14 Things You Need to Know About Micro Braids

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A hairstyle that’s most commonly seen on African women, micro braid is a kind of hair braid that’s delicate and tightly woven into hair. A great thing, there are endless different looks you can create from it, allowing you to change your hairstyle more often. Whether you wish to try the trendy hairstyle on your own, or you like to consider the look thoroughly before getting your hair braided, keep on reading for the things you need to know about micro braids.

  1. Micro braids may not be suitable for all hair types.

Every woman could give micro braids a shot, but you have to know that not all hair types will go well with it. Have you recently got your hair straightened? Do you have a super frizzy hair that’s hard to keep under control? Do you experience hair fall due to lack of sleep, malnutrition, and stress? Since the braids are very tiny and compact, they could pose a threat to your hair when it’s not suitable for it. Also, micro braids can thin out natural hair, so better skip this hairstyle if you have a sensitive hairline.

A great thing, this hairstyle is perfect for women with frizzy hair, turning that frizz into something stylish and cool look that you can wear for a long time. Hair damage, hair breakage, and even hair loss can be the bad results of micro braids, especially if you have a dry and brittle hair, and if you don’t keep up with good hair maintenance while having them.

  1. Don’t try micro braids right after you got your hair relaxed.

It might be tempting to experiment on your hair right after getting it straightened or relaxed, but the experts advised to refrain from braids, especially micro braids. Why? The chemical used in straightening, as well as the relaxer affects the pH balance and elasticity of your hair, where braids will add some strain to them, causing them to break. If you really want to change up your hairstyle, wait for at least nine weeks before getting micro braids, so you’ll have one inch of new hair growth that can go well with the intensive braid. Remember, braids should be a protective hairstyle, not a damaging one, so you must be careful on choosing the right look for you.

  1. Micro braiding extensions can be less damaging to natural hair.

If you have a shorter hair, or if you like less hair damage from micro braids, consider getting hair extensions instead. A synthetic hair extension might be cheap, but real human hair lasts longer. Generally, this process works by adding the hair extensions into your natural strands, making them longer and fuller, while preventing the serious damage to your hair. By doing this, you could also prevent your hair from falling out, since less pressure is applied on them. Since installing the hair extensions require additional steps, better opt a professional hairstylist to do it for you. While you may go for synthetic hair extensions, real human hair will look more natural and flattering.

  1. You should prep your hair first before getting micro braids.

A flawless foundation will create a great masterpiece, and conditioning your hair before getting it braided is your priority. If you have falling hair, split ends, brittle strands, and thin hair, be sure to address the issues first before getting micro braids. As a rule of thumb, your hair should be clean, nourished, and healthy before styling, so they can cope with the complicated braid. Just opt for hair products that can thoroughly clean your hair without stripping its natural oil.

To make your micro braiding seamless, you should stretch your curls and tame the frizz on your hair first. A blow dryer may be the most practical too, but you can also use a moisturizer to straighten your hair, allowing it to dry naturally. If you suffer from split ends, think of getting a haircut before getting your hair braided that will make everything sleek and seamless. If you’re going to use synthetic hair extensions, wash and condition them too so you’ll remove the chemicals in it that can transfer to your natural hair.

  1. Know which style of micro braids will work best for you.

Micro braids can bring out your beautiful features when styled right. Whether you’re getting your natural hair braided, or you’ll use hair extensions, you must know which style of micro braids will be great for you, so you could find the right hairstylist, or even the right hair extension to make your look a success. This includes considering the right size and length of braids that will suit you. However, you shouldn’t choose a style that will only cause more damage to your hair.

If you want a less maintenance hairstyle, think of micro braids in a cornrow style. It can be a protective hairstyle since it won’t expose your hair to too much damage, and it doesn’t require too much pressure in styling. If you’re heading to a formal affair, you may think of micro braids in an updo or wavy style. A braided updo can work with long or short hair, and will look glamorous on formal affairs. On the other hand, micro braids with a wavy style will be great for naturally curly hair or even straight hair. If you wish for an effortless look on the weekends, think of micro braids in a ponytail style, perfect for a woman on the go.

  1. You could bring a photo of your desired micro braid style.

If you’ll have your hair braided by a professional, you could bring a photo of your desired look as a reference. However, you must acknowledge that your hair will never look exactly the same in the photo. You might have a different face shape, hair length, hair thickness, and hair color that can affect the outcome of your braids. Also, some hairstylist use different braiding techniques that will make your hairstyle look differently.

  1. It usually takes 6 to 12 hours to complete a micro braid.

A micro braid isn’t just a hairstyle it’s an art, so you don’t have to speed up the process if you’re looking for a masterpiece. Micro braids are alluring, and the time it would take will depend on your hair thickness, hair length, hair extensions to be used, and the style of braid you’ll go for. Don’t worry if it will take half of your day, as in the end everything will be rewarded. However, if you like to try the hairstyle just for a day, think again, as it’s a complicated look that should be designed to last longer.

