For women with curly and textured hair, braids are essential. It’s a go-to hairstyling option for many as the hair is easier to manage while in braids. There are plenty of benefits to braiding your hair, but one question remains: do braids help your hair grow faster?
If you braid your hair properly, it will surely aid in improving your hair quality. However, it’s still undecided whether braids can make your hair grow faster. Let’s take a closer look at everything you should know about braiding your hair for hair growth.
What Are Braids?
A braid, by definition, is a pattern formed by interlacing two or more strands of hair. It can be rather easy to do, like a classic 3-strand braid or a french braid, but it can also be more complex.
With so many braiding styles to choose from, you’ll surely find the one that works for you. Firstly, you can choose to braid it loosely on the days when you don’t feel like washing it. Secondly, you can opt for tighter types of braids that stay in your hair for a long time. And lastly, you can either add extensions before you braid your hair or leave it as it is.
If you want your braids to aid in hair growth, your best bet is to make them tight. Still, even with tighter braids, there are several variations you can choose from. Which style you choose will depend on your personal preferences and how much time you’re willing to spend in the hair salon. Here are a few of the most common braiding styles for curly hair:
• Micro Braids
Micro braids are a common braiding style for curly hair. They are, as the name suggests, small and braided individually throughout the hair. The braiding process is rather long, but the finished style is stunning. Additionally, you can choose to only braid the roots of your hair, so the process takes less time.
Do micro braids help your hair grow? They are a protective style, which means they help your hair grow by protecting it from tearing. If you choose micro braids to aid your hair growth, it’s better to opt for braiding the whole hair. This way, you won’t put additional stress on your hair while brushing and styling it.
• Box Braids
Box braids are three-stranded braids. The hair is divided into sections shaped like squares, or boxes, hence the name. You can choose how big you want the squares to be, and that will dictate the width of your braids.
Box braids are a protective style. They don’t require excessive heat styling, meaning you won’t damage your hair with them. If you braid them properly, your hair will grow without any issues.
• Crochet Braids
Crochet braids are quite different from other braids. This braid style is a great choice for those with short hair who want long extensions without damaging the hair. First, you cornrow your natural hair. Then, you weave extensions through your hair with a special threading needle.
Furthermore, crochet braids won’t damage your hair. The cornrows protect your natural hair, so you can style the extensions any way you want without damaging it. You should, however, remove your crochet braids every six weeks, as they can pull on hair roots if they grow out too much.
Do Braids Help Your Hair Grow Faster?
Braids are a fashionable, no-hassle hairstyle that will last you a long time. You surely won’t regret opting for one of the braiding options mentioned above. But the question still stands — do braids help your hair grow?
The speed at which the hair grows is mainly the result of genetics. You can, however, help your hair by keeping it healthy. How do braids help your hair grow and stay healthy?
Firstly, they provide your hair with a stable structure, which protects the hair strands. This way, your hair can grow in its natural curl pattern.
Secondly, by braiding your hair, you won’t be tempted to use heat when styling it. In case you haven’t heard, heat-styling is your hair’s worst enemy. It causes irreparable damage to the hair, breaking it and slowing down growth.
Lastly, by keeping your hair in braids, you will reduce the amount of brushing and detangling. While brushing can stimulate hair growth, you shouldn’t overdo it, especially if you have curly hair, as it can disrupt your natural curl pattern and even break your hair. Keeping your hair braided means that you won’t have to worry about brushing or detangling for several weeks.
How to Prepare Your Hair for Braids?
If you want your braids to help your hair grow, you should pay attention to how you treat it before installing the braids. Here’s what you should do the day before getting braids to maximize hair growth.
• Use a Clarifying Shampoo
Curly-haired girls usually stay away from overly clarifying shampoos, as they can dry the hair out. However, you should definitely use it the night before braiding your hair.
Essentially, your hair stays in braids for about a month after you braid it. If your scalp is dirty, it can clog your pores and cause damage, which, in turn, slows down hair growth. Clarifying shampoos clean your scalp thoroughly, so you can be sure there will be no dirt buildup to cause problems.
• Use a Deep Conditioner
If you have curly hair, chances are you already know about the wonders of deep conditioning. Curly hair tends to be on the dryer side, which is why it can handle frequent conditioning.
