Micro Braids – What You Need To Know About Them

If there’s a hairstyle that consumes so much time to attach, it’s microbraids and it doesn’t matter whether you have the people assisting you to fix it or not, it will take a long time to fix.

Depending on the size of the braids, it can take you between 4-12 hours fixing them.

The reason why people like it and make them anyway is that they look so good on them. Additionally, they last longer than the box braids and so many other styles. No wonder some people just want them anyways.

However, in recent years, there has been a decline in the popularity of people making the braids. I think this is because of the rise on weaves and wigs which take a shorter time to fix.

Still, there are a few women rocking them but not as much as they used to back in the days.

What Are Microbraids

Micro BraidsThese are the tiny size braids that are braided into the hair. The braids have an advantage to them as they last for months.

They work as great protective styles too. Micro braids also best suit women that are of afro-descent. This is because of our hair texture.

Nevertheless, today you will notice women from other races rocking then as well. Although microbraids don’t last as long on straight hair as they do on curly hair.

Are They Good for You?

Of course, they are good for you especially if you get them installed by a professional. Taking care of them and styling them will also make them look even better on you.

Note that if you make them so small you will experience some form of hair loss. Therefore, not many people are into the micro braids.

Things to Know Before Attaching the Braids

  • Contrary to most beliefs’ braids don’t make your hair grow

The only difference is that you no longer have to style and detangle your hair when you have them on. Since there’s minimal manipulation, it’s only natural that you will notice the growth that you won’t always notice when not wearing extensions.

  • Do you have sensitive edges?

For most stylists, when making this hairstyle, they want to get a hold of even your baby hairs. This is only okay if you have stronger baby hairs. If you have sensitive edges, avoid braiding the edges or avoid braids altogether.

Those with sensitive edges risk developing alopecia. You can use styling gel to make your baby hair lie flat.

  • Make them loose

While this is a style that any woman would wish for, what’s its essence if you must suffer from alopecia in the process. Tell your stylist to make the braids looser as this will ensure you look good but your hairline is also safe.

  • The braids will cause thinning sometimes

For some reason, the braids have been accused of causing thinning. They put so much tension to the hair. This is not to say that you shouldn’t wear them but you should use them on rare occasions. It normally leads to the hair thinning instead of hair length retention.

  • It won’t suit all hair types

I know you see a few women wearing this kind of extensions and what them as well but the style won’t suit just everyone. If you have wavy or straight hair, this style may not work for you. If you have also just recently straightened your hair, the style will not still work.

Also, for those who have frizzy hair or your hair is affected when you have malnutrition, this is not the style to go for.

  • Prep the hair before attaching the braids

The first thing to do is always to prepare your hair before you attach the braids. For example, you will need to address issues like split ends, brittle strands, and dry hair before you attach them.

It further calls for your hair to be clean moisturized and healthy before you begin to attach it. If possible before you install the style, use products that will clean the strands without really stripping your strands of their natural oils. For those split ends, trim them off first.

  • Know clearly the style you intend to attach

With micro braids, the styles you can attach are endless. That’s why it’s important to know which styles you want. This determines whether you will leave the braids shorter or longer.

  • It takes long

You must come with the reality of the fact that attaching this style will take long hours and therefore you must have time. Sometimes it can take up to 12 hours and for others, you will need to go back the next day for the finishing.

Be ready to sit down over long hours for the attaching of the style.

  • Maintain a regimen

You will have to take care of your hair while wearing the braids. This will make sure your scalp and hair don’t dry out. Keep the hair moisturized and clean thus maintaining healthy strands.

While you may want to wash your hair immediately, with this style, wait for about 3-4 weeks before giving your hair its first wash.

In the process, avoid heavy products like co wash, heavy shampoos, and deep conditioners. Only use light conditioners. Remember washing the hair the way you usually do with your natural hair will cause frizz.

  • Cover the braids when sleeping

This will prolong the life of the braids if you remember to use a satin cap to cover the braids.

  • Removing the hair

Whoever is going to remove your hair should be gentle. If they rough up your hair, you will have hair loss. As you remove the braids, begin to slowly detangle the hair from the tip.

Once you have removed the braids, let your hair rest a little bit. Don’t start using hair extensions immediately. Give it time from the straining styles for a while.

The Different Hairstyles for Micro Braids

  1. Straight microbraid style

Straight microbraid styleHere is one of the eye-catching killer styles in the market. The straight microbraid style has been the go-to style for so many women over the years. The good thing about this style is that you can wear it every time and change the styles every now and then.

