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View Full Version : Braids eating up a lot of length...



anou
April 6th, 2016, 10:15 PM
I've been wondering about length shrinkage due to braids a lot. Is it just me it do everyone's braids cause the length to shrink this much?

My hair is at mid back (stretched) and in a single English braid, it's barely BSL (stretched). My hair is also heavily layered.

Llama
April 6th, 2016, 11:52 PM
Braids seem to shorten my length by at least a few inches, depending on the position of the braid and the type of braid I'm doing. I wish they didn't!
French/dutch braids eat up the most length. An english braid started over my shoulder on the side appears to keep the most length. That's my experience anyways. :cool:

Simsy
April 6th, 2016, 11:55 PM
It's not the braid itself so much as the type of braid. As a general rule, more stands means more length lost. Thicker hair will also shrink than thin hair. Fishtail braids won't shrink as much as rope braids, 3-strands will look longer than 4 or 5-strand
I have nearly hip length (stretched) curls and a single English 3-strand braid on me is only just past BSL. 2 braids lands at waist, nearly 2.5 inches difference.

My personal hypothesis, the hair looses so much length weaving in and out of itself in the braid that it can't go as far down.

Nini
April 7th, 2016, 12:39 AM
It's the nature of a braid, or weaving for that matter.

Anje
April 7th, 2016, 06:42 AM
It seems like the thicker the hair, the more length gets eaten up, too. Mine goes from past classic to tailbone-ish when braided. Funny thing is that I'm starting to welcome the shortening.

Hairkay
April 7th, 2016, 10:43 AM
I already have shrinkage with my hair type before it gets plaited/braided. Plaits will prevent my hair from resorting to it's full shrinkage though. It looks longest just after I've finished plaiting then it'll shrink a little and remain at a stable length.

yahirwaO.o
April 7th, 2016, 02:16 PM
It's the nature of a braid, or weaving for that matter.

This! I used to have past waist lenght and my single braid was so thin and shrinked all the way to BSL, I hated it at the time. Now I simply dont care! :p

Anje
April 7th, 2016, 02:41 PM
I already have shrinkage with my hair type before it gets plaited/braided. Plaits will prevent my hair from resorting to it's full shrinkage though. It looks longest just after I've finished plaiting then it'll shrink a little and remain at a stable length.

Ah, true!
I wonder what's the minimum curliness where braids make hair longer instead of shorter? :)

Hairkay
April 7th, 2016, 02:45 PM
Ah, true!
I wonder what's the minimum curliness where braids make hair longer instead of shorter? :)

I have no idea. my MBL hair looks BSL just after plaiting/braiding then gets two inches shorter. If it's loose it'll be APL and may or may not get shorter during the day according to the weather.

meteor
April 7th, 2016, 02:52 PM
I've been wondering about length shrinkage due to braids a lot. Is it just me it do everyone's braids cause the length to shrink this much?

My hair is at mid back (stretched) and in a single English braid, it's barely BSL (stretched). My hair is also heavily layered.

Totally normal. :) Until at least waist, my braids looked like stubs. It does get better with added length, since I suspect the amount that's eaten up by the braid gets smaller as a percentage of total length..., or maybe it just feels that way, just because it always "feels" longer with added length? :hmm:

If it really bothers you, you could do multiple braids. The more braids you do, the longer they will be compared to just one giant thick braid which will take up as much length as possible.
By the way, the same principle applies to bunning: the shorter and thicker the hair is, the more buns you might need to do in order to make those sections still "bunnable", which is why double buns or sectioned buns work sometimes, even when the full buns don't work yet (due to thickness + shortness).

Super-curly hair may actually get stretched out and look longer with braiding and twisting... but only when the tightness of the curl is more significant (i.e. diameter of the curl/spiral is smaller) than the weaving/cross-sections of the braid.

excentricat
April 7th, 2016, 04:43 PM
In my experience, braids will also sometimes fake you out with how long they are. I like short tassels on my braids. In my mind, the braid ends at the tie, while loose hair goes all the way down to the hemline. Don't let your hair lie to you like mine lies to me.

CurlyCap
April 7th, 2016, 10:57 PM
Ah, true!
I wonder what's the minimum curliness where braids make hair longer instead of shorter? :)

I'm guessing the 4s.

My hair is between sharpie and pencil curls...and braids are significantly shorter than length. Cause the braid it's length and then the braid shrinks!

Hairkay
April 10th, 2016, 04:15 AM
Super-curly hair may actually get stretched out and look longer with braiding and twisting... but only when the tightness of the curl is more significant (i.e. diameter of the curl/spiral is smaller) than the weaving/cross-sections of the braid.
I don't think my hair plays by those rules. When I have it plaited/braided all in one/two where the sections are bigger than my curls spirals there is shrinkage. When I have hair plaited/braided to match my curls spirals (10-16), there is still some shrinkage. The hair unravels a bit sometimes turning making the lower half of the plaits look like lace then changing to waves or spirals. When I have plaits smaller than my curl spiral (18+ plaits) there will be shrinkage too. This time entire plaits/braids will start to kink or spiral or look/become wavy.

meteor
April 10th, 2016, 08:16 AM
^ Thanks a lot, Hairkay! :D
Wow, it's fascinating how different curls can behave! :D Very interesting stuff!

excentricat
April 10th, 2016, 08:38 AM
I'm confused. Are we talking about braid shrinkage being shorter than curly hair left loose, or curly hair stretched, or both? My hair is only wavy, so my braids are always shorter than loose.

anou
April 10th, 2016, 09:11 AM
Wow, so interesting about the braids getting longer for curlies. :D

I'm a wavy and a iii, so no wonder my braids shrink! I'm glad it happens to everyone :)

AJNinami
April 10th, 2016, 10:05 AM
So if one's wanted a TBL english braid, then (depending on one's texture) their hair would have to be at least Classic length?

meteor
April 10th, 2016, 10:51 AM
So if one's wanted a TBL english braid, then (depending on one's texture) their hair would have to be at least Classic length?

Maybe... at least that was the case for me. However, it's really hard to predict it because of the huge number of factors involved:
- how long is TBL and Classic in cm/inches on you?
- how tightly do you braid?
- how high up do you start the braid?
- how much length do you leave out for the braid tassel?
- how thick is the hair?
- how much taper does the hair have and at what specific rate does it taper off?
- what is the texture of the hair?
- etc, etc...

To see the incredible variation of braid lengths (and numbers of braid intersections) vs. loose lengths, you could check out this LHC thread, for example:
Show your braids, count your bumps! - http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=20975