Monday, May 16, 2011

Braiding for Hair Growth

Braids done by: DesignsbyJackie



I am frequently asked by my clients as well as admirers of healthy hair, if I believe braids can grow their hair.  This is always a tricky question, so my answer is always yes and no.  As some of you may know, braiding and twisting for length retention are my favorite protective styles. I love braid extensions and would often use them to assist while my hair grew longer during my twa days.  However when using any kind of extensions to assist in hair growth we must be cautious of the potential damage that can be caused if the braids are handled improperly from beginning to end.  When I first Big Chopped (cut my relaxer out of my hair) I started using Braid extensions to protect my hair while it grew out. 

Big Chop: The morning after


After my Big Chop I was excited about being all natural. My fingers were constantly in my hair! I was always doing something to it, so I decided to braid up my 3rd month,  so that my hair could grow back out healthy and strong. This also gave me a break from trying to figure out what to do with my newly natural hair. 

First Set of Braids


I kept these braids in for 2 months. Washed and Conditioned, Covered at night, moisturized and did not wear tight hair styles....


Before Braiding up

2 months after


Within two months I retained 1" to 1.5"  also keep in mind in the above photo my hair is wet so it was actually longer than it appears, the photo above it is my hair in a dry state.  My husband was blown away at how fast my hair had grown within 2 months of wearing braids. And I must say I was impressed as well!  So I took another break about  a month and braided up again.


2nd Set of Braids  

The second time I braided up I asked the braider not to braid my edges, keeping the delicate areas of my hair out of the braid helps to guard against balding edges. That in conjunction with making sure the braider is not pulling on the hair too tight when braiding. When these braids came out my hair was significantly longer. 


Before my second braid up

 2 mos after..dry hair
                                                               wet hair


THIRD TIME......................................


                                                Take down after 



The above pic was a blow out that I did after my third take down, and I was pretty impressed with how much growth I had retained.    I  Braided my hair up  for a 4th time....  and don't know how many inches I retained(I got lazy with measuring)  But within 12 months time My hair went from  


THIS


                                                                   TO THIS!

Another blow out

The truth is:  hair is going to grow regardless, (unless you have a condition that prohibits your hair from growing)  But when hair is in braids or any other protective style,  you maximize how much length you are able to retain.  However if hair is not cared for properly in braids you can also suffer loss, or you may experience length but hair will be thin and brittle?  

As an advit braid wearer for the first year of my natural hair journey, I can honestly say that I feel wearing the braids is what contributed to the fast growth and length retention of my hair.   I will continue to wear my natural hair in braids/twists to reach my ultimate healthy hair goals.  







 Long Live Healthy Hair Braiding!



   













143 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your hair is really awesome!!!!

Chan said...

Thank you Anonymous! and thanks for taking the time to stop by!!

Anonymous said...

Is that braids or two strand twist with curls at end, I like it alot

Chan said...

Hey They are braids, that coil at the ends. The braid hair comes coily... : )

Dawn Michelle said...

That was wonderful progress!!! Thanks for sharing. I've been thinking about braids for a while now. Now you have me really thinking about it :) Best wishes!

Tenitrus said...

I love love love your braids. I am thinking of having getting kinky twists but your braids havig me thinking of getting it braided instead.

Thanks in advance.

Chan said...

Hello Tenitrus! I loved get braids. It's a great protective style for growth if you take care of your hair it really flourishes in braids... Let me know if you want me to put you some in!

Chan said...

Thanks Dawn! Well the best way to get that out of your system is to give them a try. : ) I thought about braids forever and was a bit leary at first, but I've found that I really did like them for retaining lenghth. Espeically when my hair was shorter. Thanks for stopping and taking the time to read!

Kayla said...

Hello what kind of hair did you use b/c I love to keep my hair braided and i would love a look like this. What is the brand?

Chan said...

Hello Kayla! The brand is Freetress

All of their curly hair is awesome.

Ashley said...

i love love love your braids :) im 17 and and ive had a relaxer for about 5 years , but i want to try something new , since im moving out of the house soon and going to college :) i want to try braids to grow my hair out , but every time i get them they only last a couple of weeks . i think it has something to do with how i take care of them . what did you do to keep them nice for a whole two months ?!?

Chan said...

Hi Ashley "Curly" Synthetic braiding hair, holds it own, very well. I"ve noticed the tighter the curl pattern the better it keeps. And I only use or wear Synthetic braiding hair. I lightly moisturize at night, (spritz with a light leave in), put the braids into a loose ponytail and place a silk bonnet on my head (when spritzing with leave in avoid the roots) The tightly coiled braid hair last up to 2 months and the looser waves take a bit more work and I personaly could only keep those in for 6 weeks. Thanks for the compliment! I hope you try them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chan, I love the pics & information you give! I'm 2 years natural & thought I had been progressing ok with growth. The last few months though I've seen A LOT of breakage & might have to BC again after two years ;-{. I was wondering what your thoughts are on chopping hair off a 2nd time then getting the Tango Curls right away or just trimming and trying to save growth w/o chop & braid.

I also wondered how long of a break you put between your 2 month hair braiding. Your natural and braided hair is beautiful!

thanks-sorry so long ;-}

Chan said...

Hello Anonymous, thanks for visiting and taking the time to read! I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing so much breakage, that's no fun. First you should try to figure out why your hair is breaking so you won't repeat the cycle. If it is bad enough a second big chop may be in order, but that is hard to say without me seeing what's going on with your hair. Can you do several small chops inbetween braid ups? I braided up with tango curl immediately after BCing. Maybe 3 mos after. I would always take a month or two off, and then rebraid. It was great! also try using Henna or Cassia to strengthen your hair, its really great with resisting hair breakage. Let me know how it goes I'd love to hear from you! : ) Thanks for the compliment on my hair, its always a process...: )

Nikki said...

Thank you for sharing your hair journey - and with pics too:-) Your blog has been very informative.

Chan said...

