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View Full Version : Is there such a thing as too much braiding?



purpleelephant
November 4th, 2015, 11:18 PM
In recent efforts to not wash my hair every single day, I've begun putting it up/back in some kind of braid, every other day. Some say this is good for hair, keeping it out of the way & preventing it from tangling, while others say it can pull too much and cause damage if done too frequently. In y'alls experience, can there be too much of a "good thing"? I try my best to not repeat the same type of braid too frequently, and put a few drops of melted coconut oil into my ends twice a week. Should I be doing something differently?(keeping it down is just too greasy, and I know I'd fuss with it incessantly).

Nadine <3
November 4th, 2015, 11:24 PM
Braids are better than loose, but I found even the softest hair ties would damage my ends. That and the ends still flew all over the place and the braid got stuck under things. I find a bun with a stick far more protective than a braid.

Nique1202
November 5th, 2015, 02:02 AM
Anything can be "bad" in excess, but it's a matter of weighing one bad against another. Literally everything that touches or manipulates your hair can damage it over long periods of time. Braids are less bad than leaving hair down in general because loose hair gets itself into more damaging situations (and, as in your case, can get in the way and be rather annoying) even though the fasteners you use to tie off your braids can still damage the ends. Buns are even less bad than braids because you can fasten them with a stick or fork or flexi or ficcare or other non-elastic and thus less-damaging method, but even buns can be done too tight or too much in the same spot and lead to damage or traction alopecia.

When weighing the possible harms versus the absolute benefits, buns > braids > loose is the conclusion that most of us come to for good reason... with the notable exception of those totally legit people who really like their hair down or in braids because of the way it looks, and who are willing to deal with the possible or eventual damage and harm to the hair. But, we still all have to come to our own conclusions as to how to style our hair.

tl;dr if you like the results of wearing braids every day and you don't feel like they're pulling too tightly anywhere, don't feel too badly about wearing them.

juniperjetcat
November 5th, 2015, 04:37 AM
I have also heard the varying reports of braiding being either good or bad, and I would agree that too much of one thing is bad. So my approach these days is to alternate between loose braids, side braids, low buns, and high buns. I have also thrown out all my elastic hair ties and use only sticks, ribbons, and plastic coil bobble hair tie on occasion (although am still unsure how good this one is for my hair though).

Gertrude
November 5th, 2015, 05:14 AM
I haven't used heat on my hair for two years, and kept it out of the wind and kept brushing to a minimum and now all my hair is soft, silky and super slippery. No damage= no texture. I used to be able to put up a bun with Amish crinkled hair pins. I wound up wearing lots of pins, which my scalp didn't like, but the bun still fell down. I now use the braid as base, three long Amish pins and a stick.

To put my hair in any bun that stays for more than an hour I need to braid it first. I use just an English braid, not super tight, and alternate bun days with just wearing a plain braid. My hair isn't long, just past BSL so it's really easy to gently pull the braid over my shoulder. For chairs and seats or bag straps. And for yoga and Pilates. I can't wear tight braids or buns as I get severe headaches in minutes.


I fasten the braid at night and in buns with the soft terry cloth elastics sold for toddlers, and use chenille covered hair elastics when just wearing the braid. I have a George Michael hairdresser who trims my hair, and he is super critical of everything I do/don't do and really peers at my hair during the S&D part of the trim for signs of my vegetarian diet and metal hair pins. I honestly don't have damage from the elastics. And my hair is very prone to mechanical damage from everything. Loose my hair flies around and gets caught and broken or individual strands pulled out and mats if in the wind.

It goes very fuzzy during the day as more slippery hair escapes, but works. And despite daily braids my hair is in the best condition ever. Of course that's just my experience. Not selling chenille elastics (-;

endlessly
November 5th, 2015, 07:19 AM
Technically, any repetition is "bad" for your hair as it can re-stress certain parts of the hair shaft, weakening it over time and causing it to break. As long as you're changing your hairstyles, which it sounds like you are, then you shouldn't worry too much. I've learned that no matter what you do, hair will still get damaged as it's impossible to 100% prevent it. If you're cutting out the big damaging factors - hair dye, bleach, heat styling, excessive washing, aggressive styling (i.e. ripping a brush through tangles) - that's more than enough prevention, so try not to worry about the little things. Just remember that hair is sturdier than it looks.

jt623
November 5th, 2015, 08:08 AM
Wet braiding is more damaging than dry braiding. Your hair is more fragile when it is wet, and it will take it longer to dry in braids.