When you want to do the straight hairstyle, it’s best made so long. When the braids are long, you don’t even have to bother styling it as that is a style on its own. However, for those who love a little twist, you can make a bun, high updo or make them curly as you wish.

  1. Curly style

Curly Micro BraidsEven with the braids, you can still make them curly. To make the perfect curly hairstyle though you need to buy the braids that are curly already. This means that you only must braid the front section and then let the curly ends flow.

You can style the hair as you wish with the micro braids though.

style the hair with the micro braidsAnother micro braid style is here. You will have your hair braided at the front section and curly at the ends. In this case, the braids are shorter which therefore means that you won’t take long in the salon.

With this style, use the human hair braids for longevity. Although most stylists don’t like human hair braids they rock right?

  1. Wavy braids

Wavy braidsWith this style, you can make the braids on the wavy or curly hair. The braids look so charming that you will get heads turning.

The wavy braids make it known that you don’t need to make the braids boring. When they are curly or wavy, you still get to style them as you wish. Make them a high up-low style or simply just make a loose bun, it’s all up to you.

Micro braids wet and wavy braid style

 

wet and wavy braid styleThe most common wavy braids style is the wet and wavy style. The wet roots will meet your wavy hair for the flowing hair. So, with the style, you need to start braiding it a few cms from the roots.

With this, you let the hair lie flat over the others. In the end, you develop the voluminous look you have always wanted. They are in fact some of the most popular braids you can have. They are your solution to constant frizz.

If you want though with such a style you can add color to the ends by making it may be blonde or so.

  1. Long microbraid style

Long microbraid styleSome of us love the very long braids for that young and sleek look. When you are making the long braids though, the thinner they are the better as that increases volume. Some people want them to go down to the butt length which is okay if you can maintain them.

Making them will consume a lot more time but guess what you will look amazing once you are done.

  1. Shoulder length micro braids

Shoulder length micro braidsWhen it comes to shoulder length braids, we never get enough of them right?

Unlike the long braids, you don’t have to spend the many hours you do. Not only that, they become even easier to manage depending on the style you are going for.

For some, you can even make the micro braid twist and the fact that they are short makes them more vibrant and lovely.

The Best Hair to Use for Micro Braids

You can use both the synthetic and human hair for braids. However, the one that most stylists love is the synthetic hair because it makes it easy to hold as you braid the hair.

Human hair: although it’s sometimes used, the best kinds are those that are purely human hair without extra additions to them. They are often good quality hair just the same way you find the other human hair extensions.

For that matter, therefore, it all depends on the hair that appeals you the most. You can have the European hair, Brazilian hair, Malaysian hair among others. It all depends on what you are looking for in the hair of your choice.

Best human hair for braids

There are thousands of human hairs that suit the braids.

  • European human hair

This hair looks perfect for almost all kinds of hairstyles you choose. It’s usually soft and silky. This is what makes it look perfect for those braids. They are slip resistant too which eases the attaching process.

So many people are afraid to use it though because of its pricey nature but if you can afford it, the better for you.

  • Russia human hair

Although rare, Russian human hair works well with the micro braids. The way the hair is often handled makes it appealing since they do everything with the utmost care.

  • Brazilian hair

With this hair, you can make almost every style. The Brazilian hair is soft, shiny and with a high luster. It’s known for having volume and, therefore, with the hair, you can make great braids as well.

Synthetic hair

In the business of hair braids, synthetic hair is thriving way more than the human hair. While some people think that the hair causes allergies, other people just see the best hair for braids compared to human hair.

In fact, the stylist can swear to the fact that the hair is slip resistant when compared to human hair.

The best synthetic brands for braids

There are many brands that sell braids hair but here we have some of the most popular ones.

  • Xpression hair

This is one of the most popular braiding hair in the market. It features the use of 100% Kanekalon hair. The characteristics of the hair are that it remains smooth, soft and neat. And therefore, you can tell that the hair will come to a perfect finished.

On the downside, the hair is a little pricey for the synthetic set but it’s all worth it. You will see once you use it.

  • Kanekalon hair

This is one of the oldest synthetic hair. It has been in use for over 30 years. The hair is often light which makes it easy to make a full braided look. Its composition makes it one of the best braids of all time.

