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View Full Version : Braids + Layers = Frustration!



Joribear
June 7th, 2011, 03:43 PM
My hair has layers that range from chin (these were formally known as my bangs..), shoulder length, APL, and the longest are BSL. Wanting to protect my hair the best I can, I usually alternate between buns and braids.

I know I'm not the world's greatest braider, but they used to turn out fairly smooth and well kept. For some reason, the past month (I got a trim back at the beginning of May), my layers are doing everything in their power to not stay in the braids. These layers are obviously powerful, because there is no containing them!

Case in point, I did a Dutch braid today. My hair was CO'd, with conditioner, almond oil and coconut oil on the ends and aloe vera gel throughout the hair.
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b301/Joribear/Hair/DSCN1501.jpg
This was taken less than a minute after finishing the braid.

A closeup of the end:
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b301/Joribear/Hair/DSCN1502.jpg
How annoying!!

After wearing the braid for most of the day, it ended up looking like this:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b301/Joribear/Hair/DSCN1513.jpg
Now, bear in mind, I didn't do anything strenuous today; took my sons to a dentist appointment, lunch, and a doctor's appointment then home. I wasn't out running, riding a bike, breaking up a barroom brawl, etc.

I'm so frustrated with it right now, I'm thinking of getting it chopped to mostly one length (not going to chin length, that would be way too short for me).

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b301/Joribear/LayerCut.png

That is a LOT of length to lose. I asked my sons for their opinions; DS15 said no, just be patient (not my greatest strength) and DS12's eyes about popped out of his head. While I respect their opinions, they don't see the damage on my hair from the highlights I've had done, and well, they keep their hair in a buzz cut and only remember me with long hair.

I *like* having my hair in a braid (or braids, depending on my mood) and I know I need to switch up the hairstyle every so often to keep from stressing the same parts of my scalp with a daily bun.

Thoughts? Opinions? Talk me off the ledge? Push me over the ledge?? Help!

Roseate
June 7th, 2011, 03:51 PM
Your hair looks great in that last picture!

Do you like shorter hair?

When my hair is in a blunt cut at the length you're proposing to cut to, it is really irritating. It poofs up in a triangle of doom, is too short for buns, and braids are so stubby they are ridiculous. So personally, I would never voluntarily go there. But maybe you like that length more than I do!

If a shorter cut sounds appealing in itself, go for it, but if you're only doing it to lose layers, I'd say just maintain and trim part or all of your growth until your layers catch up.

elbow chic
June 7th, 2011, 03:53 PM
No, don't cut it that short without layers. It'll go POOF! :laugh: (go ahead, ask me how I know this...)

caiti42
June 7th, 2011, 03:58 PM
I coucour. With those waves I imagine big poof If there are no layers to take the weight out. And your hair looks lovely with layers!


My braids have the sticking out problem like yours but there is a bobby pin trick you can do to keep them in. Sorry I can't post a link to instructions I'm on my phone.

I think the messy look is lovely though. :)

kyandii
June 7th, 2011, 03:58 PM
Could you just maintain your current length until the layers catch up?

Or I would say between APL & BSL would get rid of most layers but not such huge length.

katsrevenge
June 7th, 2011, 04:03 PM
Mine does the same thing. I've got layers too.

I don't know if there is a fix. :/

Arya
June 7th, 2011, 04:05 PM
I think your hair looks very sophisticated with layers, I also think it would pouf and triangle without them. I started out with your haircut, and then grew my hair out so that most of my shortest layers are at bsl and the longest is at waist. that way I get a good braid going, and then I just make a long tassle/braid wet and use gel. I found that even when my hair was between hip and tailbone that my natural taper would make a really fuzzy braid, especially if I was wearing a more textured top. I also noticed that you can choose where the layer falls in the braid by twisting the strands carefully as you braid. If I see a layer about to pop out, I try to sandwich it in the middle, as opposed to on the edge. But wet braiding and gel will be your best friends, imo.

