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FlowerDance
March 28th, 2019, 08:34 PM
Just as the title says! Would you say braids damage hair? Dutch, French, fishtail, etc? I absolutely love braiding my hair, especially in double french braids. I'm growing out my hair now, and I'm making sure it stays in top condition.

I usually braid my hair when it is damp or dry. I do like it somewhat tight, but whenever I take the braids out, my scalp feels completely normal (and my scalp is VERY sensitive to tight ponytails/buns etc.)

I've never noticed any significant damage or cons to braiding hair, and so many people do it, but I'm just curious :)

Haven
March 28th, 2019, 09:13 PM
I think it depends how careful you are while braiding and how fragile your hair is. Sometimes I hear a little breakage when I braid, but as long as I'm gentle and patient it's no worse than when I put a fork in my bun and it's definitely less damaging than leaving it loose.

Some people say the tassels are too exposed to damage for them. It doesn't bother me as long as I keep the tassel oiled.

milosmomma
March 28th, 2019, 09:15 PM
Anything CAN be damaging if you're doing it too tight, separating strands too roughly etc. But I think they are more protective than damaging for a lot of people. Myself included. I still get some friction damage from them just from the actual braid hanging and rubbing through out the day, I will get braid shred and those hairs that escape end up dry and sometimes split because of it. But the trade off it that the rest of the lengths are bundled together and prevented from tangling. I like to oil the outside and tassel of my braids to have some sort of protective coating to lessen friction damage but I think a small amount is very normal.
I think after a certain length braids become less protective just for the reasons I mentioned and that it may get stuck places like chair backs or seat belts. At which point braiding and then bunning would be a better style to prevent damage.
Tight braiding can cause head aches, traction alopecia and I'm not sure if anyone else has this but I get increase shedding from tight braiding or any style for that matter.
I would say keep doing you and rock your double Dutch braids but if you are worried about damage maybe rub an oil or serum on your braids and tassels for a little added buffer :)

meteor
March 28th, 2019, 09:40 PM
I think it depends how careful you are while braiding and how fragile your hair is.


Anything CAN be damaging if you're doing it too tight, separating strands too roughly etc.

^ I agree.

Of course, there are some scary cases of some badly done microbraids/boxbraids/cornrows/etc - done too tightly, too close to scalp, with wrong angling or extra weight added, etc... and hair shedding from traction alopecia within days... but those are specific unfortunate cases.

Also, if hair isn't detangled properly, and if it's pulled and separated aggressively or left in braids for way too long, there can be lots of mechanical damage and tangling, especially when you are dealing with lots and lots of tiny sectioning on very significant lengths (e.g. French fishtails on extra long hair, etc), but if things are done right, there shouldn't be any significant damage.
Also, twisted strands (e.g. rope/hawser/cable braids, etc) can cause some problems at extreme lengths, because the twist keeps going for many inches, so the ends and the tops of the same strands within a twist get misaligned as the twist gets tightened, if you know what I mean, so it can be harder to detangle later.

Avoiding damaging hair ties and putting them in and taking them off gently and carefully is important, too. I prefer to weave a silky ribbon into the braid (just fold ribbon in 2, add one side to one strand and the second side to another strand, and keep on braiding as before) and tie it off in a bow for minimal mechanical friction. Personally, I don't like sectioned braids and on-scalp braiding on myself at this point, because my hair is too long for my braiding skills and it simply self-braids at the ends as I'm still trying to braid the top.

But a very simple English braid or two (especially if it's pinned up in a simple bun or coronet) is actually a very nice protective style and I find them even more protective specifically for very long hair, because the sectioning that happens during braiding keeps hair from tangling later when it's wrapped many, many times around the base during bunning (loose hair in a bun can tangle even more than in simple braided buns, IMHO).

FlowerDance
March 28th, 2019, 09:40 PM
Thank you so much! I'll make sure I'm gentle, and all should be well :)

SimplySmile
March 29th, 2019, 08:43 AM
I have been curious about this as well. I see so many people were their hair in braids and say it is a protective style. When I wear mine in braids I just think of all the damage that is getting caused from it rubbing back and forth on my shirts or jacket. I also worry about the ends being exposed. I know a side braid doesn't seem to rub as much for me as opposed to a braid down the back.

spidermom
March 29th, 2019, 09:15 AM
I like braiding and then pinning it up in some way because it drives me crazy to feel braids swinging around as I'm doing things, and I'm sure it does cause friction damage. The braided bun is the best of both worlds!

lapushka
March 29th, 2019, 09:30 AM
Just as the title says! Would you say braids damage hair? Dutch, French, fishtail, etc? I absolutely love braiding my hair, especially in double french braids. I'm growing out my hair now, and I'm making sure it stays in top condition.

I usually braid my hair when it is damp or dry. I do like it somewhat tight, but whenever I take the braids out, my scalp feels completely normal (and my scalp is VERY sensitive to tight ponytails/buns etc.)

I've never noticed any significant damage or cons to braiding hair, and so many people do it, but I'm just curious :)

I think it depends how tight/loose you make them, aka at what length you are starting to make them.

I don't think a braid say at BSL (and onwards) is going to do damage.

But I would be careful if you are at short(er) lengths and doing it somewhat tightly.

AmaryllisRed
March 29th, 2019, 09:46 AM
I am finding that wearing braids down seems to cause an increase in splits from the way they rub on everything. I'm with spidermom. Braided buns!

ArabellaRose
March 29th, 2019, 01:26 PM
I find braids damaging for my hair, all the exposed ends along the length of the braid rub against clothes and things and ends up causing more damage than wearing down.