Kanekalon itself is a worldwide best synthetic fiber that is also made from the acrylic fiber. The fiber used is soft and this is why it resembles the normal human hair.

The hair is easy to style and color. No wonder, you will find the hair in different lengths and shapes.

  • Shake N-GO 3X Africana braids

Another one of the soft textured braids hair that is tangle resistant. The hair comes in a package of 3 bundles. The bundles themselves are often thick but when you make the braids you won’t understand why the hair is still so lightweight.

The hair has the same texture as the Xpression braids. Although it’s softer than Xpression. Naturally, its soft texture makes it easy to braid.

How to prepare the hair for micro braids

Since the micro braids will last long, you need to take some measure to ensure your hair remains in a healthy state. We all love the hairstyle since it acts as a protective style to our hair for a prolonged time.

However, you must prepare the hair for what’s coming to it.

  • Check the state of your hair

You will need to check the state of your hair and only then can you determine the right level of care to give it.

You can’t use the same products on hair that is dry as another hair that is richly nourished you know.

Let’s say you really want the braids but your hair is dry and weak what should you first do.

  • Moisturize

The moment you decide on wearing the braids, commit to moisturizing the hair. If you realize that your hair feels dry, you need to change your diet so that you work on the hair both from within and outside.

Another thing to do is use the moisturizing products that will nourish the hair from the follicles to the external parts of the hair. The only way to achieve this is in the use of co-wash. Use it on the hair for a week or two before installing the braids and see if it can regain its strength.

Also, you can use conditioners that will work to increase moisture within the strands of your hair. Choose the best oils for your hair. There are a number of oils you can use and they include avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil among others.

Once you feel that the hair looks or feels healthy, you can begin to check on the braiding process.

  • First off, deep cleanse the hair

You will have the braids on for long remember. Therefore, you should deep cleanse the hair. You will need to get rid of product buildups, oils, and dirt.

Then, use a good shampoo and conditioner to clean the hair. Always make sure you use a shampoo that won’t strip your strands of its oils. You can even use the apple cider vinegar to make sure you have thoroughly cleaned the hair.

  • Deep condition the hair

Whether you have been deep conditioning the hair or not, you ought to deep condition it again. Get yourself a good deep conditioner and apply it on the hair then allow it to settle on for about 30 minutes.

Once the minutes elapse, rinse the hair with cold water. That locks in the moisture and nutrients. Remember your aim is to revive the structure of the hair or maintain its health.

  • Dry the hair

You can decide to use cool heat to dry the hair. This may include sitting under a dryer for a few minutes or blow-drying the hair on cool heat settings. Remember, heat isn’t that good when it comes to the hair.

  • Trim trim

This is something most people try to avoid. They have the perception that their hair is having the length reduced. This is never the case as trimming the ends enhances the growth of the hair.

This method further makes it easy to get rid of breakages and shedding.

  • Comb the hair

When combing the hair, you get rid of all tangles and knots. You don’t want to start braiding the hair with knots. You should, therefore, use a medium-toothed comb for the detangling process.

Also, comb your hair from the ends all the way to the roots.

  • Choose what works for you

Now that you have the hair prepared, you can choose the braids and style you would love to attach and get going with them.

How to Braid the Hair Using the Micro Braids

This is one of the common styles not only with people of afro-descent but also the Caucasians.

Things you need

Depending on the size of your head and the size of braid you want, you need the following

  • Between 6-8packs
  • Comb and scissors
  • Some bands and bobby pins
  • Water spray bottle

Method

  • Begin by dividing the hair in section and either secure those sections with a clip pin or band. Since this is going to be a long way, you may start with a single section then move to the other sections as you go.
  • On one part or section, take out another small section of the hair. Use a rat tail comb to make sure you make the line clear. You should make the parting in a vertical line first and then horizontal.
  • Now take your hair from the box and make it into three subsections. Use the middle and thumb fingers to hold the hair extension in place. Also, make sure you are using both hands. Your index fingers will grab the real or natural hair.
  • Begin to braid. Take one end of the hair and cross it over the right side of the hair. Next, follow through by crossing the left strand to the right. Go on with the process and you will realize that it looks like you are making an x all over the braids.
  • Maintain a good grip of the hair while making the braid close enough to the scalp but not so close that it hurts. When braiding you ought to ensure you maintain a firm grip all the way to the end. This makes it a neat end product.
  • Keep doing the same until you have all the bundles of the hair and all your hair sections braided.
  • Once you are done, you can spray your hair with some oil sheen to maintain the shine and still keep the scalp moisturized.

