Braids are a great protective hairstyle that protects your hair and makes you stand out. But like everything else, braids, too, come with their vices. If kept for too long, braids can damage hair. So, how often should you get your braids done?
The thumb rule regarding braids is to not keep them for longer than eight weeks. And that is only when complete care of hair and braids is ensured. Otherwise, braids should be undone every 2-4 weeks to allow hair to remain in its natural state for two weeks to heal.
Given the damage braids can do if kept for too long, it’s not suggested. Let’s dive into why and how to best care for your braids.
When Should You Take a Break from Protective Styles
It would be best if you gave your hair a long break after every protective hairstyle you get done. You should undo braids every six weeks and let the hair breathe for at least a month after, without reinstalling it again.
If you get a protective hairstyle done on your natural hair (without any extensions), like two-strand twists, you should take a one or two-day break every one or two weeks (only in the case of natural hair) before re-braiding.
Let your hair breathe for at least seven days post-sew-in or braids before re-installing extensions. Don’t repeatedly wear the same braiding style; try new styles to keep your hair healthy.
Ashanti Lation, Normani’s go-to hairstylist, says, and according to celebrity hairstylist Angela Stevens, if a protective hairstyle includes a weave, extensions, braids, or twist styles, it’s recommended to take a two-month break at least.
Consider getting a deep-conditioning treatment to strengthen your hair and increase its moisture-holding capability before you get your braids done.
Some people can keep their braids longer than others due to their hair growth rate. If your hair grows fast, your braids will grow fast too. In this case, you need to redo your braids regularly.
On the other hand, if your hair grows slowly, you don’t need to get them redone often.
Is it Bad to Always Braid Your Hair
Yes. If you wear braids daily, you can permanently damage your hair. Braids, especially ones done too tightly, can pull on and strain your hair.
It damages your hair follicles and makes your hair fall out. This is why you should undo your braids every once in a while to keep your hair safe and healthy.
How Long Should You Have Your Hair Braided
Exactly how long you should keep your braids depends on a couple of factors, like how dry or susceptible to breakage your hair is, how much care you’re putting into your braids, and whether you’re accumulating much buildup on your scalp.
Considering these factors, those with strong, thick hair can keep their braids without bothering their hairline or edges for as long as two months, even though two months is a long time; if braids are taken care of properly, they can be kept for that long. But those with thin hair should not keep braids on for more than six weeks.
With proper care, braids can look good for over two months, but that doesn’t mean you should keep them for that long, not even by mistake, as that will damage your hair beyond repair.
What Happens If You Leave in Braids for Too Long
If you keep your braids on for too long, they can cause permanent hair damage. Other problems that might occur from keeping braids for too long include:
- The longer you keep your braids, the harder it becomes to maneuver around the buildup on your scalp.
- Keeping braids for too long can make it impossible to untwist or untangle single braids. This causes your hair to become more tangled, forcing you to cut your hair.
- When your braids start growing and show much growth, it’s usually an indication that you need to take them out.
What is the Safest Time to Take Out My Braids
On average, I’d recommend anywhere from two-eight weeks. If you want to keep them longer, you’ll have to take good care of your braids to prevent damage and breakage.
Tips for Taking Care of Braided Hair
If you have braids and looking for advice regarding how to take proper care of them, we’ve got you covered. Read and utilize the following advice for better braids:
- First, get your braids done by a professional hairstylist who knows precisely how tight or loose your braids need to be and how to take care of them correctly.
- We suggest you rehydrate your hair with distilled or filtered daily, or at least every other day. If you wear synthetic hair extensions, you should rehydrate your hair.
- Clean your scalp every two-three weeks.
- Damp braids need to be adequately dried. Otherwise, it can lead to dandruff, fungus, and mildew. Sit under a hooded dryer for at least 30 minutes. Please don’t pull the braids up into a style until they are completely dry.
- Sea Breeze and Witch Hazel are two astringents that clean dirt and oil from your scalp and increase your hairstyle’s longevity.
- Heat a mixture of coconut oil, grape oil, castor oil, and extra-virgin olive oil and apply and leave it on your hair for 30 minutes to an hour. Wash your hair with shampoo or co-wash afterward. Please make this a weekly routine, as it helps keep your hair moisturized.
- Avoid tight braids, as they can tug and pull on your hair while sleeping.
- Avoid heavy braids- heavy braids strain the roots of your hair and pull your hair out with time. Keeping them for too long can damage your hair and scalp.
- When taking down your braids, use a moisturizing oil to moisturize your scalp. This will reduce the itchiness on your scalp that can come from having braids.
How Long You Can Go Without Showering
If you refrain from showering for more than 3-4 days, your skin can turn dark and collect bacteria. Not showering also means not washing your hair which can result in dust, debris, dead skin, and oil accumulating on your scalp, damaging your hair.
To prevent these damages, it’s recommended that you take a shower at least once every 2-3 days and wash your hair every other day.
What Are the Benefits of Braids
Braids can benefit you and your hair if you care for them correctly. The benefits of having braids include the following:
- They promote hair growth.
- Braids protect your hair from dust and debris.
- Braids help maintain moisture by trapping them in your hair.
- They can keep your hair from becoming frizzy.
- Braids are very low-maintenance.
- Braids save time.
- They are versatile and make you stand out.
- Braids can be a long-lasting hairstyle if proper care is ensured.
How long should you wait to get your hair braided after dying it?
Since dying your hair requires bleaching, and bleaching damages hair, it’s recommended that you wait at least four weeks before braiding them.
How often should you wash your hair with braids?
Experts suggest washing your hair every two to three weeks if you have braids. This will help eliminate the accumulated dirt and debris and keep your hair healthy.
The most straightforward answer to the question of how often should you get your hair braided is that you should wait at least a month between undoing your braids and redoing them.
This will allow your hair to breathe and eliminate the pulling and straining it faces from having braids for more than eight weeks.
If you follow the advice mentioned above and take proper care of your braids, they will last longer and help you stand out by making you look unique and stylish.