It is my pleasure Nikki! Thank you for taking the time to stop by, I really appreciate it! : )

j said...

Beautiful hair and awesome retention! Would you recommend doing a henna treatment the day before getting hair braided? I read that you shouldn't shampoo for at least 24 hours after a henna treatment, but what if you henna and then braid it up the next day. Is it okay to not wash in the 24 hours? I hope that made sense!

Chan said...

Hello J! Thanks for reading! I always recommend a Henna or Cassia & Amla treatment prior to braiding up. It builds up a resistence to breakage. Applying Henna the day before, should not be a problem at all, it is just a natural conditioning and strengthening treatment so there's no weaking affects, as it would be with a fresh relaxer, for example?

As far as "not" washing your hair after a Henna treatment. I have never heard of that. But most people's suggestions or warnings are based on their own experiences, so you may have to ask the person that you heard say it, about their reasoning.

I always co-wash (conditioner wash) All of my Henna out, and then follow it up with a deep conditioning treatment, and then style or braid up. I've never had any issues. I rarely use shampoo.

The only reasons I'd see someone suggesting that you don't wash is if they are trying to preserve the color that some people get from Henna.(giving it more time to oxidize) Also if you use an actual shampoo to cleanse your hair after Henna it could be very drying to the hair. For the best experience you should always follow your Henna treatment up with a deep moisturizing conditoning treatment). So I think you are fine, plus with all the twigs that these treatments can leave behind, you are going to need your cowashings and deep conditionings to make sure all of the herbs are out of your hair! : ) Hope
this helps!

j said...

Thanks a bunch that was VERY helpful...and you're right - the only henna I have ever used was to get my hair darker (indigo) so it did say to rinse the henna out but not to shampoo for at least 24 hours.

I will plan on henna-ing my hair the evening before I get my braids. Cowash and maybe section and band it at the base so she has something to hold onto when she's braiding. I'm dreadfully afraid of losing my edges, but I quit going to african braiding shops (no offense intended) because they put them things in entirely too tight. At least that has been my experience.

Thanks for your help.

Chan said...

Regarding Indigo..Yes! The directions asks that you d onot wash it for 24 to 48 hours. It takes a couple days to come into the full color. Not the case with Henna.

Regarding the edges..Just pull your baby hairs(or the fine hairs) out first before she starts to braid. Make sure they are not pulling at your hair line when putting in the braids. You only have to put the hair on there, it does not need to be pulled to be secure(if your hair is long enough)
Also don't put your hair in tight styles that will place stress on your hair line.

Just remember its your head and if it feels like a braid is too tight then say something, ask the braider to loosen it, and its a good idea to mention that before they get started. Let me know how it turns out!

j said...

I got my hair done this weekend. The braider was very gentle and used my qhemet heavy cream to coat my hair and coconut oil on my scalp. They are very nicely done :)

Chan said...

J that's awesome! Enjoy your break! And, I'm glad you didn't have a bad experience.

Anonymous said...

Girl, you're so lucky. I'm a white girl who listens to black girls complain every day about their hair. Bout how much they put into it to make it look good. Or how terrible it looks natural. Yet, I think some black females have the most beautiful hair, even when natural. (No relaxers, etc.) I would love to have the thick, curly hair some black folks do & too many want it gone or tamed! My bf is black & I love how his hair is. Mine is just so fine & flat! It gets stringy & ratty. I braid my hair at night while it's wet to try to get it stronger & break less as I sleep. And as a white girl I shed almost as much as my cats! It's not fair. Why do so many black & spanish girls hate their hair when white girls like me would happily trade?

-Rose

Chan said...

Rose! you are funny! Black women have tried to conform to a European standard of beauty for so long that they've never had a fair chance to appreciate their own natural hair. It's a very deeply rooted issue. In our Society...Straight or Wavy hair is what's considered beautiful, hair that grows down, not out! lol. So if we constantly try to fit that standard as a Black Women we would never love our hair, because its always a constant fight to get your hair to conform. Only when we start to embrace our hair for what it is can we actually love it. As for you, you should love your hair as well and make the best of whatever hair type God gave you. Of course we all have areas that we'd like to make better. : ) If your hair is very fine, you should try using Henna or Cassia Obovata to thicken it. I actually have a white client with very long/straight fine hair and we Henna it every month to give it some density. She loves it now! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Lol! Thanks, Chan! I'll give it a try!
-Rose

Anonymous said...

Hello, your site is very encouraging!!! I love it. I have been "thinking", only thinking (because I havent done anything at all to get started, lol) about going natural for 5 years now, and I am soo afraid as to how it will look when I finally get it done. I do not even know how my natural hair looks like. I've had my hair relaxed for 14 years and have encountered many breakage issues. I will have my hair braided today and see how it goes. Chan, i would love for my hair to look like yours...Honestly, i consider you to have "good hair". When the braids are finally in, what/how should I take care of them. Thanks for your help. Joela

DieNuh PainYuh said...

Frist: YES FOR YOUR HAIR GROWTH!! Its beautiful.

But I do have a question. Did you cowash with your braids in? And how did you do that? Im getting Senegalese Twists this weekend but I want to make sure my hair stays moisturized at all times.

Also did you do anything to prep your hair before you braided it? I was entertaining a protein treatment to give it some extra strength.

Thanks!!

Chan said...

Hi Dienuh Painuh!

Thank you so much for your comment. Here's a link to my fotki page. http://public.fotki.com/chawthorne/braids-and-twists/washing--dc-syn-baids/ It actually shows how I took care of my braids when I wore them. I cowashed, the whole 9 yards. Also I have another blog post on here regarding Braid care! look that one up it has my step by step braid care regimen. Thanks again let me know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

I Been Natural Since My 6th Grade Year And Im In The Eleventh Now. I Get Braids All The Time For 2 Months And When I Take Them Out I Let It Breathe For less Than A Week. Is This A Good Routine ? If Not Can You Give Me advice About How I Should Properly Grow It ?
- Jazzy

Chan said...

