As with many braiding styles, micro braids originated in parts of Africa many centuries ago. The modern-day trend began in the 1990s thanks to celebrities such as Brandy from the hit TV show Moesha.
Protective style | micro braids
What are Micro Braids?
Micro braids are tiny, single braids. The braids can become so tiny that they may not appear as braids at all. They are a style that has continued to be a popular choice for women.
Micro braids are often created using human hair extensions, though they can be created using synthetic hair. The hair at the end of the braids is generally left loose.
How to: micro braids for beginners! (step by step)
How to do Micro Braids?
- You will begin with a very small section of hair and then add in the extension hair of your choice. Creating a micro braid follows the same technique of creating a box braids without the uniform parting.
- Once you get the braid started, you will then continue to braid down the length of the hair. Some choose to leave the hair at the ends loose, but it is up to your preference.
Are Micro Braids Versatile?
Micro braids are a very versatile protective style. They can be straight or wavy. For straight micro braids, any straight synthetic or human hair extension is suitable to create the style. For the wavy micro braids hair, wet and wavy hair extensions are used to complete this texture of the style.
To maintain the wavy micros, applying sheen spray daily is recommended due to the extension hair used. Straight hair can be used to accomplish the wavy look, but it's a bit more time-consuming.
Micro braids and their versatility are vast. The braids can be done in any color and length. They are a great protective style for creating updos and other styles as well. For example, the braids can be put into ponytails, buns, and half up half down styles.
Instant "Lazy" micro braids
How Long Do Micro Braids Last?
Because the braids are tiny, it often takes many hours to complete, sometimes upwards to 12 hours. If done professionally, many stylists will have an extra set of hands to decrease the installation time. However, micro braids can last for several months with occasional retouches. If the three months the style can last is worth it, then the long installation and takedown process may be a fair trade.
Stylists urge that you properly care for your micro braids to prolong their longevity and protect your hair as well. Shampooing, conditioning, and moisturizing your braids weekly is a good idea to combat any build-up. Avoid heavy moisturizers and shoot for lightweight ones and finish off with a light oil or sheen spray.
Since the size of the braids can take a toll on your hair, you want to make sure you're taking the necessary steps to protect it as much as possible.
Since micro braids are such a fragile type of braid to remove, consider going to your stylist for removal. However, if you would like to remove them yourself, you can use these few tips to make it easier.
- Cut your braids right before where your real hair ends with the braids so that you aren't unbraiding unnecessary hair.
- Apply a detangler or conditioner to your braids. If they are loose already, some of the braids may slip out easily. If not, take your time unbraiding from the bottom up to prevent breakage.
- Detangle your hair as you are taking it down as it will be much easier detangling in smaller sections. This will also help with breakage.
Who Are Micro Braids Suitable For?
Micro braids are good for coarse hair types ranging from 3A to 4C. The braids can be done on relaxed, natural, or transitioning hair. The braids can be done on all hair lengths, but with longer hair, you will have to pay extra attention to moisturizing as it is prone to experiencing breakage in this style.
If you have a sensitive scalp, the style may be uncomfortable for you. However, just make sure your stylist is installing them with a comfortable tension level.
If your stylist is installing the braids too tightly, have her loosen her grip. There is the issue of hair damage due to the size of the braids. If micro braids are installed too tight, it can cause hair breakage.
Wearing micro braids too often can lead to hair loss. It is best to have a professional stylist install micro braids to prevent hair damage.
When to Wear Micro Braids?
Micro braids can be worn year-round; however, wearing them too often can be bad for your hair's health. Micro braids are a good choice for the workplace as they can look very professional, although it's a good idea to check with your job's policies first.
How to blonde micro braids
Pros and Cons of Micro Braids
- They are a low manipulation protective style. Micro braids are good for protective styling. They allow your hair time to be tucked away for a while. The style will protect your hair while allowing for low manipulation, which further protects your hair. Both low manipulation and protective styling promote healthy hair growth.
- They are long-lasting. Micro braids are a very durable protective styling option. For those of you looking for a style to keep up for a while, this is it. It will give you a well-needed break from doing your hair daily. The braids can last up to 3 months. Anytime longer than this isn't recommended as it can result in your hair tangling and locking. Also, with micro braids being so small, it is easier for them to lock and tangle compared to other braids.
- They are professional. Micro braids are a good style for professional appearances or the workplace. They can be made into sleek styles and updos, which may be suitable for these occasions. However, it's always safe to check your company's policies first.
- They can cause breakage. Micro braids can be a great protective style, but sometimes they may be less protective than intended. A few causes can lead to breakage with micro braids. One issue could come in if you're hair is not properly moisturized.
Making sure your hair is moisturized beforehand and during the duration of the style will help prevent breakage. Another reason you could experience breakage is due to improper installation. If the braids are installed too tightly, this will pull on your scalp can lead to breakage or hair loss.
The last reason you may experience hair breakage can be due to improper takedown. If your micro braids are not carefully taken out, then you will experience tangling and breakage. Having a professional stylist take out your micro braids is preferred, but if you are going to do it yourself, be patient. Taking your time will prevent any damage.
- They have a long installation and takedown process. Micro braids can take up to 12 hours to complete, and even then, stylists may require a second person to help install them.
- They are pricey. Although they will last you quite some time, the style comes at a steep price. They can start at $150 and go up depending on the length.