When your hair is very damp, braid your hair to the end of the french/dutch part, and individually gel each of the three main strands. It'll help form crisp braidwaves, too.

Please don't cut it all to one length! I think you'll regret not being able to make any braid, let alone a fuzzy one. A blunt cut at that length would give you a very short braid, indeed.

UltraBella
June 7th, 2011, 04:11 PM
If you braid from the ears down, instead of starting so high up, your layers will behave in the braid better. I have tons of layers but my braids aren't bad. I braid from ears down and braid tightly. Aloe Vera gel helps keep layers in place.
If you cut all that length off you will definitely have the dreaded triangle head !

Joribear
June 7th, 2011, 04:31 PM
Your hair looks great in that last picture!

Do you like shorter hair?

When my hair is in a blunt cut at the length you're proposing to cut to, it is really irritating. It poofs up in a triangle of doom, is too short for buns, and braids are so stubby they are ridiculous. So personally, I would never voluntarily go there. But maybe you like that length more than I do!

If a shorter cut sounds appealing in itself, go for it, but if you're only doing it to lose layers, I'd say just maintain and trim part or all of your growth until your layers catch up.
Ugh, no I hate shorter hair. The last time I had hair at the proposed length was just over 10 years ago:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b301/Joribear/SCAN0003.jpg
I hated it almost as soon as it was cut - little late by then! I'm only thinking of doing it now because of the frustration with the braids + the damage.


I coucour. With those waves I imagine big poof If there are no layers to take the weight out. And your hair looks lovely with layers!


My braids have the sticking out problem like yours but there is a bobby pin trick you can do to keep them in. Sorry I can't post a link to instructions I'm on my phone.

I think the messy look is lovely though. :)
Bobby pins hate me (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?p=1590414#post1590414), with a passion. They try to attempt suicide rather than be in my hair!!


I think your hair looks very sophisticated with layers, I also think it would pouf and triangle without them. I started out with your haircut, and then grew my hair out so that most of my shortest layers are at bsl and the longest is at waist. that way I get a good braid going, and then I just make a long tassle/braid wet and use gel. I found that even when my hair was between hip and tailbone that my natural taper would make a really fuzzy braid, especially if I was wearing a more textured top. I also noticed that you can choose where the layer falls in the braid by twisting the strands carefully as you braid. If I see a layer about to pop out, I try to sandwich it in the middle, as opposed to on the edge. But wet braiding and gel will be your best friends, imo.

When your hair is very damp, braid your hair to the end of the french/dutch part, and individually gel each of the three main strands. It'll help form crisp braidwaves, too.

Please don't cut it all to one length! I think you'll regret not being able to make any braid, let alone a fuzzy one. A blunt cut at that length would give you a very short braid, indeed.


Ohh, nice tip with putting gel on the strands at the end of the french/dutch braid! I will definitely have to give that a shot!


If you braid from the ears down, instead of starting so high up, your layers will behave in the braid better. I have tons of layers but my braids aren't bad. I braid from ears down and braid tightly. Aloe Vera gel helps keep layers in place.
If you cut all that length off you will definitely have the dreaded triangle head !

My only question with this is, what about the "layer" (aka bangs/fringe) that is chin level? They just barely reach to the back of my head and I don't have the temperament for letting them hang in my face. Any ideas?

Roseate
June 7th, 2011, 04:38 PM
[
My only question with this is, what about the "layer" (aka bangs/fringe) that is chin level? They just barely reach to the back of my head and I don't have the temperament for letting them hang in my face. Any ideas?

Lace braid (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=113) that part, or lace rope? Or just clip it back, or headband.