Hello Jazzi thanks for stopping by and taking time to leave a message. Leaving them in for no longer than two months is really good. You should go no longer than that. As far as how long you leave them out, I think a full week to 2 weeks is good depending on the strength of your hair. You should take the break, as time to nuture and strengthen your hair before braiding back up. Always use a strengthener and a good deep moisturizing conditioner when you come out of braids. And before you go back in. Hope this helps!

Chan said...

Hello Joela and thanks for commenting. I don't know how I missed your post, as I try my best to comment back on every entry! I'd love to speak more with you about trying to go natural. I really do not have "good" hair according to what "our people" have deemed good hair to be.(loose waves and curls) My hair is very thick, dense, my nape is the easiest to manage, but overall my hair is pretty tight with cottony to course texture. And if I don't keep it moisturized it will not cooperate. My transition was not easy, So trust me, you can do it, all you need is moisture and patience! Send me a personal email so we can talk more about this. I'd love to help you. Thanks again for stopping by!

LaKisha Barry said...

This was so helpful!!!! But i am nervous... long story short my hair braider is leaving in May, which means having to find another braider... do you have any recommendations when going to a new braider? or do you do your own braids??

LaKisha Barry said...

This was beyond helpful! First question, do you do your own braids? Second, my braider that has been dealing with my natural hair is leaving, what are you recommendations when it comes to finding another braider. Prior to being natural I went to the local African braiding shops, but now my hair is my baby, and I don't want to lose my progress =(

Chan said...

Hello Lakisha! Thanks for stopping by! I'm so sorry to hear that your braider is leaving. I understand why you would be afraid. But you don't have to be! I have a blog post here titled, Be Your Own Boss..Part 1 and 2 you should read them. It address in detail how to handle this very thing! When looking for a new braider I suggest you go to someone that you can communicate with. One that will listen to you, and one that actually care about healthy hair growth. That is what I found in the braider I used for the entire year that I wore these braids. She knew how important my hair was to me, and if there was one too tight, I would tell her, and she would losen it..simple as that. Also before having my hair braided I always pulled my edges out before she would start, and she left them out she wouldn't braid them. There were a couple hiccups but we worked them out because she was willing to listen. So just remember you are in control, never want your hair braided so badly that you stay there and sit through a too tight braiding session. And you will know before they even get started if its someone who will listen to you!

linda said...

should i wash my hair every day or every other day with braids? and how about vinger rinse. thank you! i love your blog LINDA P

Chan said...

Hi Linda! Thanks so much for reading! Well once a week really should be enough. Your should base how often you wash on the needs of your scalp. The ACV rinses will be great to use ans a scalp cleanses weekly. Also if you have issues with your scalp like dandruff etc, you can use essential oil mixtures to help with that. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Hey I really like your braids. I've had a relaxer most of my life and I'm starting to grow natural but I didn't want to do the big chop. My last relaxer was in August and i've been using a lot of heat on my new growth from blowing it out and using the flat iron. I wanted to get braids to transition my hair in a healthier way. I've never had braids before and need some advice in how I could put in the tango curl freetress with my shoulder length relaxed hair attached to my new growth? I also don't know anywhere to get my hair braided, where are you from?

Chan said...

Hello Anonymous! I'm located in Allen, TX(North Dallas area) Thanks for the compliment! shoulder length hair with Tango curl or any braiding hair with a tight curl pattern will not look as full,unless you use a tree braiding or crochet braiding technique. (because you have so far to braid down, it leaves very little curl, and esp in areas where your hair is the longest. I chose to stop using the hair pictured in this blog once my hair reached my shoulders because it didn't look the same. But if you don't mind the look then, it's as simple as attaching the braiding hair. There are self braiding tutorials on growafrohairlong.com and all over youtube as well! Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, what braids did you switch to after your hair got longer?

Chan said...

If you check out my blog post braiding for hair health.. there's a photo of the hair. It was very pretty, but it got tangeled towards the end. You also may want to try the Brazillian braid by freetress.

Anonymous said...

I'm a teen..18 thinking about going natural well I'm transition with weaves and micros like you did. I was worried about braiding after I cut the relaxed ends off but after seeing this I feel much better :) thank you for this. So u condition the micros as well? I usually jst wash and condition it with coconut oil. Any recommendations for conditioners that have worked well for you!? I believe I have 4c hair. That's the other thing I'm worried about..I'm 4c hair tends to get really hard and crunchy..I know I probably need moisturizer but it's naturally a hard texture to deal with..any suggestions?

Chan said...

Hello Anonymous Teen! Don't worry about your hair texture. ALL natural hair can be soft and managable with proper moisture. Water will become your best friend! Please check out my blogpost post for transitioners and Braiding for health there's tons of info on how to care for your hair as you transition. I use regular deep conditioners but dilute them with water. Also I love Bee Mine and Shidanaturals moisturizers. Please send me an email.. I'd love to speak with you futher and help in anyway I can! Congrats on your decision to transition!

Dealeya said...

I'm 16 months into my transition. To this point, I've worn cornrows w/o extensions. I'm ready for a change. I think individual braids w/ extensions will be my next move. I don't have much experience w/them though so I'm trying to do my research. My hair is thick so I don't want them to be too small and end up w/ a head full of huge hair. I'm in the military so my hair must be off my collar so they either must be short braids or there must be enough length so I can put them up. Can you recommend a braid style and a type of hair that will be less damaging?

Bree said...

I just recently made the decision to go natural as well and know that I've seen that braids do help I'm more excited now. What shampoos and conditioners will be best to use in this process though?

Chan said...