  1. You must braid your hair tightly, but it shouldn’t hurt your scalp.

To make sure your micro braids are strong, you have to braid them tightly, but not to the point they will hurt your scalp. Remember, micro braids can cause hair loss, not to mention the sudden pull while you’re moving and sleeping. If you’re already suffering from hair fall, micro braids can even cause balding so you should be careful. Using lightweight hair oil while braiding your hair could help to make them more flexible and stronger. Also, tell your hairstylist to loosen your braids as the tighter the pull on your hair, the more damage it will get.

  1. You have to keep up with an intensive hair care regimen while your hair is braided.

Yes, braids can be a protective hairstyle, but if you let them last too long, it will result to dry, brittle hair. Do you know that if you don’t moisturize your hair, you could end up with dread locks that will give serious damage to them? Yes, you have to keep your hair clean and moisturized. Also, synthetic hair tends to dehydrate natural hair, so double up on your moisturizing products. If you need to wash your hair, think of a hair cap that will let you shampoo your hair without disturbing your micro braids.

However, hair experts recommended that you should wait for at least four weeks before the first wash to avoid unraveling your newly braided hair. Avoid those clarifying shampoos and only use a light conditioner instead. You just can’t wash your hair as you normally would as it can cause frizz to your braids. On your down time, keep your scalp moisturized with aloe vera or shea butter that will keep your hair strong and healthy.

If you have a dry, brittle hair, use a leave-on conditioner or hair oil instead. Vitamin E and olive oil can also be a natural remedy to keep your hair moisturized. A great thing, these will keep your braids looking healthy and shiny, so you won’t need a hair spray to keep them looking alive. However, if you spend your time outdoors, consider a leave on conditioner with a high SPF to protect your hair from sun damage. If you’re not good on keeping up with your hair maintenance, visit your hairstylist regularly to keep them on check. Remember, your hair won’t be healthy unless you nourish it.

  1. Make your micro braids last by covering your hair while sleeping.

When choosing a headscarf, use silk or satin over cotton ones that will lessen the friction to your braids. While you can get a loose pony tail, you must cover your hair with a satin or silk scarf when sleeping. This will keep your braids in place, will avoid fuzzy hair, and will lessen the hair breakage. If you live in a tropical, humid weather, opt for a silk pillow instead.

  1. Don’t keep your micro braids longer than 12 weeks.

Do you know that micro braids consist of hundreds of small single braids that can last for a long time? Micro braids may be alluring, but they don’t last forever. According to the experts, 12 weeks should be the longest time to keep your braids on. Depending on how well your braids are, and how serious you are in your hair regimen, the time could even be shorter. Just keep in mind that 12 weeks refers to a braided hair that’s taken care properly with moisture and scalp cleansing. If you know you’re not good in it, then don’t keep your braids last that long, or else, you’ll break your hair.

  1. Ensure the micro braids are removed carefully.

Keeping your micro braids for a long time will make your hair fragile, so removing your braids should be treated gently. This is especially true if you have a brittle hair, so extra caution is required. Never speed up the process of removing your braids—they’re compact and delicate which makes sense that removing them will take hours to complete. When detangling your braids, think of using a hair oil to add some moisture to your hair, making them more flexible.

Do you even realize that much of pain can be experienced while detangling your braided hair? Most of the time your fingers aren’t enough to detangle your braids. You can opt for a medium tooth comb, but you should start detangling your braids from the tip, working your way up to the roots. Or, go for a handy detangling spray that will make the process easier.

  1. After removing your micro braids, you should use a protein treatment on your hair.

Micro braiding can be a protective or a damaging hairstyle depending on how you do it, so taking care of your hair even after you removed them is essential. Do you know that your hair is more susceptible to damage after it’s braided for a long time? So, think of an intensive hair treatment like a protein treatment to strengthen them, or even use a nourishing conditioner to restore its moisture.

  1. Give your hair a break and style it with caution.

Even though braids are a protective hairstyle, you shouldn’t do them back to back, especially if you’ve just tried micro braids. Remember, you hair just endured much dryness and pressure, so you have to keep them healthy first before trying out another look. Hair experts recommend one month break before trying out a new hairstyle, allowing them to grow and rest—just think of it like your hair’s recovery time. By wearing different hairstyles, you will avoid putting too much pressure on certain areas on your scalp, and will avoid hair loss.

Micro braids are a modern and interesting hairstyle that can change your looks, add some personality to your style, and make you really stand out, so it’s time to give them a try.

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