you sweat more often. After washing your hair, ensure that you deep-condition and moisturize your hair after every wash day. Deep-conditioners will restore moisture to your hair, and moisturizers like hair oils (coconut oil or olive oil) to help seal moisture.
5. Don’t leave your braids in for too long
If you want to use braids to promote hair growth and to strengthen your hair then I highly recommend that you leave your braids in for no longer than 2 – 6 weeks. hairtsylist will tell you that you can push it to 8 weeks but this is only if you’re very diligent about taking care of your natural hair whilst it is braided; otherwise you’ll just be damaging your hair by keeping your braids in for that long.
Also, give your hair a break after taking your braids out. Wait at least 2 weeks before you braid your hair again to allow your hair to breathe and be treated (protein treatments and deep-conditioners) without the interference of your braids.
The Best Type Of Braids For African American Hair
Although all braids are beautiful and are often used as protective styles, there are braids that are more suited to this role than others. If you’d like to find out what the best braids are for healthy hair growth for African American hair, take a look!
Cornrows are a great braiding style for African American hair. They do not require any hair extensions, so you can avoid unnecessary shedding that may occur from braiding with extensions. You can do cornrows on any texture hair as well as any length of hair. Cornrows Not only are they great for your hair, but they are super easy to do on yourself.
Keep reading to find out what other braids are great for African American hair as well as how to do these braids if you’re a DIY women!
Twits are one of the simplest and most effective braid types when opting for a protective style. Just take a section of hair, divide it in half, and then twist the two sections around each other right to your ends. If you want, you can do twists with braids in the same way. Just add the braids in the first step when you’re diving your sections in half before twisting.
When you get to the ends of your hair, gently loosen the twists’ tightness to allow them to settle. Twists are a great protective style for African American women as they curl at the end of your hair, will ensure that your twists don’t unravel.
02. Box Braids
Box braids are another amazing protective style that I’m sure you love as much as I do. They offer so much versatility in that they can be big, medium, or small in size. Also, you can have knotless box braids and braids with knots. There’s something for everyone!
Box braids can be worn on pretty much any length of hair, so you don’t need to wait for your natural to grow out before getting box braids.
03. Ghana Braids
Ghana braids are what you would get if cornrows and box braids had a baby, a beautiful and flawless baby that is! Ghana braids are thick, stunning, and achieved using hair extensions (kanekalon hair extensions, to be exact). To create Ghana braids, braid your hair into cornrows going all the way down to the nape of your neck, use the feed-in method to incorporate your hair extensions from the beginning!
Finish off by braiding the remainder of your hair (at the ends) into the traditional three-strand plaits using the hair extensions to add length and thickness.