The craze for long, voluminous hair has led many to wonder if certain hairstyles, like braids, have the magical potential to boost hair growth. While the act of braiding itself doesn’t directly speed up the growth process, the benefits of holding your hair in protective styles like braids plays a crucial role in the overall health of your hair. Read on as we uncover the truth about whether getting braids makes your hair grow and how to make the most of this popular protective style.
Hair growth is a complex internal process influenced by factors like genetics, nutrients, and scalp health. Our hair grows about half an inch every month. Contrary to popular belief, the number of hair follicles you’ll have your entire lifetime is set at birth, and new hair grows when blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to these follicles. While no single hairstyle can drastically alter this intricate process, maintaining healthy hair is essential for showcasing your natural growth potential.
Braids themselves don’t possess any magical growth properties. Instead, they serve as a the damage that could come as a result of over manipulating due to practices like regular combing. Coily hair types like 4C which are naturally prone to breakage can greatly benefit from braids as they can help safeguard the strength and moisture of the hair, minimizing the risk of breakage and split ends.
Here is how braids can contribute to healthier, longer hair by acting as a shield against everyday wear and tear.
1. Protective Style: Braiding provides a protective shield for natural hair. Natural hair is safeguarded from environmental stressors like air pollution and humidity.
2. Moisture Retention: Braids help lock in moisture, preventing the natural oils produced by the scalp from evaporating, thus promoting hydration and minimizing dryness.
3. Reduced Breakage: By securing the hair in braids, the risk of breakage is reduced as the strands are less prone to friction and manipulation.
4. Versatility: Braids allow you to switch up your look with different styles like side parts, low buns and ponytails.
5. Low Maintenance: Once braided, natural hair requires less daily styling and maintenance, saving time and effort in the daily hair care routine.
6. Length Retention: With reduced breakage and protection from external stressors, braids contribute to length retention, allowing natural hair to grow without the hindrance of split ends or breakage.
Despite their protective benefits, braids can potentially damage your hair if installed too tightly or neglected during wear. If you wear hairstyles like updos that are tightly pulled back often or don’t properly care for your hair when it’s in braids, you may have to deal with issues like traction alopecia and breakage.
Hydrate Your Hair
• Moisturize your braided hair regularly with a moisturizing braid spray like our Tsavorite Spritz Moisturizer. Aim for the roots and the parts with your natural hair.
• Apply a light oil to your scalp to prevent dryness and itching.
Enjoy the best assortment of natural oils for your scalp with our Tanzanite Hair Oil. Enriched with stimulating oils like peppermint and cinnamon essential oils, shea oil, avocado oil, castor oil and sunflower oil.
Protect Your Hair at Night
• Tie your braided hair with a satin bonnet or silk scarf or use a silk pillowcase to minimize friction with your beddings at night and prevent breakage.
Avoid Tight Styles
• Ensure that your braids are not held or pulled back too tightly, as this can lead to tension, usually indicated by white bumps along the hairline, and potential hair loss along the same area.
Limit Hairstyling Products
• Laying your baby hairs looks good alright, however, constantly using products like gels can lead to build up that can be difficult to wash out.
Remove Braids Timely
• Depending on the size of your braids, they can stay in for a long time. However, as a general guideline, avoid leaving braids in for longer than two months. Having them in for so long can lead to hair matting which can make it very difficult for you to detangle your hair after removing the braids, resulting in a lot of hair loss.
You can make well-informed choices about introducing braids into your routine once you realise that their actual power is in protection rather than acceleration of growth. Whichever style of braids you go with; knotless, goddess, boho, box—you name it, with the right care you can prevent breakage and encourage healthy hair growth and length retention.