Hello Bree! Congrats on your decision to go natural. It's an awesome Journey. Shampoos..for some people it's debatable but I'd say as a hard and fast rule, try to avoid sulfate shampoos because they can be drying. I rarely use shampoo at all, but if you want a recommendation Shea Moisture's moisture retention is a great one. (don't use it too often or your hair will feel dry..and u only need a drop!) Apple Cider Vinegar/Water followed up with Conditioner washes worked best when I was transitioning. Conditioners... Try Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle rose, or Hyrdatherma Naturals Moisture Boost Deep Conditioner, those are very moisturizing. There's SO many products out there, finding the one that's right for you may take going through a few to find your perfect match! PLease check out my blog post for transitioners there are a lot of great tips on that post!

mine said...

hello your braids is so pretty.please can i get to know who did your hair, i stay in dallas tx.

Chan said...

Hello Mine. Thanks! DesignsbyJackie in Frisco..

Anonymous said...

HI Jackie. I LOVE your second set of braids in the picture and I want to get mine done just like that, so thgat it curls at the bottom that way....can you tell me what kind of hair you bought please?

Chan said...

Hello Anonymous..my name is Chan : ) The second set is the same as the first.. just a bit older so it looks more relaxed...It's Freetress Tango curl.

Lorin said...

Ur hair growth frm braiding is vry inspiring. I had shoulder length hair since I was a child until the mid 00s. Since then, it's broken off, grew, broke off again real bad 2 the point that I had no hair left on my left side. But, it grew back again & gettin healthy once more then i decided 2 dye my hair. The color i luv but not 2 happy bout the length. Thnx God the thickness is still there afta everything. Now, I've decided no heat, chemicals, or messing with it 4 a while. I want & need braids! Haven't had braids since elementary school. If u c my hair b4, u'd kill me, lol. It was so long & healthy & again thnx God 4 the thickness. My question is how long do I keep the braids in & how long do I let my hair "breathe" til I decide 2 get nu braids put in?

Chan said...

Hello Lorin, thanks for posting. Sounds like quite a rollercoaster you've had! Yes when you are tryinig to grow your hair out its best not to do anything that could possibly be damaging, especially if you're already experiencing problems. With braid ext. They should stay in no longer than 2 mos and a week or 2 before going back in braids is good. You should deep condition your hair inbetween sets as well! Please read my blog post on braiding for health it highlighs all the do's and dont's of healthy hair braiding..

Lorin said...

Hi Chan! It's me again. I did what u said per doctor's orders & read ur blog, "Braiding 4 Health" & it was vry informative 4 me because it broke everything down by steps which is gr8! I have 2 more questions & I'm done. Besides olive oil, what r some other oils which r gr8 4 hair? Which braiding is best, tree braids or crochet braids? Thnx 4 ur insight 2 start my hhh journey! U have officially became MY hair fairy godmother! =)

Chan said...

Hey Lorin!..Well I am honored that you would give me such a title Thank you! : ) I love oils.. I may do a blog post breaking down all my favorites and the benefits of each!(thanks for the inspiration) Vatika Oil, Sesa Oils are my other staples very nourshing for your hair and scalp and they promote growth and length retention.. These can be found at your local Indian grocery store, or online. The healthiest braiding option? That can vary with different people's experiences and how the braids were put in. I've never had tree braids before, so I can't really speak with those in mine. But in my experience to date I will have to say crochet braids, and that is ONLY if your cornrows are not put in too tight where it's pulling at the scalp. That's really the key to most healthy braiding styles not too tight if you get that down you can pretty much wear any braid style without damage.. (But I would suggest you steer clear of micro braids) Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Hey Chan ! I just got my hair braided in singles with a little bit of a curl at the end. If i wash this do think my end will frizz? The ends are about 5 inches of non braided hair. And can I deep condition with my braids in?( Leave the conditioner for 30 minutes ) Great results !!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chan! I'm definitely going to buy the Freestress tango curl, but what stores can I buy it at? I really want to get my hair braided soon :)

Chan said...

Anonymous1 re: "Hey Chan ! I just got my hair braided in singles with a little bit of a curl at the end. If i wash this do think my end will frizz?"

based on my experience and the hair I've worn in that style(Zury bulk), the ends did not frizz. When washing if you dilute your shampoo and focus on the scalp only..letting the water run down without manipulating the hair you should have nothing to worry about. But again, I dont' know what kind of hair you're using? But try it, it's how we learn!!

Chan said...

Anonymous2 re: "I'm definitely going to buy the Freestress tango curl, but what stores can I buy it at? I really want to get my hair braided soon :)"

Check your local beauty supply store..(not Sally's : ) Google a few and call them and ask. Not all stores carry the same brands..if all else fails, order on line @hairsisters.com! Enjoy your braids!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I just did the big chop. I knew it needed to be done as my hair was severely damaged. I am getting braids tomorrow and I am also requesting that they not braid the edges. Are there any other tips on products I can use while I keep my braids in? Thank you so very much. This is a very scary time as I have never really cut all my hair off but I am excited to see new, healthy natural growth!

jola said...

what is the style called that designs bu jackie did and what do you use to keep your hair moisturized?

Anonymous said...

Hi Chan tks for sharing yr hair growth. Any suggestion for braiding a preteen hair w/out weave? The styles of braids is not tight or micro n usually last about week. Trying to achieve some growth, hair is n natural state.

After taking out braids does hair needs rest before braiding again

Chan said...

Well Hello Anonymous Preteen! : ) Thanks for reading. If you are wanting to braid for growth just follow the tips in my braiding for health blog post. It has tons of helpful tips on what you should and should not do. Crochet braids is also a low tension alternative to braiding.. I did a blog post on those as well.. Just put it in the search box and both articles should come up! Thanks again!

Chan said...

Hello Jola! I thnk it's called Passion Curl on Jackie's site.

Anonymous said...

what type of hair products did you use on your hair while you had it braided up

Chan said...

Hello Anonymous! Thanks for posting your comment.. Regarding: "what type of hair products did you use on your hair while you had it braided up? "

I used a couple things on my hair but my favorite was Hawiian Silky 14n1 Moisturizer. Talija Waajid Bodfier Mist spray works well also to keep your own hair moisturized. Please do a search for my Braiding for Health, blog post. It details there what I used and my braid regimen. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chan! I am actually getting braids tomorrow. Something simple cause braids and I do not get along lol. I would love to chat with you because I have some hair issues and I've been natural for a little over four years. My email add is reshondaparker@gmail.com. i really look forward to hearing from you! God bless

Anonymous said...