JadeTigress
June 7th, 2011, 06:01 PM
I was facing the same dilemma, but I ended up deciding to wait it out. I really don't like having my hair at the length I would've had to cut it to, and it poofs in a not good way. My braids suck right now, too, but someday they won't, and I'll still have my length. :p

sarah061
June 7th, 2011, 06:03 PM
Well, at least one good thing is that messy "un-done" looking braids are very fashionable right now! I think it still looks good, and it'll only get neater looking as time goes on :)

Nymphea
June 7th, 2011, 06:08 PM
No, don't cut it! It looks just great. Try some other hairstyle or some other braiding technique, or just be patient awhile; every day it will look only better. You could eventually maintain this length and wait for most layers to catch up.

jojo
June 7th, 2011, 08:11 PM
OK I see your frustration, it would annoy me too but I wouldn't cut. Trim just the length a little every 3 months and patience. One thing that may help to stop the escapee's is dutch braid on the top and pony the length from neck or put some aloe vera gel on the length before braiding, once its braided add a little oil down the length of the braid. It might help!

Madora
June 7th, 2011, 09:12 PM
Layers are not conducive to neat braiding, as you've found out!

One suggestion..

French braid the hair down the center of your neck, then change from a 3 strand technique to a 2 strand technique..i.e. the "fishtail" braid.

You might have a little better opportunity of keeping those uneven layers under more control.

Or..if you want a sleek look, French braid down to the nape, then divide the remaining hair in two sections. Entwine one section over the other until you reach the ends and secure with a hair friendly elastic.

Now, holding on to the coiled hair, bring it up and around the French braid you made,tucking the coil UNDER the french braid with tiny crimped hairpins. The final effect is of an elegant French braid down to your nape (all the rest of the hair has been hidden under that braid).

There's yet another method of taming the layer problem but it really only works when the longest part of your layers is at least twice as long as your shortest layer.

What you do is braid down to your nape as usual..and then maybe braid once more.

Then divide hair in two sections.

Take the longest hair from one section and cross it over to the section on the right.

Take the LONGEST hair from the hair on the RIGHT and bring it over to the LEFT.

Continue taking the LONGEST hair from EACH side and bringing it over to either the right or the left.

In effect, what you're trying to do is 'CAPTURE and HOLD IN PLACE' all those little short layered hairs by using the LONGEST strands from the right and left sides to hold the short hairs in place.

You can also try this method when doing a 3 strand braid, though it is simpler to accomplish with just 2 strands.

I've never had layers..but am currently growing out a crummy trim from years ago. (I cut off 5 inches of hair..but it was still in braids. Consequently, when the hair was brushed out, I had very uneven lengths. Something I hated. I found the above method helps...but then my "layers" are only two different lengths (the shorter of the two is about 5 inches shorter than the longest length).

spidermom
June 7th, 2011, 09:59 PM
Your hair looks beautiful in that last picture.

I used to wrap my braids when my hair was layered. I'd braid a long ribbon in, then I'd wrap the ends of the ribbon around the ends of the braid.

Be patient. Soon some of those layers will be long enough to fit into the next loop down and stay better. It looks like your hair is between lengths - too long to stay in the higher loops, too short to fit into the next loop down. Like UltraBella suggested, try starting the braid at a different place.

ksanka02
June 7th, 2011, 10:03 PM
I did cut all layers off last december for same reason. Now I have one length and it easier to style.

Joribear
June 7th, 2011, 10:14 PM
Thank you all for your tips and advice. I'll keep the scissors at bay and try to wait it out. *sigh* I'll start trying different braids and different starting positions to see if that helps.

Jojo - I did use AVG thru the length, but I'm guessing not enough! I hadn't thought to oil after it was braided! Thanks!

Madora - you are always a wealth of information and one of my hair idols! :crush:

Spidermom - how do you braid a ribbon into your hair? And I don't know if you noticed or not, but I used your tip of wrapping my tassel with ribbon before I put the elastic on. :D

jojo
June 8th, 2011, 11:02 AM
cool let us know how it works out, you will just master this and then have no layers ha ha!

bunzfan
June 8th, 2011, 11:07 AM
If its any help with i had a lot of layers i couldn't Dutch braid due to the problem you have found. If you braid damp hair in a French braid i found the layers didn't poke out.

I also found castor oil applied a few times a week really made my layers grow and catch up with the length now a year later my layers don't bother me when my hair is braided.

