I like to write about accepting and loving your natural hair and how to take care of it.
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 cause 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
- Don't use too much hair grease.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Look at the ingredients in your products.
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.
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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.
Choosing the Right Hairstyle
Micro braids and tree braids are popular hair braiding styles because they keep 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
- Philly (which are usually long enough to have the ends loose and crimped or wavy)
How to Do Individual or Single Tree Braid Plaits
C-Bless from Canada on May 29, 2011:
Great information as usual. Thank you for sharing...
Research Analyst (author) on May 20, 2011:
agusfanani - I agree with you especially since hair braid designs come in a variety of lengths.
agusfanani from Indonesia on May 19, 2011:
Why I like people with braided hair is that it makes the wearers look unique and more attractive.
Research Analyst (author) on May 19, 2011:
Earth Angel - Thanks, I thought it would be nice for a change and I like the big afro.
Jo Goldsmith - It must be easier to take care of your hair in two big braids, thanks for sharing!
Jo_Goldsmith11 on May 19, 2011:
I like to have my hair in a single braid down the back or two braids, in the style of "pippy long stocking". I have noticed that after I have my hair braided, it seems to make my hair grow. I love long hair~ great hub! Very detailed and I enjoyed watching the how to video. Really cool stuff! Voted up...
Earth Angel on May 18, 2011:
Oooooooooooh, I love your new avatar! Blessings, EA!!
Research Analyst (author) on May 17, 2011:
Thats cool Earth Angel, LOL
Earth Angel on May 17, 2011:
Yes, dearest RA! My hair, when I wear it down, gets into everything! The drain, chairs, screen doors, car seats, boxers, etc.! My hair measures about 4 and 3/4 feet in length so each strand is like ten! I wear it up most of the time! I LOVE hair! I am so glad you are writing these Hubs! I know you concentrate on brown hair but many of the tips you have work for blonds as well! Blessings to you dearest RA! Earth Angel!
Research Analyst (author) on May 17, 2011:
Eiddwen - glad you found the information useful
Earth Angel - Wow you have some really long hair, hope you use a shower drain catcher or does the shed hair clog up the plumbing in your home?
LisaG - dreadlocks are really nice and I have seen some long natural ones too.
Koffeeklatch Gals - it is something that is very popular among woman with natural hair and even those with relaxed hair like to wear braids to give their hair a break from all the heat styling tools.
Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on May 16, 2011:
Great hub. I love the looks of the braids. Thanks for putting in the pros and cons.
Lisakg from Caribbean on May 16, 2011:
This is an excellent hub. I've had my hair natural now for three years. I braided it first and then grew it into dreadlocks. It is now longer and healthier than it ever was. Natural hair works for me.
Earth Angel on May 16, 2011:
Blessings to you this lovely Monday morning RA!
GREAT Hubs on hair! I would love to see more photos on this one if you can find them! Especially showing the natural with synthetic hair being woven together!
I have really long hair (below my thighs) and credit both a high protein diet (tuna/salmon/eggs/cottage cheese) and wearing it up most of the time!
Wearing my hair up seems to cause it less damage during the day from over brushing and rubbing up against things ~ especially for the ends, which I sit on when I am wearing it down! It also allows more of the hair follicles to breathe!
I LOVE the look of braids and always read your Hubs on hair! You provide great information! Thank you!
Blessings always to you, yours and your lovely locks!
Eiddwen from Wales on May 16, 2011:
A great hub and thanks for sharing.