I love your hair. Especially how healthy your own hair look. How much do you charge i would really love if you can do my hair

Chan said...

Anonymous said...
I love your hair. Especially how healthy your own hair look. How much do you charge i would really love if you can do my hair

Response: Hello Anonymous, thank you so much for the compliment! You can visit my site at styleseat.com/healthyhappyhair all of my services and prices are listed there!

Elizabeth Sowell said...

Thank you so much for this post. I usually put my hair in braids during the summer and fall seasons and due to care the relaxer grows out and the length is astounding. But I think I'm cursed because every time my hair reaches the middle of my back, someone always cuts it off and then one section of my hair breaks off!!! :( Any suggestions?

Chan said...

Elizabeth Sowell says:
Thank you so much for this post. I usually put my hair in braids during the summer and fall seasons and due to care the relaxer grows out and the length is astounding. But I think I'm cursed because every time my hair reaches the middle of my back, someone always cuts it off and then one section of my hair breaks off!!! :( Any suggestions?

Hi Elizabeth! Sounds like you definitely know how to retain length with braids if you've made it to MBL with them! But no you're not curse (don't say that.: ) Our hair has major breaking points and for most women it's slightly past shoulder length. The longer our hair gets we have to be extra delicate, with it and wear protective styles keeping it off the shoulders to get you past your goal point. I know that can be hard because when we get length we want to show it off! But, Chicoro has a book called Grow it, And she talks about the Goal length Method in detail, and protecting the hair and how to successfully grow it very long. check her out! Thanks again for reading and please subscribe!

Elizabeth Sowell said...

Thank you so much Chan, much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

anytime I braid my hair it cuts dramatically and when I don't braid my hair is still cuts. What should I do?

Chan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chan said...

nonymous Says:
"Anytime I braid my hair it cuts dramatically and when I don't braid my hair is still cuts. What should I do?"

Hello Anonymous..Thanks for stopping by! Now when you say "Cuts" do you mean your hair "breaks?" If so, you have to identify what you are doing to cause your hair to break. Breakage can stem from Chemicals, excessive dryness,frequent heat styling,medications, tension styles, stress etc.. so just because we braid our hair it doesn't get rid of the problem. If your hair is in a weak state prior to braiding up, it's recommended that you nurture your hair, and then cut off any damage and start afresh. If add braid extensions to hair that is already weak and damaged, it is likely to continue breaking. I hope this helps....If you have any more questions or If I have misunderstood your question please contact me at Healthyhpyhair@gmail.com so we can discuss further. Thanks again for stopping by and don't forget to subscribe!

Anonymous said...

I'm reading this and it is so Informative I am relaxed and I want to grow it out I want to try braiding my hair but I'm sceptical of the after effect what advise can I give me for someone who is trying to achieve lots of new growth

Zyasia Peoples said...

I want my hair tro grow longer. But, isnt a relaxer a perm.Anyway,from the first stage before you braided it and cut out ur relaxer-i figured my hair is a litte longer. I want to have a full head of hair how u ended up with.My hair is tangled when wet.And nappy when dry.But when i flat iron it it is straight.Can u please give me directions on hair growth i am 11 and my hair is taking a break from braids but i am going to rebraid it with extension when summer camp begins. Also will my haie still grow if i braid my natural hair in a mohawk and put rubber bands in from the root to gain hair growth

Anonymous said...

What did you do with your hair when it was out? My hair is almost all natural and I just cannot see myself not putting braids back in right away when I take down old braids because I do my know what to do with my natural hair. Help!

Chan said...

Hello Zyasia! Yes a relaxer is a perm.. Is your hair relaxed? The key to growing your hair long is learning how to take care of the hair that is on your head. You have to preserve it and keep it from breaking. Basically moisturizing, conditioning, and low manipulation hair styles will help you achieve this. Braids help with this. Please see my blog post braiding for health. Also you should avoid using heat often...if you get relaxers get them less often. If you or your guardian have any more questions please email me at csh4597@gmail.com! Thanks again.

Chan said...

Response to Anonymous July 2, 2012 4:12 PM

"What did you do with your hair when it was out? My hair is almost all natural and I just cannot see myself not putting braids back in right away when I take down old braids because I do my know what to do with my natural hair. Help!

Hello! As a newly natural I wore a lot of wash n go's in between my braid sets. I would take like a 6 to 8 week break in between.. I typically cowashed in the shower put in a leave in conditioner and gel...I would also wore puffs. There's a lot that you can do but it does depend on your current length. If you are transitioning and still have relaxed ends..you can do braid outs..(plaited or cornrowed with rollers on the ends)You can also do a flexi-Rod Set. over all you really just have to sit in front of a mirror and practice often on styling your own hair. Just play around and try different things.. It's easy to run back to braids or even wigs rather than deal with our hair, but honestly it is the only way we learn? That's what I had to do. Also if you don't know by now youtube has naturals on there with a ton of natural hair styling videos! I hope this was helpful? If you have any more questions please send me a personal email..thanks!

AsiaDiva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AsiaDiva said...

This is Zyasia I made me a google account to get started.And ,Yes my hair does get relaxed.My hair isnt ike ur hair so i believe it wont grow as well.My sister hair is like yours and she gos to the africans to get a two strand twist and her hair grows.If I cut my relaxer out will my hair be ike yours.I want my hair to be similar so that it can grow.

AsiaDiva said...

HELLO,This is Zyasia I made me a google account to get more in into your website. I have more questions to ask too.And ,Yes my hair does get relaxed.My hair isnt Like ur hair so i believe it wont grow as well.My sister hair is like yours and she goes to the africans to get a two strand twist and her hair grows.If I cut my relaxer out will my hair be ike yours.I want my hair to be similar so that it can grow as well.Can a two strand twist grow my hair? If so is it possible that if my relaxer is out of the pic my hair will be like yours?