It’s particularly important to deep-condition your hair before exposing it to any stress. Even though braids are a protective style, your hair does experience stress during the installation process. Touching and pulling it to get it into braids can damage fragile strands. By deep-conditioning, you are making sure your hair can handle that stress.
• Wrap Your Hair While You Sleep
You should do this after you’ve got the braids as well, but it’s especially important to do it the night before you actually get them. Wrapping your hair in a silk head wrap prevents friction. This, in turn, protects your hair from frizz.
Frizzy hair is notoriously difficult to work with. Even skilled hairdressers may cause damage to it. Therefore, it’s better to prevent the frizz now than to regret it later. If you don’t want to wear a head wrap, you can also opt for a silk pillowcase.
Can Braids Damage Your Hair?
If you’re wondering do braids help your hair grow, you may want to know if they can also damage it.
Essentially, the only way braids can cause damage is if your hairdresser places them incorrectly. If you choose a hairdresser who knows what they are doing, the risk of damage is minimal.
However, just because your hair is in braids, that doesn’t mean you should neglect it. For optimal hair growth, it’s essential that you keep up with your hair routine.
While braided, your hair can become dry because the oils from the scalp can’t reach the tips of your hair. To prevent dryness, you should spray your hair with water every couple of days. You can also use aloe vera juice and leave-in sprays on it to further moisturize it.
If you notice your scalp getting greasy, you can wash it with a mild shampoo. You should be careful, though, as shampoo can make the braids frizz up. Additionally, you can clean your scalp with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water, which is less damaging for the braids.
Lastly, make it a habit to wear a bonnet or a headscarf even when you have braids. Additionally, don’t forget that, even though braids are a protective hairstyle, you should still take them out after about a month. Leaving them in for too long can cause damage by pulling on your hair, thus slowing down the growth.
After you take out the braids, make sure you give your hair time to recuperate. Pay special attention to it during this period. Hair masks, oils, and deep-conditioning treatments are a great way for your hair to heal. Your hair will be thankful and ready for the next braid style.
Do Braids Help Your Hair Grow: How Will You Know?
If you’re wondering Do braids help your hair grow, you may find it tricky to determine if and how much your hair has grown since you put it in braids. Here’s how you can tell if that’s the case.
Look at the roots of your hair, and check if the braids appear looser than they were when you installed them. That often happens once the hair grows out an inch or so. However, it can also happen as a result of frequent hair washing or tugging, so it can be an unreliable way to check hair growth. An additional method you can try is simply measuring the hair with a tape measure. The part of the hair that’s grown will not be braided, so you’ll be able to see exactly how much your hair has grown.
If your hair has grown significantly, you should think about taking the braids out. They tend to pull on and can even rip hairs out of their follicles if they get too heavy. That’s especially common for smaller braid varieties, such as micro braids.
More Tips for Hair Growth
With the question Do braids help your hair grow faster? answered, you may be wondering what else you could do to promote hair growth.
Typically, hair grows about half an inch per month. Although its growth is mainly the result of genetics, there are several ways you can improve the speed at which it grows.
Here’s what you should do if you want your hair to grow faster and healthier:
• Pay Attention to What You Eat
It may seem obvious, but it should still be mentioned that hair growth requires a lot of energy and nutrients. Pay close attention to how much fruits and vegetables you include in your diet. Balanced meals are key to a healthy body, and that includes long, healthy hair.
If you want to further aid hair growth, you can also add hair vitamins to your diet. This, however, should never be at the expense of balanced meals.
• Massage Your Scalp
Massaging your head has plenty of benefits, but the main one is that it strengthens hair follicles, leading to thicker, healthier hair. A study was done on men who massaged their hair for a few minutes every day. By the end of the study, their hair was thicker and healthier.
You can massage your head while your hair is dry, or you can do it in the shower, while you’re washing it. If you dedicate five minutes each day to it, you’ll be surprised at how healthy and full your hair looks within a month.
So, what’s the verdict? Do braids help your hair grow faster? The bottom line is, hair growth speed is mainly the product of genetics. However, if you install them properly and take care of them, braids can aid in hair growth. Still, keep in mind that they can’t do it on their own. If you want to help your hair grow faster, make sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet, and massage your scalp for thick, healthy hair.