Do Braids Damage Your Hair? & Damage Prevention Tips
Braids are a common hairstyle and the question of whether braids damage your hair is a frequently asked one.
It is important to know before you get any hairstyle how it will affect your hair.
When you know how a hairstyle will affect your hair, you can also take precautions to keep your hair protected.
That is why we are going to break down how to prevent braids damage in this article.
How Do Braids Work?
Braids are often used as a protective hairstyle.
There are many kinds of braids you can get. From box braids to twists to micro-twists and more, there are so many options to choose from.
The process for braiding is typically the same for many different types of braids.
It often involves the twisting of a small section of your hair with the extensions, beginning at the scalp.
Braids keep your hair from being exposed to harsh external conditions. By covering your natural hair with the extensions, you create a barrier between your hair and some potentially damaging elements.
For instance, excessive UV rays can really be damaging to your hair and cause breakage. Humidity can also be really harmful to your hair if it is frequently exposed.
Braids are a great hairstyle to preventing this because they tuck your hair away very neatly and in a stylish way too.
Braids also prevent you from having to style your hair too frequently, thus reducing the amount of strain you put on your hair and the amount of damage.
When you have to comb and detangle your hair frequently, it can thin out, develop split ends or become really brittle. Braids are therefore really good at combatting this.
Can Braids Be Damaging?
Although braids are a protective style and they are used to reduce hair damage, they can cause damage to your hair in some cases.
Often the kind of damage caused by braids is due to the method of braiding.
Or it is related to issues with the heaviness of the braids, the way you care for them or the amount of time you keep them in.
In order to avoid the potential damage, it’s important to know how it may arise.
Types Of Braids Damage
There are two main ways your hair can get damaged when you have braids.
The first one arises because of the amount of weight the braids on your hair and the way your hair responds to this.
The second arises when you don’t provide your braids with the proper haircare routine and you keep them in for a long time.
Tensile stress is what happens when the weight of the braids tugs on the roots of your hair strands. This stress leads to your hair splitting or falling out.
Unbraided hair can experience a lot more of this kind of stress in the styling process when you brush or detangle it.
But often times, when you have your extensions in, especially for a while, the weight of them becomes too heavy for your hair and can lead to this stress anyway.
You may have a few extensions falling out along with a bit of the hair from the section where they were braided in.
This is a common experience among people who braid their hair. However, if you get braids frequently and this keeps happening, it can cause long-term damage to your hair and your hairline.
Having dandruff in itself is pretty harmless to your hair. Dandruff doesn’t cause hair damage.
Dandruff often accumulates when you’ve had your braids in for a while, especially if you haven’t washed them in some time.
This in itself is not a problem. But what can actually cause hair damage is the fact that your hair may get very itchy due to the dandruff accumulation.
When scratching your scalp due to the irritation, you can end up losing hair strands.
Luckily, these kinds of hair damage can be minimized with the right precautions.
Braids Damage Prevention Tips
The best move for preventing braids damage in your hair is to take action that minimizes tension and keeps your hair free of issues like dandruff accumulation.
The issue of stress can be addressed by changing the way in which your braids are put in in the first place. As well as how your braids are removed.
The issue of dandruff and other substance accumulation can be addressed by changing how you care for your braids in the period that you have them in.
Here are the tips to follow.
Keep Your Braids Slightly Loose
Whether you are putting in your braids at home or you have a stylist braiding your hair for you, this step is essential to tick off.
Making sure that your braids aren’t too tight will prevent your hair from experiencing too much tugging and too much weight on it, which is what leads to tensile stress.
A lot of people or stylist will make braids extremely tight to make them last longer. Because if you braid them tightly and very close to the scalp, it will take longer for them to fall out.
But this may not pay off as well as they hope because in the long-run it will only lead to hair damage.
When the braids do eventually fall out, they fall out with pieces of your hair that has been pulled from the root by the weight of the extensions.
In order to avoid this, make sure you keep the tension to a minimum or tell your stylist to take this precaution.
Wear Braids At Intervals
Because braids are such an effective protective hairstyle, a lot of people will want to get them frequently.
But this may not be the best idea if you are doing it without giving your hair much of a break between braiding.
Your hair needs time between each braiding to recover from the potential stress it would have experienced when you had your braids in.
This is why it is advisable to give your hair at least a couple of weeks every time you take out your braids for it to rejuvenate.
During this period, it’s good to make sure you’re using nourishing hair products in your hair and giving it all the nutrients it need to become strong again.
Wash And Moisturize
Whether you are taking an interval from braids or you still have them in, washing and moisturizing your hair is vital for protecting it from braids damage.
You don’t’ have to wash your hair vigorously when you have braids in.
But washing it every few weeks will prevent it from accumulating dandruff or any other unwanted substances that could irritate your scalp.
The process of washing your hair when you have braids in shouldn’t be too different from when you have your natural hair. The only difference is the frequency.
Shampooing your hair, braided or unbraided should keep your hair clean as usual.
Aside from shampooing, it is also important to give your hair some moisture in other ways.
Using products like moisturizing lotions, essential oils and butters on your scalp when you have your braids in is highly recommended.
It is also recommended that you use these kinds of products during the braiding process, as well also after you’ve taken your braids out and before you re-braid your hair.
Take Extra Care When Removing Your Braids
Anybody who has ever gotten braids knows that the process of removing them can be a tedious one.
When removing your braids, especially when you are frustrated, it can be easy to stop being extra gently with them.
A lot of people often tug and pull at the roots of their hair when they are removing their braids. Or they tug too harshly when they are combing out the knots after they’ve removed a braid.
This is dangerous for your hair because it causes a lot of stress and strain to it that can lead to breakage.
If your hair is already dry or brittle, the damage that can be caused in this process may be huge.
This is why it is important to remove your braids with care.
Spritzing your hair with water before you begin is a good idea. Wet hair is more resilient that dry hair because it is not dry and brittle.
Detangling hair products are also a good alternative as they are designed specifically to make getting the knots in your hair out much more easily.
Hair lotion also makes your hair moist and easier to detangle.
On top of this, you should also make sure you are using good detangling combs a gentle touch when taking your braids out.
Do Braids Damage Your Hair? + Damage Prevention Tips, Conclusion
Braids have a reputation for being a protective style for a good reason.
Braids are highly effective for most people at keeping their hair safe from so many things that can potentially harm it.
As long as you follow the right steps, this protective style will remain protective. And you can prevent any braids damage to your hair.