The modern Stitch Feed-In Braids technique originates from the tried and true Cornrowing technique. Africans wore cornrows since as early as 3000 B.C. Cornrows, also known as Canerows, gained their name by representing the planting of sugarcane and corn by slaves.
Cornrows are extremely prevalent in African American history as they were known to have been used to make maps and signals for slaves to escape captivity. These traditional braids have now given way to several other braiding techniques, one of which is the style known as stitch braids. The stitch braids style emerged and raised in popularity in 2016.
Stitch Braids are plaited by dividing the hair into approximately five to seven horizontal lines down the head. A minor thin line of hair is cut out and left to run parallel to the major one.
How to do Stitch Braids?
Holding pomade is applied to every line of hair. It is also applied to the bottom of the roots of these sections. Pomade is the glue to the entire style and will significantly affect the success of the style.
Stitch Braids are meant to be very uniform and crisp – the pomade will further help them to achieve this style. All strands of hair are aligned in place by the pomade.
A couple of pomade options are the dependable Shine n’ Jam or the Crème of Nature Argon Oil Edge Control.
Special hair-friendly hair-bands are used to loop the sections at the roots. The outcome is elegant square ponytails. Plaiting is done the same way as in other braids.
When braiding, the stylist picks the tiny ponytails, just as they would pick small portions of hair, in regular braiding. Feeding-in of choice natural or high-quality synthetic extension is done to add body to these thick cornrows, just as in the Ghana braids and feed-in braids.
The thin sections of hair are not subjected to the same rubber band looping or feeding-in with extensions as the major ones are. Instead, they are simply plaited into regular cornrows.
One can opt to braid the whole head with all thick lines only, or, have some thin cornrows in between the thick rubber-band stitched ones.
The magnificence of the Stitch Braids is in the final neat and unique look. One can opt to add decorative beads to some braids.
Another Installation Technique
Creating Stitch Braids using this technique can be a quite tedious task, but once you get going, it will become easier.
Instead of using rubber bands to create the razor-sharp boxed sections, you will be creating them all by hand as you complete the braid.
Pomade, a rat tail comb, and coordinated fingers will come in handy when using this technique.
When using this bandless method, make sure that your hair is thoroughly detangled. This will make separating through the hair when braiding the hair easy and quick, which you'll need when trying to perfect the style.
These braids pride themselves on neatness, so smooth detangled hair is a must. The hair being detangled accompanied by a rat tail comb and enough pomade will make creating this style possible without the rubber bands
- Begin by braiding the hair at least four times
- Begin your stitch by using your pinky nail to part your first two sections but wait for a couple of stitches before you add in extension hair.
- Add in the extension hair by putting it on one side of the head, placing the hair between your pointer finger and thumb. The middle piece will combine with the middle section of the braid. From here, you will continue the process until the braid is completed.
For further detail, Check out this method: Stitch Braids With No Rubber Bands
Stitch Feed-In Braids can be created in several different styles. You can have them in the traditional straight back look or have some fun with it.
Some opt for a bun look while others prefer a ponytail. Other possible options are creating a half up half down look, double buns, or all of the braids curving going to one side of your head.
There are several options when it comes to the style, but the only downside is that once you have that one style, you cannot do much to change it up. So, be sure when deciding on how you want your Stitch Braids to be styled that it’s something you can live with for a while.
How Long do Stitch Braids Last?
Stitch Braids are a very long-lasting protective style option. These braids can last you up to 2 months or maybe only one depending on how fast your hair grows.
Once your style grows out too much, you will more than likely want to take them down due to them losing their crispness; the more your hair outgrows them.
Who Is the Style Suitable For?
Stitch braids are great for coarse hair types ranging from 3A to 4C hair. However, if you’re extremely tender-headed, consider that before deciding on this style.
This style will require a lot of pulling and tugging on your hair and scalp. Also, to achieve the sharp crispness, the braids will need to be fairly tight. They should never be too uncomfortably tight, but for someone with a sensitive scalp, the pain could be more intense.
When to Wear Stitch Braids?
You can wear stitch braids year-round, but many people will choose this style for the summer. It is great for vacations, but be careful not to get the braids too wet, or your natural hair may begin to revert and ruin the neatness of the style.
Pros and Cons of Stitch Braids
- Long-lasting protective style. Stitch Feed-In Braids are a great, long-lasting style if you want your hair out of your hands for a few weeks. They last up to two months and will aid your hair in low manipulation, which reduces breakage.
- It can be done in several versatile patterns and styles. There are many styles to choose from when deciding how you want your Stitch Braids to look. You can have a bun, ponytail, half up half down, etc.
- Lack of versatility. It is a great style that can be created in several ways, but once you have your style, you’re stuck with it.
- It can cause tension on your scalp. If Stitch Braids are not done correctly, it is easy for them to be uncomfortably tight on your scalp. This will cause a lot of tugging on your scalp and can lead to hair loss and breakage. It’s important to be aware that your stylist isn’t braiding too tightly.