Micro braids are tiny and delicate hair braids that take hours to style. It is an attractive protective hairstyle and is good for natural hair. This technique helps hair grow while retaining its length. Micro braids are suitable for both women and men who are the adventurous and fun types. Despite the maintenance required before, during and after having the braids, micro braids on natural hair are a good choice. This article lets you know all about micro braids including the concerns people have, the kind of braids available and caring for them.
The process of micro braiding is easy but takes a long time due to the size of the braids. It can also be done through braiding extensions into the hair. It requires a few additional steps plus the general process to give it a fuller and longer look. A stylist with experience in braiding extensions can aid with extra length. However, the texture of your hair is significant on what type of micro braids to weave to avoid fuzzing.
Types of Braids
Straight hair is preferred by most because it can be either straight or curled depending on how one wants the ends to look. Yak straight is a good example of straight hair. It is recommended that the extensions should be washed and conditioned. By doing so, the excess dye is removed.
Many professionals propose Wet/wavy human hair. Its looks better with natural hair that has a straighter texture. The braids come in different lengths. Longer braids are more expensive than shorter ones, although some shops offer discounts.
Women and men with natural hair are afraid that it will suffer damage or breakage when they get micro braids. However, it is a protective style for your hair as braids avoid the possibility of mechanical damage through manipulation. Another reason can be your stylist, the tighter they pull your hair, the more damaged it becomes. So speak up and tell your braider to loosen your braids.
Furthermore, the number of times women with natural hair put on micro braids is a major concern which can cause traction alopecia or hair loss mostly on the edges. You need to learn to let your hair breathe in between braiding. Also, the duration to stay with micro braids should not be longer than six weeks. Around this time, the hair becomes difficult to detangle as it begins to mat or lock.
Moreover, micro braids will easily thin out natural hair. This style is therefore not recommended for those with sensitive hairlines. Some people have hair that is dry and brittle; they need to be extra cautious when getting micro braids done. They are required to moisturize their hair frequently to avoid hair loss.
Caring for microbraids
Before the braiding
A visit to the stylist will help you consult with him/her on your hair. They will advise you on a professional who specializes in the style as well as kinky hair. During this meeting, your stylist can also tell you how long the braids will take and how many packs of hair extensions you need.
Your stylist will assess your hair and make sure it is in proper condition to avoid worsening the damage. Hot oil treatment is recommended as it moisturizes while replenishing the damaged hair. This should be done once a week for several weeks before braiding. If you cannot access the hot oil treatment, a deep conditioner is a suitable substitute for moisturizing.
Some professionals trim your hair to get rid of the split ends and for healthy growth. However, it should be done in a way that there is still hair long enough to braid. On the actual braiding day, ensure that you thoroughly shampoo and condition your hair to prevent infection and other scalp conditions.
While it is braided
Your stylist will always be able to answer your questions so follow the advice given. Although most people wash and condition their micro braids regularly, many professionals recommend you wait for four weeks before the first wash. This is significant as it avoids quick unravelling of the micro braids and fuzzing of the natural hair. Use the right shampoo for your hair type and have a bottle of conditioner.
Cover your braids with a satin or silk scarf before sleeping to keep the micro braids neat. Stylists suggest that you wear different micro braid styles. Sticking to one style creates too much tension on certain parts of your head leading to loss of hair. To avoid the hair feeling brittle or dry, spray on a leave-in conditioner, braid spray or hair oil to keep the hair moisturized. Do not use a little or a lot.
A light scalp conditioner is also handy for the edges of the scalp where the most damage can occur, as a heavy one causes a flaky scalp which is hard to treat when hair is micro braided. Alternatives can be olive oil, Aloe Vera gel, vitamin E or products containing these liquids to keep the scalp lubricated. Regularly visit the stylist to help maintain your braids.
After micro braiding
When removing micro braids takes several hours due to their size. Therefore, it is best to do so patiently and carefully. A professional can remove them if you are unable to do so. The hair is fragile after being braided for so long hence gentle hands are required. After removal, use a protein treatment to strengthen your natural hair. Additionally, use a deep conditioner and moisturizer to restore moisture as the hair is very dry.