Anje
November 5th, 2015, 08:31 AM
Eh, I braid mine most days and keep it pulled over my shoulder so I don't lean on it or sit on the end. I spend too much time in the car with a bun-eating headrest to not braid it. Yes, I think the ties cause some wear on my ends relative to buns, but I do my best to minimize that and to move the spot I secure it around a bit.

purpleelephant
November 5th, 2015, 09:16 AM
Ooh, thank you all on the tips about the hair tie damage! My hair's a little thin for most buns, but I will definitely look into alternating that with the braiding.

parkmikii
November 5th, 2015, 09:20 AM
Ooh, thank you all on the tips about the hair tie damage! My hair's a little thin for most buns, but I will definitely look into alternating that with the braiding.

Maybe try a claw clip? You could make a peacock twist or a cinnamon bun and secure it with a claw clip until it gets longer if you find braiding every day daging :)

luvlonghair75
November 5th, 2015, 10:32 AM
I don't think you can braid too much, but you can do it too tight causing damage to the follicles of the hair. I have quite thin hair too and prefer a simple updo with only a claw clip. I use medium sized clips now, so it must be working well! I also have been using Ouchless elastics, without any problems.

lapushka
November 5th, 2015, 10:52 AM
I've worn a peacock twist all the way from (about) APL to waist, then switched to a daily LWB (6 days out of 7) from waist all the way to classic. I notice no balding, no traction, no nothing. And the bun is in the same place each day every day.

I think if you make the braid too tight, especially at night, that there can be some damage from it. If you wear one at night, braid loosely!

Madora
November 5th, 2015, 11:03 AM
Purpleelephant, I've been braiding my hair daily for more than 20 years and have had no ill effects from it. It all boils down to how you braid..i.e. the tension when you begin the braid. If the braid is done too tightly, then over time the hair at the starting point will become stressed and eventually begin to thin. If hair is drawn back too tightly when braided you might be looking at hair alopecia along the front hairline after time.

As for hair ties, I've used ouchless hair ties for years with no problems. The thing to remember is to take off the hair tie the same way you put it on. Don't just pull it off wily nily.

Braided hairstyles are a great way to protect your hair.

irodaryne
November 5th, 2015, 01:26 PM
Purpleelephant, I've been braiding my hair daily for more than 20 years and have had no ill effects from it. It all boils down to how you braid..i.e. the tension when you begin the braid. If the braid is done too tightly, then over time the hair at the starting point will become stressed and eventually begin to thin. If hair is drawn back too tightly when braided you might be looking at hair alopecia along the front hairline after time.

As for hair ties, I've used ouchless hair ties for years with no problems. The thing to remember is to take off the hair tie the same way you put it on. Don't just pull it off wily nily.

Braided hairstyles are a great way to protect your hair.

Oh, I'd never thought of that, taking hair ties off the way you put them on. I mean, it makes sense, and it seems obvious now that I'm thinking about it, but I'd just never considered that. Thanks, Madora! My hair's only at chin now, but it's going to be thanking you for years to come!

meteor
November 5th, 2015, 04:01 PM
Though I logically understand that wearing hair the same way every day should be a problem, luckily, I haven't yet found it to be the case, as long as the style is low-manipulation, not too tight, not pulling on any spots and secured gently.
(Personally, I love braids, and my hair is English-braided and then bunned almost all the time.)

If you have difficulty removing hair ties in a hair-friendly way, I suggest using a bobby pin or the edge of a rat-tail comb or something else pointy to loosen up the tie when taking it off the braid tassel.

I think a simple English braid is a really good protective style, but if you want to prevent a long braid from rubbing on things, you can pin it up (e.g. depending on the length of hair, Heidi braids, coronet, braided tuck, braided cinnabun, braided LWB, braided nautilus, braided L-infinity bun, etc... can work well :) ). And if you bun your braid, you don't even need to tie off the braid with anything, usually - it will hold up just fine! ;)

Best of luck! And happy braiding! :cheer:

yahirwaO.o
November 5th, 2015, 04:13 PM
The thing to remember is to take off the hair tie the same way you put it on. Don't just pull it off wily nily.

This. Often people just remove the tie just like so and that is the max contribution that leads to damage with that obvious strand tension. Simply remove same manner the way you put it, carefully and slow.

I've used hair ties for the longest time and my hair has some but very little damage from it. As other people have mention pretty much anything done to hair is going to damage at some point and thats when the grace of variating hairstyles comes in.

Madora
November 5th, 2015, 05:31 PM
You're welcome, irodaryne! Be sure your hair tie of choice does not contain any metal. I used the thin, super fine BLAX hair ties for years but now I just tuck in the ends without using a tie of any sort.

Hairkay
November 5th, 2015, 05:49 PM
For me braiding or plaiting is fine as long as you don't pull your hair too tight plus keep the hairstyles varied. If I've had my hair parted in two from front to back one week, the next week or so it's best to not have my hair parted or sectioned that particular way. I grew up in plaits and still have a fondness for them. With my thick kinky curls, it helps with low manipulation and it keeps my hair detangled in manageable sections. They also help me to get away with not using hair ties at all some times. My hair is less likely to get too dry in plaits/braids and it stretches out my curls a little without being too extreme. My hair ends are most likely to break off getting dried out, getting too tangled and left to rub on my shoulders. I do have a few days where I let the hair out but mostly I keep it well organised because I don't wan to spend too much time on detangling all the time.