Chan said...

Hello AsiaDiva! What is your email address..I will send you some tips that you can follow. Do you have an adult to help you with your hair? Also I'm not sure what you mean regarding our hair types differing. Trust me, Long hair doesn't care who has it! : ) It's not partial to hair types, some of us have to work harder than others but it can be done..If you take care of your hair it will grow and retain, doesn't matter what your texture is. : ) Also try not to worry about what people will have to say about your hair, just keep your eyes on your goals..

AsiaDiva said...

It is peoples.zyasia@yahoo.com.I sent you a message.

AsiaDiva said...

When you say after you got braids it was washed and conditioned did you wash and condition it ill box braids were in it.If so whe n did you wash your hair after box braids:)
Thankyou.....

Anonymous said...

IF I shampooed and conditioned my hair,and I leave the braids in for a month while moisturing my hair with olive oil jojoba oil coconut oil and avocADO WILL MY HAIR STILL GROW.tHIS IS ZYASIA
E-mail:peopleszyasia@yahoo.com

eva said...

Your natural hair is beautiful! Just wondering if a white girl can get braids...trying to grow out my hair and this seems like an awesome way to get through the awkward stages

Chan said...

Hello Eva thank you very much! And Yes Maam white girls can get braids! lol.. Anyone with a head of hair long enough to grab, can get braid extensions. Braid definitely help me get through the award phase I love them, and I go back to them ever so often when I want an uninterrupted growth spurt. Just make sure they are not put in too small or too tight! Thanks for thaking the time to read my blog..

bria lania said...

Hi. I want to do the big chop and go natural and I want to cut all the relaxed hair off . How short should I cut it off and how do I know how much too cut off. When I do cut it off should I just go immediately to braids or let it grow for a bit.

bria lania said...

Hi. I want to do the big chop and go natural and I want to cut all the relaxed hair off . How short should I cut it off and how do I know how much too cut off. When I do cut it off should I just go immediately to braids or let it grow for a bit.

Chan said...

Hello Bria, when you are cutting the relaxer off you want to make sure that you can tell the difference between your relaxed ends and your natural roots. If you totally saturate your hair in conditioner and water the roots will curl or kink up and it will look different from your limp straight relaxed ends. Just snip off all the straight ends, leaving the kinky curly hair exposed. What you do to your hair after you chop is up to you! You can wear it out immediately if you are comfortable with the length. I think it's a good idea let it be free for a little bit so you can play around with it first trying out certain products to see what works on it, before you go into braids. Check out my blog post on big chops here: http://chanshealthyhappyhair.blogspot.com/2011/11/thinking-of-chopping-off-your-relaxer.html#links

Thanks so much and keep me posted..I can be reached at healthyhpyhair@gmail.com

Rondia71 said...

I and in my 2d BC of my life. The 1st was in '08 and again June 25 2012. I am so excited. I am going on my 3rd month and got braids this past Monday; kind of like your routine; getting braids in your 3rd month. I would like to add in '08 I had no idea of how to care for my hair. Now there are so many resources out there and it is all about trial & error. How did you wash/condition your braids? Did you put a stocking cap on, etc. or one section at a time with an applicator bottle? Back in '08 I used the stocking cap so my hair would not unravel. I am planning to keep these in for at least 2 mths and 3 if I can resist the urge to see my hair..lol. Thanks for the inspiration and tips.

Chan said...

Hello Rondia71! Thanks for stopping by and sharing a little of your story.. No I don't use the stocking cap. I actually washed my scalp with dilute shampoo, or I co wash in the shower. If the braids are heavy you will want to put your hair in sections. Here is a link to a photo journal that I did of my braid wash & D/C routine. http://public.fotki.com/chawthorne/braids-and-twists/washing--dc-syn-baids/ Yes I'm on fotki! : )

Rondia71 said...

You are such a blessing - thank you so much. I will check that out...I subscribed to your blog as well.

Rondia71 said...

Thank you so much. You are such a blessing.

Tavia Brooks said...

Thank you; this is actually what I needed to see, Real Results. I have been transitioning since March 2012 and have found that my hair is indeed healthier and longer. However, I have completely run out of ideas for what to do. Because of this article and many other articles I have decided that Braids (with care of course) is the way to go . Thanks again and best wishes to you on your Hair Journey!!

Chan said...

Thanks Tavia for stopping by, I am glad that I could do my part in helping out! Congratulations on deciding to transition to natural hair. I used braids as well to help me through my transition. I also have a Braiding Post called Braiding for Health, check that out for tips on how you should care for your hair when wearing braids. Thanks for the well wishes and I pray you have a wonderful journey as well. : )

Chan said...

Anonymous Said: On Aug. 26, 2012. "Right here is the perfect site for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue
with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that has been
discussed for ages. Great stuff, just wonderful!

Thank you so much Anonymous that was a beautiful compliment and I am so honored to be sharing my journey and doing my part to inspire. I hope you will visit often and take something away with you each time. God bless!

Diamond Wade said...

Hello Chan my name is Diamond. I live in Grapevine, TX & looking for a stylist that do cornroll tree braids... any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I love the way your hair look so healthy. I have been continuing to get my hair cut, but know I'm trying to grow it. Also, I have dyed it for the second time. Should I cut the dye out then braid my hair? I still haven't figured out what works for my hair...my hair seems to be a mixture of all 4 patterns.

Chan said...

Should I cut the dye out then braid my hair?

Hello Anonymous: Thanks for the compliment I really can't properly advise you on your hair without more information or seeing your hair. But in general if your hair is breaking due to color you should try a mild protein deep treatment to try and stop the breakage or shedding if its doing that. As well as deep moisturizing deep treatments(you can alternate them on your scheduled wash days. If your hair is breaking a good trim or cut can help take care of most of it, if it's on your colored ends. I wouldn't advise putting your hair into braid extensions unless it is strong, and not breaking, or shedding. If you feel you need to cut it first to get it there, then do that. You can move forward with your deep treatments then, before braiding it up.

