Are Box Braids Good for Hair Growth?
Braids for Hair Growth
Natural hair grows no matter if you get it braided or not. The key is to find a style that will fit your schedule.
Putting your hair in braids can give it two or three months of rest from chemical or heat damage, reducing breakage.
Personal preference will also determine what kind of braids you should wear.
Avoid Breakage and Dry Hair
Part of the problem with breakage from dry hair is the use of grease and oils on the scalp while the hair is in these types of styles.
Most braid wearers will keep them in for months at a time so there is little upkeep. You just need to keep the braids clean by using a mild shampoo and moisturizer.
If you are transitioning from relaxed hair, it could be best to allow for the new growth. Have the braids removed after a few months, trim your ends, and then re-braid the hair again.
Some women who have kinky, curly hair have noticed that the braids will keep their hair stretched out and the reduced hair shrinkage can actually help the hair follicles.
Weaves Can Cause Hair Loss
A study was done that showed that braids and hair weaving causes balding in black women.
Apparently the techniques used to keep the hair unit in place such as thread, glue or tape can pull on the natural hair, removing it from the scalp when the hair piece is taken out.
The hairline will grow back but it will take time. Also, essential oils can make a big difference if massaged into the balding area.
If you decide to use hair braiding for hair growth, be careful and try to protect your natural hair and don't sacrifice it for the latest trendy hairstyles.
Tips for Growing Your Hair
1. Don't use too much hair grease.
Hair grease attracts dirt and the best way to grow natural hair is to keep it and your scalp clean.
You should avoid excessive use of hair grease. Moisturizing should not cause build-up. This will help keep your hair healthier.
2. Eat a healthy diet.
One area that seems to be neglected when trying to grow hair is eating fruits and vegetables.
Having a good diet including habits like taking vitamins or supplements will allow your hair to grow faster.
3. Look at the ingredients in your products.
Many ingredients in black hair care products like sodium lauryl sulfate can be too drying for African-American hair.
As you are probably aware, if you use hair oil or petrolatum found in mineral jelly or petroleum jelly on your scalp, it will clog your pores and make it hard to grow your hair long.
The reason these ingredients are used is because they are cheap and give a shine to the hair, which can be hard to achieve on natural or relaxed hair.
Video: How to Make a Box Braid
Choosing the Right Hairstyle
Micro braids and tree braids are popular hair braiding styles because it keeps the hair styled during the summer months if one works out or goes swimming.
The easy hair care techniques allow the wearer to keep the hair braided for months at a time.
The downside of having micro braids is that it puts a lot of stress on the hair and can cause hair loss along the hairline.
As the hair begins to grow out, the new growth will pull on the braids, causing breakage. Then, by the time the braids are taken down in a few months, the hair that was attached to the braid falls out.
Many times the individual braids are so small that they require the hair to be put into a knot to keep them tight and last longer.
So getting micro braids could cause too much damage. Tree braids could be a better option.
How Do Tree Braids Work?
Tree braids are also known as an invisible braiding method that puts your natural hair in cornrows or mini braids that are then covered with hair extensions or pinch braids. It is another form of having a hair weave without the pain of hair glue.
The braids will crossover from each other and the hair that is being added to make the braids can be pulled through to create a long flowing straight or wavy hairstyle.
Professional stylists have years of experience using wavy hair extensions to hide the cornrow pattern underneath.
Logically, having your hair in braids for two to three months will allow it to rest and reduce damage from heat and chemicals.
How Do Box Braids Work?
Most braided hairstyles utilize natural hair. Box braids use synthetic hair instead and the braids are wider in size, which is best compared to the small size of micro braids.
Sometimes three-strand braids require two braiding stylists to accomplish the finished look.
African hair braiding and box braids with cornrows are popular in winter months as well as summer months because they are low-maintenance and versatile. They save the hair from excessive combing, brushing, and styling, and help eliminate hair breakage.
Heat-styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons and blow dryers can dry the hair and cause hair loss if not used properly.
Long box braids can be created with synthetic hair extensions and loose bulk hair in multiple colors. The longer the length of the braided hairstyle, the easier it is to wear it in an updo, bun or ponytail.
The various types of box braids include:
- Philly (which are usually long enough to have the ends loose and crimped or wavy)