ReadingRenee
November 5th, 2015, 10:21 PM
I've worn a peacock twist all the way from (about) APL to waist, then switched to a daily LWB (6 days out of 7) from waist all the way to classic. I notice no balding, no traction, no nothing. And the bun is in the same place each day every day.

I think if you make the braid too tight, especially at night, that there can be some damage from it. If you wear one at night, braid loosely!

Lapushka, when you say you did a peacock twist, did you leave the tail out or tuck it in? I always worry that the tail out will lead damage. And if you did tuck it in, how did you do it?

As for braids, I braid my daughters hair every single day either in a single braid or double braids. I would say the bottom tassel is a little rougher than the rest of her hair but she is a little girl who doesn't pamper her hair at all. I use the little terry ties on her braids.

purpleelephant
November 5th, 2015, 10:45 PM
Super thanks for all the advice (and meteor for all the style suggestions!) :D y'all give me hope.

irodaryne
November 5th, 2015, 11:12 PM
You're welcome, irodaryne! Be sure your hair tie of choice does not contain any metal. I used the thin, super fine BLAX hair ties for years but now I just tuck in the ends without using a tie of any sort.

I stopped using the metal ones several years ago and haven't looked back since! I've actually not been able to find any in a couple if years (but I dont pay much attention to them).

gthlvrmx
November 6th, 2015, 12:31 AM
Lapushka, when you say you did a peacock twist, did you leave the tail out or tuck it in? I always worry that the tail out will lead damage. And if you did tuck it in, how did you do it?

As for braids, I braid my daughters hair every single day either in a single braid or double braids. I would say the bottom tassel is a little rougher than the rest of her hair but she is a little girl who doesn't pamper her hair at all. I use the little terry ties on her braids.

For a peacock twist, the ends are at risk of damage when the tail is out if the ends rub against something like a couch, seat, strap. If you are too worried, you can try continuing to twist your hair to make a french twist.

Linguaphilia
November 6th, 2015, 05:39 AM
I wear an English braid on the back of my head that I roll into a cinnabun and pin. I use a soft and very stretchy elastic (pantyhose material basically) to tie off my braid before bunning. I never thought of removing the hair tie the same way as I put it on. What I do, though, and which hasn't been mentioned yet, is: after I've finished securing my braid, I pull the tie down for half an inch or so. This because I think hairs are being tied in a crimped position, and pulling the tie down slightly straightens those hairs again, minimising damage of bent hairs.

lapushka
November 6th, 2015, 06:35 AM
Lapushka, when you say you did a peacock twist, did you leave the tail out or tuck it in? I always worry that the tail out will lead damage. And if you did tuck it in, how did you do it?

When my hair was still short, I left it out (no choice). I started folding it under the longer it got - if that makes sense.

ReadingRenee
November 6th, 2015, 12:38 PM
For a peacock twist, the ends are at risk of damage when the tail is out if the ends rub against something like a couch, seat, strap. If you are too worried, you can try continuing to twist your hair to make a french twist.

Thank you. :) I guess that makes sense about the tail being damaged. I always worry about the wind getting it.


When my hair was still short, I left it out (no choice). I started folding it under the longer it got - if that makes sense.

I think I understand. Once my hair gets a little past APL peacock twist tails are too long for me to like wearing and by the time my hair is BSL, it is just too long. I used to fold the tail down in a loop and pin it into place above my clip but I was wondering if there was another way since the peacock twist is probably my favorite hair style at the moment.

lapushka
November 6th, 2015, 01:12 PM
I think I understand. Once my hair gets a little past APL peacock twist tails are too long for me to like wearing and by the time my hair is BSL, it is just too long. I used to fold the tail down in a loop and pin it into place above my clip but I was wondering if there was another way since the peacock twist is probably my favorite hair style at the moment.

Well, I just held the ponytail, and then folded it lengthwise a few times, then put it to my head and clasped the claw clip over it.

ReadingRenee
November 6th, 2015, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the detailed description. I can be a little slow to get descriptions when they are not detailed. Thanks for taking the time to clarify. I will try this when my hair is a bit longer. :)

lapushka
November 6th, 2015, 01:56 PM
Thanks for the detailed description. I can be a little slow to get descriptions when they are not detailed. Thanks for taking the time to clarify. I will try this when my hair is a bit longer. :)

I don't know how else to describe it, TBH. I hope I was somewhat clear. :o

ReadingRenee
November 6th, 2015, 08:05 PM
I don't know how else to describe it, TBH. I hope I was somewhat clear. :o

Yes thank you, you were. Im happy to know I may not have to give up the peacock twist as my hair grows longer. :)