Nancy Sam said...

So beautiful! Great info. My hair needs to be longer but I will pass it on to my friends with long hair!!

Chan said...

Thank you so much Nancy! I'm glad you enjoyed.. Thanks for letting your friends know!

Diamond Wade said...

Hey Chan my name is Diamond. I live In Grapevine ,TX & Im Looking For A Stylist That Can French Braid Tree Braids. Any Suggestions?

Chan said...

Hello Diamond, you know I actually don't know "personally" any tree braiders in this area that I could recommend. I do know the African shops offer tree braids but you have to be careful with you you're using. If you email me healthyhpyhair@gmail.com, I can give you the contact information for an individual "singles" braider that I've used.. She may offer them.

Deborah Olugbemi said...

What hair cream did u use in ur hair for braiding alsO what hair pieace did u use

Chan said...

Hello Anonymous, I used Hawiian Silky 14n1 Moisturizer. You can use any moisturizer that is water base, and light. This is bulk braiding hair, freetress brand.

braidingclub said...

Thanks so much for this great tutorial! I wore it the day after I watched it and got HEAPS of comments!! perfect for me as I have really long hair with layers.

Anonymous said...

What do you do with your hair when it's not braided?

Chan said...

hi, I wear my hair in twists whenever my hair is not in braids.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I bumped into your site.Very informative. Your hair is awesome. I especially like your curly braids.....might try that next!!

Chan said...

Anonymous said...
"I'm so glad I bumped into your site.Very informative. Your hair is awesome. I especially like your curly braids.....might try that next!!"
____

Thanks Anonymous for stopping by! Your feed back means so much! I hope you do try them they are the best braids to have in my opinion! : )

Bella said...

Learn how to grow hair faster in http://www.the-healthiest.com/archives/294

Anonymous said...

Hello Chan,im Mariam and I'm really inspired by your beautiful beautiful hair....im also trying to use braids to grow out my hair,I cut it all off in 2010 and it was making progress but then I relaxed it coz it was hard to manage the nappy hair,now I wish I had managed it like yours!,but I'll keep on braiding...plus,please suggest some hair oils for me and are weaves just as effective as braids for keeping hair in so that it grows? Thanks! And you're really pretty :)

Chan said...

Thank you Miriam for stopping by. You can do it. Just keep up a regimen of moisture,strength,conditioning,protection, and patience and you will see the results that you want! Thanks so much for your sweet compliments!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chan, love your first set of braids but after reading your responses I think my shoulder length hair may be too long for them. I am still transitioning to natural. I never did the BC, just a little trim at a time. I would like to try braids, but I don't want to damage my hair. I'm thinking invisible braids would be damaging and I've read micros can put too much stress on the hair. I like the individual tree braids but they take way too long. I would love a curly style and also swim a lot during the summer. Could you recommend a braid style that wouldn't be damaging and a kind of hair that could be curly? Thank you, Trice

Chan said...

Hello Anonymous! Thanks for the complement and you are right.. Those braids won't give the same look on shoulder length hair. I recommend Crochet Braids I currently wear those and I also have a blog post about them. They are the least damaging(if your cornrows are not put in too tight, remember tight braids is what primarily breaks hair) But with crochet braids as the hair grows out there is not any weight pulling at your new growth. also the hair is not heavy. I love them! I love the Freetress Bulk Braiding hair line. Water Wave and Bohemian curl are my favorites!

Alexandria King said...

Did you shampoo and condition your hair with the braids? If you did how many times would you? If not what other method do you do while it is braided?

Chan said...

Hello Alexandria! Yes I would cowash on an as needed basis. Possibly twice a month. You can also cleanse with apple cider vinegar and water and follow up with a deep condition.

Stephanie said...

Hi Chan
I loved your hair. I have been relaxer free for a year now. I wore sew ins to transition. A month ago I stopped wearing the sew ins and I'm just wearing it natural I have tried twist out styles and just wearing an Afro. Everyone tells me how pretty it is I don't feel that way. So I as hoping to get some pointers from you on what hairn do for my hair. Its very thick and it absorbs everything I put in it. Can't wait to hear back from you.

Jazzmin said...

Thank you so much for making this! It's really awesome

Chan said...

You're welcome Jazzmin, thanks for taking the time to stop by and read! There's a lot more helpful post on length retention here so I hope you you check them out!

LAYLA said...

I love your blog and nice growth, I love the braid styles also. can you tell me what braid and type of hair did you use.

Chan said...

Hello Layla thanks for the compliments! This was Freetress Bulk Braidig hair/ Tango Curl

Sharelle Robinson said...

I'm 18 and when I was younger I always had braids, and I hated them. So when I was 15 I decided to get my hair relaxed. My hair has grown since I decided to get it relaxed. However because I don't get my hair done every two weeks, when I do get it done my hair dresser is constantly cutting my hair. I recently got my hair cut into a cute mo hawk, but after a while you get tired of curling your hair. I'm really considering going back to individual braids to grow my hair back out. I was worried about going back to braids, but reading your story and the comments are going to make me follow through. Thanks for sharing your story, and good luck with your hair journey.! :)

Anonymous said...

i want to share my testimony on how i gain my nature hair back in just three weeks: i had very thick curly hair.i straightened my hair 2 yr ago.they after some time started 2 fall out.i also having dandruff problem all d time, before i used shampoo called antidruf containing ketoconazole and tugain 2%(minoxidil) have stopped using chemical one year ago.but still i am loosing a lots of hair everyday and my hair has become so thin. when a friend of my visit me and i explain how i lose my hair every day, she told me she was having the same problem 3 months ago and he contacted DR OPINGO online, i please with grace and she gave me DR OPINGO email, i email him immediately and explain about my hair to him, he told me not to worry that he is going to help me out.After DR OPINGO have prepared the spell cream i use for good three weeks my hair grow fast and was very thick, all my girl friends love and cherish my hair thank you DR you can contact his email at: (alterofcandletemple02@gmail.com) his cream will make your hair grow faster and thicker.