How to micro braid your own hair video


Styling the microbraids

There’s one thing you need to remember about. It’s that whether you have the hair installed or not, you will need to style it. What I like about the braids though is that you are spoilt for choice when you want to style the hair.

From buns and ponytails to lose buns and straight hair, the list is endless. From the internet and the boxes of the braids you have, there are hundreds of styles to choose from. Take one style and make it.

How to Remove Micro Braids

While installing this hair is often just fun and slaying the different style makes you go over the top, the removal process will either make or break your hair.

Notice that the whole process of removing the braids can be tiresome and tedious. It will take you hours to remove the hair.

For most people, the fear of hair loss makes them reluctant to remove the braids at home. You don’t have to be afraid though because you can just follow the right procedure and you will be done in a short while.

  • Cut the hair

Instead of removing the hair all the way, begin by cutting the hair extension an inch or two over the end of your natural hair. This should be done where there’s proper sunlight or light. The way I do this normally is to cut a single braid at a time.

  • Work in section

When you finish cutting the braids, it’s time to start the unbraiding process. If you can, take out a small section at a time. I often work in four sections and this makes it a lot more fun rather than overwhelming.

Begin to remove at the end and go all the way to the roots. Remember, you should spray the roots of the braids with water or a conditioner to make the works easier. When you condition the roots, you make the removal process but also the detangling is much easier.

  • Detangling

Once you have removed the braids you will need to detangle the hair first before washing it. Again, in this process, it’s best to section the hair. Work on one section at a time. Begin detangling using your fingers and then take your comb.

The keyword in this process is, be gentle. You will experience some shedding but make sure you don’t shed all your hair out of roughness. Take care at the roots because, at this time, it’s possible that the roots have matted.

Finger comb the roots first then begin to comb using a wide-toothed comb.

  • Shampooing and conditioning

Once you have all the hair combed out, you should wash the hair using a good shampoo then condition it. Use a deep conditioner if possible. In deep conditioning, you moisturize the hair again.

During the time, remember your hair will need some TLC to get it back together. Over the next couple of weeks, keep the hair free of the stress of having to hold onto a large weight again.

How to Take Care of The Braids

  • After a few weeks of installing the braids, you are allowed to wash them. When this happens, you should use a moisturizing shampoo as opposed to the regular one. Consider using a hair conditioner too every so often in order to maintain the hair.
  • While you may need to use hair gel, it’s not a good idea because they are heavy and will cause build up sooner. However, if you have to use them, make sure you wash it off immediately you are through with it.
  • Good coconut oil is ideal to restore the moisture. If you can get other light oils to use its okay.
  • Take off the braids immediately you notice that they have begun to fall off.

How to Wash Your Braids

We all agree that in order to maintain the right texture of braids you will need to wash them. This leads to the question; how do you wash the braids.

  • Have everything set

When you want to wash the hair put all the products you will need for the process ready. The shampoo and conditioner, the towel and the hair dryer should all be in place.

First off, untie the style you made to the hair. This leaves the braids loose and ready for the wash.

  • Hydrate the hair

To hydrate the hair, use a lot of regular lukewarm water. Rinse the hair making sure it’s saturated with water from the roots to the ends. Concentrate on hydrating the scalp as well.

  • Shampoo it

Get yourself a good shampoo and squeeze it then rub it all over the braids. Again, shampoo the scalp as well. Rub the shampoo gently following the scalp to the ends motion. Follow the same motion to make sure you don’t develop frizz.

  • Rinse the shampoo

Now take the clean water and use it to rinse the shampoo. Stand in the bathtub and use the showerhead to give your hair a perfect rinse.

Take your time though to ensure you have all the shampoo cleaned off.

  • Conditioning

Like any other hair extension, your braids need conditioning. Again, use a good moisturizing conditioner. Rub it on the micro braids and then give it time to absorb.

Rinse the conditioner off. Take time to remove the residue though. If you don’t rinse it properly, there will be product build up.

  • Dry the hair

Take the time to dry the hair using a hairdryer. Just set the hairdryer on the medium level.

FAQs

  • The cost of micro braiding

Most of the micro braids cost you between $180-$200.

  • How long do they last?

The micro braids should last at least 2 months but some people can have them on for almost 4 months.

  • How many packs of hair for micro braids?

You can use about 5-6 braids on the average head.

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