Joribear
June 8th, 2011, 12:23 PM
cool let us know how it works out, you will just master this and then have no layers ha ha!
:lol: That would be *just* my luck!! There's actually a pic in my album of a Dutch braid I did with heavily oiled hair (aka wash day prep) and the layers didn't bother me quite so much. To borrow a line from the Wizard of Oz's Scarecrow - If I only had a brain!


If its any help with i had a lot of layers i couldn't Dutch braid due to the problem you have found. If you braid damp hair in a French braid i found the layers didn't poke out.

I also found castor oil applied a few times a week really made my layers grow and catch up with the length now a year later my layers don't bother me when my hair is braided.
You're right, French braids don't have quite so many pokey layers, however, I'm trying to get better with my Dutch braiding, so I've been forcing myself to do Dutch braids more than the French braids. Perhaps I should take a break from my practice so I don't get so frustrated I chop it all off!

I don't know if you all realize just *how* close I was to doing the chop yesterday, so thank you all for saving me! I know I would have been crying last night if I had gone thru with it!

bunzfan
June 8th, 2011, 12:39 PM
:lol: That would be *just* my luck!! There's actually a pic in my album of a Dutch braid I did with heavily oiled hair (aka wash day prep) and the layers didn't bother me quite so much. To borrow a line from the Wizard of Oz's Scarecrow - If I only had a brain!


You're right, French braids don't have quite so many pokey layers, however, I'm trying to get better with my Dutch braiding, so I've been forcing myself to do Dutch braids more than the French braids. Perhaps I should take a break from my practice so I don't get so frustrated I chop it all off!

I don't know if you all realize just *how* close I was to doing the chop yesterday, so thank you all for saving me! I know I would have been crying last night if I had gone thru with it!


I have been there so i know how you feel. Yeah stick with it this time next year they won't bother you half so much and your braid thickness will have doubled :)

Arya
June 8th, 2011, 01:12 PM
I just practiced again with doing cornrows leading to two braids with my layers, they stayed in for four hours with no layers poking out, and then overnight with ONE layer sticking out in the morning, besides some increased fuzziness for sleeping. Thoroughly damp hair is your friend!

feralnature
June 8th, 2011, 01:15 PM
I like messy braids :)

Anje
June 8th, 2011, 01:51 PM
Keep your length -- it's really pretty, and if you maintain it, you'll probably be rid of the layers within a year.

I second the French braids over Dutch braids as a way to keep the worst of the pokey things contained. You're still at a length where you can tuck the braid tail underneath if you like, or you could simply secure at the base of the braid, then bun the hair.

QueenTifa
June 9th, 2011, 10:46 AM
I would definitely say don't go for the extreme. I would say just be patient and gradually trim off the layers if you really want to go one length, but your hair looks really nice with layers :)

Beatrice
June 15th, 2011, 09:46 PM
What a coincidence--I tried braiding my hair today for the first time in months, and I'm dealing with the same issue. Sometimes I think I should lose the layers, but then I see what they look like when they're curled, and I instantly change my mind. I feel the same way about your pic with the hair down.

I'm going to try the aloe gel, as well as some Herbal Essences mousse I have on hand. We'll see how it goes.

teela1978
June 15th, 2011, 09:51 PM
Something you may not realize... nobody's hair stays neat in a braid :) Little hairs sneak out quickly and create a very thick "braid halo" in no time, even on hair that's all one length!

spidermom
June 15th, 2011, 10:07 PM
Teela is absolutely right. I have long layers now, but my braid was every bit as messy when I didn't.

Roscata
June 15th, 2011, 10:15 PM
Fairytale ends do hold better in a braid than freshly cut ends, so that could be a cause why this is happening if you had your layers trimmed. My advice is to let the layers fairytale and only do S&D on them, trimming just the ends of your hair (bottom layer).

I have layered hair and it is a pain to get it into braids, but I did find that braiding a bit tighter and on damp hair the braid gets less messy. I use a spray bottle with water in it to wet the hair before braiding it (especially the last inch or two of the ends of the layers). Hope that helps. :D