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Thread: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

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    Member purpleelephant's Avatar
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    Default Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    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).

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    Member Nadine <3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    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.


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    Urban Myth Buster Nique1202's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    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.
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    Member juniperjetcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    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).

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    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    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 (-;

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    Member endlessly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    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.

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    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    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.

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    Now-shorthaired mod Anje's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    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.
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    Member purpleelephant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    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.

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    Henna lover ♥ parkmikii's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there such a thing as too much braiding?

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleelephant View Post
    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

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