If you’ve found yourself nodding along in a conversation about yarn braids, having pretty much no idea what anyone’s talking about, you’re in the right place. In this article we’re going to break down everything you need to know about yarn braids, including how to do them.
We’re also going to be showcasing plenty of styles with picture examples throughout this article, so you can have fun picking out your next style.
What Are Yarn Braids?
We love this awesome short yarn braid style from this Instagrammer.
To put it simply, yarn braids are braids… made out of yarn!
When you first hear about it, it sounds pretty out of the box, right? Some people think it might sound cheap or tacky. In fact, the idea of this style might even get some major side eye out of most people. But divas devoted to hair excellence all know that there are some serious benefits to having yarn braids. And they look awesome, too.
How Long Do Yarn Braids Last?
Wow, check out these blue yarn braids!
Before we get into just how long yarn braids last, we need to talk about something…
One thing that puts people off trying yarn braids is the horror stories you might hear about hair locking up. And it’s true, some people’s hair has turned into locs with yarn braids in. That’s had a lot of people freaking out and taking their yarn braids out before they have to. But the good news is, the locking is not the fault of the style…
It’s because these people used the wrong yarn in their hair to begin with.
If you use real wool yarn or ‘natural yarn’ in your hair, be prepared for a hot mess. That will lock up with your hair real quick, and you’ll be spending hours and hours getting all that sheep out of your hair. Not cool.
What you need is synthetic yarn. More on that in the next section.
For now, let’s answer the original question – how long can you keep yarn braids in for?
The consensus seems to be around 5 to 8 weeks. Some people take them out sooner if they find the style starts looking unkempt or messy. But if you install them well and the braids are relatively small, around a month and a half to two months is a realistic timeframe for the life of a yarn braid style.
However, you might find that the color of your yarn might start to fade a little from its original color. For some people that’s no problem, but if you wanted the original color back, you’ll have to rebraid every three to four weeks.
Where To Buy Yarn For Braiding Hair
As mentioned in the previous section, the crucial thing about buying yarn is what type you get. Wanna buy real wool? Say hello to a comb, a bucket full of top conditioner and a boat load of frustration, because the wool yarn strands will lock with your hair and you’ll have to wage full on war to get them out. Get ready to lose a few days of your life!
To avoid this mess, you’ll need to get synthetic yarn instead. Look for labels such as acrylic, polyester, spandex, polypropylene and nylon. Any of these are suitable. When it comes to the thickness of the yarn and the color, that’s totally up to you. Luckily, synthetic yarns are a whole load cheaper than ‘natural wool’ yarn. And good news for allergy sufferers, too – these synthetic yarns are totally usable for those with wool allergies
You can purchase your synthetic yarn from a number of places, easiest of all being getting your Yarn on Amazon.
Other options include craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michaels. But you might also find synthetic yarn in the same stores you buy your groceries, like Walmart, for example. Local craft or fabric stores are also likely to stock the yarn you’re looking for. You could also choose to purchase the yarn for your next style online, particularly if you want an unusual color.
One of the best things about synthetic yarn is the price. You’ll probably need about 1 to 2 regular packs for your whole head, meaning you’ll spend around $4 to $7 for the full style if you’re only using one or two colors. If you’re rocking a crazy multicolored style, you’ll need a pack for each color, but you’ll have plenty left over for future styles. Compare that to the price of the braiding hair you would normally get – we bet any money that it’s less. So not only do yarn braids look awesome, they can actually save you money, too.
Picture Examples Of Yarn Braids
Check out some of the different ways you can rock yarn braids.
Love, love, loving this look from this Instagrammer! The shoulder length look is always so fresh and young, and we adore how this looks with yarn braids. The classic black color throughout means this style is suitable for anywhere – work, home, partying, wherever. Awesome.
Go super long:
If you feel like having a black Rapunzel moment, yarn braids like these are an awesome choice. Since yarn is super lightweight, you can get that long braid look you crave without feeling like you’re carrying the weight of the world around on your scalp!
Goth it up:
This gorgeous Instagrammer has put a flash of red at the front of her otherwise black yarn braid style. This gives her an eye-catching, vibrant look that goes perfectly with her dramatic makeup.
Pastels and unicorns:
Amina Mucciolo’s fast becoming famous for her wonderful take on pastel colors. She loves all things unicorn, floral, pastel and pretty, and her hair is no exception. Here she’s got a gorgeous lilac shade, but you can catch her in pink, blue, and pastel color combos on her Instagram.
How To Do Yarn Braids
Check out this YouTuber installing awesome lavender color yarn braids.
Step 1 – Cut the yarn to the length you need it.
Step 2 – Make a part for a braid.
Step 3 – Take three strands of yarn and make sure they’re the same length.
Step 4 – Loop the yarn around your hair and twist the ends across each other.
Step 5 – Braid the yarn with your natural hair.
Step 6 – Divide the six strands of yarn into three sets of two strands.
Step 7 – Continue the braid to the end of the yarn.
Some people choose to use a rubber band at the end of their yarn braids, while others choose to melt or burn the ends.
A great thing about the installation of yarn braids, compared to regular braids, is the lack of mess. With regular braids, the braiding hair ends up all over the house, all over your clothes, all over everywhere! This is super annoying, but you won’t have this problem with yarn braids.
Can You Wash Yarn Braids?
We love the color mix this Instagrammer has picked.
So can you wash yarn braids? In a word, yes.
But there’s one thing to keep in mind – yarn gets super heavy when it’s wet. This is why most people wash their hair in a sink when they have yarn braids. Luckily you don’t have to wash it very often. Once every two weeks to once a month should be sufficient. Once you’ve washed your yarn braids, squeeze out all the excess moisture so that they’re not too heavy on your scalp. Then use a towel to soak out the remaining water.
A lot of people choose to wash only their scalp. To do this, tie your yarn braids in a few pigtails or large braids, so that you can access your scalp but keep the length of your yarn braids away from the water. All you have to wash is your hair, not the yarn.
Plenty of people with yarn braids also choose to co-wash. Co-wash is washing the hair with conditioner only, not shampoo.
With yarn braids in, you can still oil your scalp. It’s also recommended that you spritz your hair every two to three days with a mixture of water and a light oil such as olive oil.
Yarn Braids Vs Yarn Twists, Which Are Better?
Yarn braids and yarn twists (rocked to perfection by this Instagrammer) are remarkably similar. They last a similar length of time, use around the same amount of hair and look just as awesome.
Also, some people are using yarn to create locs. These are known as genie locs, yarn wraps, yarn locs, yarn dreads or wrapped extensions.
This Instagrammer has chosen a gorgeous color for her genie locs.
Yarn Braids – What They Are, How To Do Them, And Picture Examples To Find Your Next Style
So which of these styles do you like the best – yarn braids, yarn twists, or genie locs? Have you found your next style in this article? Let us know girlfriend. 🙂