Braid Extensions Styling

Braid Extensions Styling

Many naturals and relaxed women love extensions. From braids to twists, there are many options available if you decide to go the extensions route. Extensions add variety to hair styles and when worn properly, can give your hair a break from daily manipulation.

There have been a plethora of articles in recent months highlighting the negatives of wearing extensions and the damage they can cause to the scalp and or hair follicles if improperly installed or cared for. I know many of us love braided styles and though extensions can cause damage, we’ll examine the beneficial side of extension styling along with 3 steps to effectively wear braid extensions including proper technique, adequate care and gentle removal to keep your hair in tip top shape while braided, twisted or otherwise installed up.

There are considerable benefits of wearing braids and twists. Some that come to mind are: Ease of style; you can literally just get up and go more often than not while your hair is in braids or twists, saving time and energy on the daily. Length of style; braided styles tend to last two to eight weeks depending on the installation, care and if they are singles or cornrows. Who doesn’t like the idea of not having to style their hair for weeks on end? Daily manipulation protection, while in braids or twists our hair does get a much welcomed rest from daily manipulation caused by styling and general handling, leaving it stronger with proper care.

After nearly two decades of self styling, here are some of key things I’ve learned about wearing extensions to optimize hair health, that I hope will be of help to you should you ever opt to don extensions.

Let’s face it there are some stylists out there that will style you bald. There are two things that jump out at me where it concerns technique:

Some stylists use entirely too much tension on the hair, pulling it away from the scalp when braiding and twisting as if to punish you for some unknown bad deed. This is murder on the hair follicles and can lead to traction alopecia and even permanent hair loss. This unfortunately happens so often that many women wonder how to braid hair without damaging edges by default, but damage does not have to occur.

Signs that your braids are too tight and may need to be removed immediately:

  • You experience a headache after installation. This simply shouldn’t happen ever.
  • You have little bumps which are inflamed or irritated hair follicles and or redness around your hair line or general scalp areas causing discomfort, tingling or itching.
  • You have a noticeable amount of white bulbs which are infected hair follicles around your hair line or general scalp area.
  • Your face and hairline are pulled back tightly. This should never happen.

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How to Braid Hair Extensions?

Braid hair extensions the same way you would braid normal hair. Take three sections of the hair and overlap them onto each other all the way down to create a braid.