It’s believed that braids help to “grow” hair. On one part, that can be true. While braids are certainly a great protective style that help you retain length, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Braids don’t make your hair grow, instead they help with length retention. Every time you style and detangle your hair, no matter what the style, there’s a risk of breakage. It just happens. When your hair is braided, you “dodge the risk of mechanical breakage from manipulation”. This is why braids are a great protective style.
2. Wearing Braids Long-Term Can Decrease Length Retention. After about six weeks, you run the risk of doing more damage than good to your hair. For many people, around the six week mark, the hair begins to lock or mat. Leaving them in longer makes it difficult to detangle, which may lead to more breakage than normal.
3. For those who have sensitive and thinning edges, you have a higher chance of increased hair loss in those areas. Its best that you avoid any and all tugging and tightness in this area. This is a concern if you continuously wear braids back to back without any breaks. If you already have an issue with thinning or sensitive edges braids may not be the best thing for your hair. It’s best to keep your braids loose. This will help to reduce tension and pulling.
In order for your protective styling to be beneficial it must protect your hair and scalp for breakage. Otherwise, if you rough house with your hair, all of the length that you retained can easily broke off.