|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.
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.
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
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
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!