My hair much prefers being up in a bun :)

cjk
March 29th, 2019, 01:30 PM
Probably not as damaging as the hard hat. Thank heaven I braided this morning!

https://i.imgur.com/NZ5phPg.jpg

CampFireTiger
March 29th, 2019, 01:50 PM
I have a related question for anyone who sees this. What kind of tie would be best for braids and should you tie it right near the end of the hair or up a few inches?

I've found that buns tend to make my scalp hurt or give me a headache if I wear the style more than a couple hours, UNLESS I french braid it to the point where I would place the bun (though my hair is too short for a proper bun right now anyways)so I would suggest trying that. When my hair was waist length I would do double french braids and oil the ends and it was mostly fine until I started damaging it in other ways, though I did have a lot of split ends that bunning may have prevented.

Ligeia Noire
March 29th, 2019, 02:08 PM
Well anything is damaging. Unless you are dressed in silk with your hair down and not moving, you will get some kind of friction. Even by strands rubbing on themselves. I find braids the least damaging style IF YOU WEAR THEM BUNNED. There's a reason all the women from forgone eras wore their hair in braids. Leaving them down creates more friction and braid shred than needed. Also scruchies or elastics with nice fabric around, without visible seams or metal parts, are awesome to tie the tassel. Of course not exaggerating on the level of tightness when braiding helps too... However, leaving the cross sections too lose will create too much braid shred. I also change where i part my hair every day too. Again this is my personal experience with wavy but fine type of hair that tangles when i sneeze.

lapushka
March 29th, 2019, 02:09 PM
I have a related question for anyone who sees this. What kind of tie would be best for braids and should you tie it right near the end of the hair or up a few inches?

I've found that buns tend to make my scalp hurt or give me a headache if I wear the style more than a couple hours, UNLESS I french braid it to the point where I would place the bun (though my hair is too short for a proper bun right now anyways)so I would suggest trying that. When my hair was waist length I would do double french braids and oil the ends and it was mostly fine until I started damaging it in other ways, though I did have a lot of split ends that bunning may have prevented.

I recently, after seeing it on here, acquired those coil elastics (phone wire) but tiny ones, and they are great for it.

spidermom
March 29th, 2019, 03:46 PM
I braid down as close to the ends as I can, then use a Goody poly-band to keep it contained.

milosmomma
March 29th, 2019, 04:50 PM
I change where I tie off my braids, sometimes I leave a long tassel just to switch it up and not cause breakage from repeatedly tying off in the same spot. I use the tiny slicone bands not the most hair friendly thing but not horrible. If your hair is too short for a braided bun, I like to just fold it up and clip it in a claw or use a slide on some sort to hold it up. My DD has grown her hair to BCL wearing braids daily with minimal tapering and damage so whatever damage braids cause(at least for her) have not prevented her from growing it out using only braids as her protective style. I know bunning is going to be the least damaging thing you can do to protect hair but you have to have fun with it as well and do you! :)

MusicalSpoons
March 29th, 2019, 05:01 PM
Damaging for me, unless it's bunned. Friction for all the poking out ends, plus exposing more of them to the elements and I would think repeatedly wearing braids would dry out those poking out ends too.

Curiously my experience of buns is the opposite of meteor's - taking a braid down after having been bunned finds far more tangles than taking down an unbraided bun :grin: (though twisted buns do have issues that wrapped buns don't, for my hair. My hair stays better in wrapped buns anyway).

lapushka
March 29th, 2019, 06:12 PM
I think I might wear a side braid out tomorrow! I am really wanting to change it up. I will be leaving a 4 inch tail out. It should be interesting, because it's been since hip length that I last wore a braid out. I wonder what my thinner ends will think of it. LOL!

Reyn127
March 29th, 2019, 09:27 PM
For me, it causes a lot of splits to wear a braid down. Braided and bunned is great, but when the braid is left down I get terrible breakage on the ends, especially in the area where it’s tied off.

meteor
March 29th, 2019, 11:16 PM
I also always bun my braids. They stay looking fresh and friction-free for a very long time this way, especially if you use silky smooth scarves for bed or for windy weather.


I have a related question for anyone who sees this. What kind of tie would be best for braids and should you tie it right near the end of the hair or up a few inches?

For minimal damage, I like to weave a silky ribbon into the braid (just fold ribbon in 2, add one side to one strand and the second side to another strand of the 3-strand braid, and keep on English-braiding as before, treating the ribbon as hair) and tie it off with the 2 ends of the silky ribbon in a bow. It ends up looking a bit like this: http://mondkind.channel-berlin.de/redribbonbraid.jpg
If I use an elastic, I'm just really careful about how I remove it, one loop at a time (Last-In-First-Out).

Hairkay
March 30th, 2019, 07:58 AM
I agree with others who have said it's how you braid that can be damaging. If you take care and not braid hair too tight it will be fine. You also need to take hair type into consideration. Finer strands of hair work best with less manipulation. Even tight curls benefit with low manipulation techniques. I use plaits/braids all the time. I can style once a week to reduce manipulation and it works for me. For my thick kinky curly hair just doing a bun without twisting or braiding the hair can be more damaging.

vpatt
March 30th, 2019, 08:05 AM
I don't have much luck trying to bun a braid. Maybe my hair needs more length?

vpatt
March 30th, 2019, 08:07 AM
Sorry double post

Ylva
March 30th, 2019, 08:26 AM
For me, braids left hanging down are somewhat damaging due to friction and shredding and they do cause some split ends, but I don't care, because as long as my hair is not chemically damaged to hell and back, it'll be fine despite that. This was my hair in the past when I never ever wore it in a bun, just mostly in braids and very rarely loose or in a ponytail:

https://forums.longhaircommunity.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=32990&d=1534022862

It was some level of butt length then (I'm leaning forward in the pic).