Is it recommended to have long braids if I have thin hair?
No it´s not recommended to have extra long braids if you have thin hair because the excess weight from the braids can result in hair loss and further thin out your hair.
What is the longest you can keep box braids in? What happens if I leave box braids in my hair for too long?
The longest amount of time to keep your box braids in will be about 12 weeks. If it´s extra long, like the ones recommended in this blog post, then I will say 8 weeks. This is because extra-long braids are typically heavy, which can cause a strain on the scalp and hair follicles. Over time, they will also start to feel like a burden because it´s a lot of hair to deal with.
Leaving your braids in too long can cause hair loss, matted roots which can be hard to loose and untangle, resulting in you having to cut off your hair. This is the exact opposite of what you want because most Black women put braids in their hair so that they can grow healthy, long hair. No one wants to spend all that money and time to get their hair done, only to end up with hair loss after a few weeks.
What should be the minimum hair length I need to have before putting braids in?
I recommend to have at least three inches of hair before installing braids. This way, the hairstylist will not need to pull on your hair too tightly in order to be able to grip the hair. For waist length hair length such as the ones in this post, I suggest waiting for your hair to grow a bit longer so that the long braids are not putting too much weight on your hair.
How long should I let my hair breathe before getting box braids?
While it´s common for many Black women to go from one hairstyle to another without taking a break, I recommend taking at least a two weeks breaks in-between hairstyles.
Do long box braids recede your hairline?
Yes, extra long braids can cause a receding hairline. Especially if the braids were too tight and heavy. If you have sensitive and fragile hairline, or you are under stress, or on medications, I will suggest not braiding your hair at all. You can brush up your edges or do less damaging hairstyles such as two-strand twists or flat twists. And if you must use extensions, you can use light-weight hair such as Marley hair.
Can box braids smell? What happens if I don’t wash my box braids?
Your box braids will smell if you don´t wash it regularly. If you live in a hot climate, work outdoors or workout often, you will sweat, which will cause your braids to smell. Going long periods without washing your hair will result in excessive buildup of greese, dead skin cells, dirt from the environment that has settled on your hair and sweat.
All this combination can cause an unpleasant smell which can only be washed off with a good shampoo. Imagine going days without taking a shower or brushing your teeth? I bet you don´t even want to think of this because it´s just not cute. So why do weeks and months without washing your hair?
Can mold grow in my braids?
Mold can grow on braids If you don’t blow dry your hair properly or let it air out after washing. You should leave your braids out loose, without putting it in a bun or a a style so that your scalp can dry fully.
Covering your head up immediately after washing it will result in a warm and humid environment which can cause a breeding space for mold. This is not healthy or safe, let your hair dry completely before putting it in a bun or covering it with a bonnet.
How do you sleep comfortably with extra-long box braids?
I can´t deny that the first few nights after getting long braids will be uncomfortable. To reduce the discomfort so that you get a better night sleep, I suggest using a jumbo satin bonnet so that all your hair is in one place and out of your face.
Under no circumstance should you go to bed without wrapping your hair up. Failure to do this might result in health hazards such as choking because the long braids can wrap around your neck at night which can be hazardous. This is why it´s highly recommended to put your hair in a bonnet so that it’s safely contained in a fabric.
What can I do if my long braids are itching?
Itching braids might be a result of two things. One might be the preservatives in the braids that the manufacturer used to make the hair, which your skin might be allergic to. Another might be due to dirty scalp that needs to be cleansed.
If you had just installed your hair and your scalp won´t stop itching, I recommend washing your braids with apple cider vinegar so that the harsh chemicals can be washed away with vinegar. And for the next hairstyle, please remember to do a vinegar pre-soak of the extensions before installing them; this way, you won’t have to wash your hair days after installing it, and you can enjoy your new hairstyle without having an allergic reaction.
What is the least damaging way to remove my long box braids without hair loss or breakage?
It´s common for many women to sit for hours to get their hair done, but they can´t sit more than 30 minutes to take their hair down. Sadly, I´m one of those women, I am impatient and I want to take out my braids as fast as I can.
This often result in hair loss that could have been avoided. Please don´t be like me and make sure you take your time when taking out your braids. When taking down extra long braids, you can cut large section of the braids so that you will have less length to work with.
You should then take your time loosening each braid. After taking out each braid, you should fully detangle each braid, making sure to detangle matted roots with a leave-in conditioner. Taking all the braids down and detangling at once might seem faster and more efficient, but I find that I tend to loose more hair this way-
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