Anonymous said...

You gavevme hope! Im 6 months in and many times ibfeel like giving my iourney up! Ive put the braids in last week saturday hopefuppy they last as long as yours. I got box braids.

Hair loss vitamins said...

I liked your hair. ;-)

Kasey King said...

Hi,

I have been enjoying reading this post and many of the comments; they are very helpful. I just took out my braids and looking to rebraid in about 2-3 weeks. I would like to know how many packs of the free tress hair you used. Since I'm purchasing from online, I don't want to under purchase. Thank you in advance.
By the way, I am in Wichita Falls and there are no natural hair specialist up here. Can you recommend a place down there that I could visit every couple of months?
~Kasey

Simone White said...

Hello I'm recently in braids my products are not all my favourite soWhat products did you use and how expensive

Chan said...

Hello Kasey Thanks for the compliment. I use two packs, I would order 3 to be on the safe side, it can vary depending on fullness you want or size of braids. I'm sorry I don't know anyone in Wichita falls. Thanks for reading my blog post!

Chan said...

Hello Simone. while I am in braids I use the African Royale Braids spray on the synthetic hair, and Scurl No drip for Moisturizing my natural hair underneath the braids. Both are under 10.00.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I had attempted going natural for two months without doing the big chop. My hair is very damaged. After 2 months I ended up Preminger it. I really want to go natural. I by no means have good hair, and am just wondering once your hair grows out does it get better? I just permed it but I want to try again, what do u suggest?

Chan said...

Hello Anonymous,

I will say the more you moisturize and deep condition your hair the the condition of your hair becomes better. Meaning its not as dry, and its easier to manage. Typically with relaxed hair we tend to not moisturize our hair as much so its not weighted down. But when you are trying to nurture natural hair you have to keep it moisturized and sealed with natural oils. If you really want to wear your natural texture you can with success. Just start using very moisturizing products on your roots as your hair is trying to grow out so they will be soft and managable. Also the longer your natural hair gets you have to put your hair in sections so that all of your roots are getting the moisture from the product. Try using the Shea Moisture line mainly the deep treatment mask and the Curling smoothie to help with moisture and wear your hair in curly styles so that your relaxed ends will match better with your kinkier roots. (There are tons of lines out there nowadays that will work, but shea moisture is pretty affordable with great ingredients, with consistent positive reviews, and I use their smoothie,as well) If you need more tips on how to transition successfully to natural hair I do have a blog post on that here : http://chanshealthyhappyhair.blogspot.com/2011/09/transitioning-to-natural-hair-need-help.html#links

Anonymous said...

I love how you reply back to everyone! Thank you for answering our curious & wandering minds! I wanted to ask you what is the name of the braids that use used in the beginning of your hair journey? Also, could you tell me the brand name of the hair if you can remember. Thank you once again! - Saundra

Chan said...

Anonymous @ 2:05 on Feb, 23rd....you are welcome! I love helping If I can. : ) I wore individual braids with curly bulk braiding hair(similar to micros, but the braids are larger) I wore Freetress Tango Curl.

Anonymous said...

Do you know anything about knots being left on hair that caused breakage from box braids? I am experiencing this problem where I have knots on the middle on the hair that was braided and it is hard to get out. It took alot of my hair out. Do you think that beeswax or wax in the yellow brand caused this? Thank you.

Chan said...

@Anonymous Feb 24th, 2014 @ 5:37 p.m.
Hello and thanks for reading. Are you referring to the build up that is found mostly around the hair line and the nape area when you are removing the extensions? That is the only thing I can think of that would be left behind after you remove braids. It is a gummy knot that is mixed with shed hair and product build up from when you were wearing the braids.

The best way to minimize it, is to not use too much heavy product around the hairline and nape area when wearing the braids because it gets trapped. Water down all of your products or purchase watery products to moisturize while in braids. When you remove your braids and that is left behind the best thing to do is use tons of oil to soften and carefully slide the build up off your strands. If the oil isn't enough use a little conditioner to further soften the knot. You may also need a smaller tooth comb, denman brush, or a tangle teezer to help move the knot from the hair without breaking the hair that should remain! I hope this answers your question.

Monilou said...

I know most synthetic braids are about 22 inches. Your bob braid styles are very pretty. How do you get your hair in the bob style? Do you cut the hair before or after the braids are applied? Is it cut in layers? The bob style is classic and never goes out of style. I could keep it forever!

L said...

I just started my journey for the second time. I got a thermal hair straightener that badly great my hair, so I had to cut it and start fresh. I just started wearing treebraids. How long did you use the braids as a retention? I am giving my hair a week break before going back into braids. My stylist is really good and is gentle on my hairline.I have not wore braids doing high school and forgot my retention.

Chan said...

Hello L! I'm sorry to hear about the breakage you suffered from the thermal straightening kit. I've heard so many women with similar stories concerning those. But hair does grow back so that's great news! I wore braids quite a bit my first year of being natural, I would take maybe a week break? and then go back in!

Chan said...

Hello Monilou..sorry about the delay I saw your message and then it sort of disappeared on me? Regarding this question: Monilou said...
I know most synthetic braids are about 22 inches. Your bob braid styles are very pretty. How do you get your hair in the bob style? Do you cut the hair before or after the braids are applied? Is it cut in layers? The bob style is classic and never goes out of style. I could keep it forever!
-------------------------------
The hair was never cut into this style. When pulled out of the pack the hair was cut in half and then installed as individual braids and it naturally fell at this length. She only trimmed it some to shape it.

MrsBradley said...

Hi!

What type of braids are those in the 1st set of braids photo right after your big chop photo?

Chan said...

Hello Mrs Bradley.. It's Tango Curl by Freetress